Monday, September 11, 2006


Living in the present can be a bit difficult, especially when many of us live in a fast-paced society that values setting and achieving goals. We get reinforced for looking toward the future at work and school: we pat five-year-olds nicely on the head when he or she announces (s)he wants to be a teacher or a doctor when (s)he grows up, while at work our daily duties are developed from the annual goals someone down the hall established for us back during the first week of January.

Live too long in the past? Recall too easily the poor choices made, or the dreams never realized? You're gonna get meds, my friend. Not "medicine," which people get when they have the flu, but "meds." The sort folks give you, then watch you as you swallow it down.

Just to be sure.

Once in a while, we gotta be reminded to live in the moment. It's then, after all, when we can pause to ensure we are making good decisions (and living with less regret), and the time to evaluate the status of our life-goals. The moment is the real time to figure out if we are moving in the right direction.

Click, starring Adam Sandler--yes, damn it, I said Adam Sandler--helped remind me of that this weekend.

You know this movie and it's premise: Sandler plays a husband-father-architect who can't seem to meet all the professional and personal obligations he feels. He happens into possession of a magical remote control, a clicker that controls the universe. He can manipulate his life by fast forwarding through the challenging times, muting arguments with his wife and pausing during emotional times for reflection. It lets him meet all his needs, or so he thinks. Along the way, Sandler's character realizes that he has been living for the future and, as a result, disregarding the present.

It isn't a perfect movie. It's predictable, and the conclusion seems a bit contrived. But it is a powerful movie in the message it delivers, if we pay attention.

I was reminded of this message Sunday morning, the morning after watching the flick. While eating lunch with the family at a restaurant in Cincinnati, my three-year-old son was not on his best behavior. He wasn't being terrible, just a bit difficult. And I was annoyed. Strongly, increasingly annoyed. I must have looked it, because my wife leaned near me and, very quietly, whispered: "Do you need a remote control?"

Nope, I don't. Thanks. I'll take the moment and the memory, please.

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