Not too long ago, one of my best friends came to visit. We’ve known each other for nearly twenty years and have cultivated our relationship as down-the-street neighbors and long-distance friends. After all this time, we were afforded an extraordinary gift—uninterrupted time alone together, without our kids or husbands or an agenda. For four days, we just did whatever we wanted. It was glorious to spend full days in each other’s company, sharing thoughts and ideas and eating good food. One evening she suggested we watch the movie About Time.
Tim, the main character, can time travel. It’s shortly after Tim’s twenty-first birthday when his father reveals that he has this ability. Apparently, all the men in his family have been able to travel through time and for years have, indeed, visited places in their past, over and over again. Incredulous, Tim agrees to humor his dad and sets out to re-attend a horrific New Year’s Eve party. It works. Incredibly. And for the rest of the story, Tim uses his endowed ability to improve the one facet of his life in which he is wracked by self-doubt and seeming incompetence—love. The film chronicles several years of Tim’s experiments with his secret, particularly as he uses it to pursue Mary, the woman of his dreams.
For Tim, the best thing about time travel is that it allows him to change things he doesn’t get right the first time or that didn’t go the way he desired. How great it is that he doesn’t have to be content with living in the moment because he can elect a “do-over” any time he wants one!
But as the movie ends, Tim reflects on his experiences and summarizes what he has learned from his time travels: “The truth is, I now don’t even travel back at all—not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day. To enjoy it as if it was the full, final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life. We’re all traveling through time together every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable life.”
Tim’s key to relishing life was choosing to deliberately enjoy and fully embrace the moments each day brought. That’s all noticing is. Choosing to be present and engaged and observant and thankful for everything each day brings.
For Tim, one day brought him his soulmate. For me, many moons ago, one day brought me one of my best friends.
Who could this day bring you, and what could happen – over time – if you would just notice?
Friend of Q Place