Thursday, April 3, 2008
Is your life Stranger Than Fiction? A Guitar and Playing Ball
Our lives usually begin and end with just an act.
But for Internal Revenue Service agent Harold Crick, it begins with the ticking of his (spruced up Hollywood) Timex T56371.
Stranger Than Fiction is a story about a man named Harold Crick and his wristwatch.
But it’s more than that. It is potential a story about you as well.
A serious Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a meticulous, introverted, unconventional, obsessive-compulsive who goes about his monotonous way of life without much fanfare for the last twelve years.
Crick’s quirks are apparent from the onset of the film as author Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) recounts (in her very prominent British accent) a number of them ranging from the precise hour he snoozes his Timex T56371 in the morning to the diligent precision he takes when he gets dressed, brushes his teeth (76 times broken down into 38 vertical and 38 horizontal strokes), and promptness to make it to the bus stop for the 8:15 that he takes to work.
It’s a preferred albeit poignant existence that Crick has chosen to live in.
Redundancy. A life of solitude. Hey, the man eats alone. And sadly, doesn’t even have time stand up and go to the bathroom to take a leak. (I guess that is another way to utilize an empty plastic jar).
Could this be your life as well?
Well maybe not as eccentric as Harold Crick’s, but are there any similarities?
Usual routines. Frequenting familiar haunts. Or my personal favorite, “I just don’t have time to do that.”
More like, you chose NOT to make time for that activity.
So, do you make the most of your day? Better yet, are you willing to stretch yourself to do just that?
As for Harold Crick, he did just that when he experienced an epiphany when Eiffel alluded to his impending death.
Crick began to live his life. He began doing things that he had always been putting off because of one thing or another.
He learned to play the guitar, be more daring and open, and most of all—move away from his tedious existence.
On my end, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar—it’s been on my wall for the last 11 ½ years—so…all I just need to do is what I mentioned earlier—that is…to make time. The desire is there, all I need is time (I’m sure we have all heard that line at least once in our lives).
Time to act on it. And I think I’ve taken a right step in that direction.
On my way home this afternoon from work, I decided to swing by our village park. I hadn’t stepped foot there in quite some time but I had a lot of pent up energy and was looking for a friendly basketball game. And with some luck, I found one.
The 3-on-3 teams weren’t really spread out fairly and the odds didn’t look too good for my squad. I mentioned this once to my opponents but then I turned to my young teammates and told them—“don’t worry guys, we will win this one.”
This is coming from a guy who is in pretty good shape but not basketball shape. As you all know, there is a salient difference between the two mediums. In fact, it has been awhile since I’ve dribbled and shot a basketball in a game setting—so this truly was a challenge.
Our opponents were raring to go but I told them that I had to confer with my teammates first (both of whom, I had just met that afternoon). After watching the game that most of these guys played earlier, I was able to ascertain some of our opponents’ tendencies. I quickly shared my insights with my teammates and told them—“Play defense.” “Get your hands up when they shoot”. And “Cut, I’ll get you the ball.”
The advantage of youth. They are eager to learn and more importantly, willing to listen.
I wasn’t even dressed to play. Absolutely no gear. I sported a pair of jeans, had a pair of low-cut Jordan III’s rubber shoes, and I removed my short-sleeved polo in favor of a white shirt. That was about it.
Our opponents ran out of the games to start our match and at one point the score was 5-12 and we were playing till 20—two’s were considered a point while three’s counted as two points. Losers’ outs.
It would be an understatement to say that things certainly weren’t going our way. But we caught up and we did it as a team. With crisp passes as well as everyone helping out to find the open man brought us within striking distance—16-17.
My shot also started falling and I hit a three (two points) to make it 18-17. After some good defense, we got another possession and a chance for a potential game winner.
My teammates trusted me to take this shot (by this point in the game, I had hit about three long distance shots (6 points) and two drives to the basket (4 points)) and after signaling for a pick—I faked right, went left, and launched the game winner.
Game over! Final score 20-17.
My team had overcome adversity and I kept my promise to them. We had won. It was a great feeling.
One I haven’t had in quite awhile. And one that I really enjoyed after I exchanged pleasantries with both my teammates and opponents.
Much like Crick, I could have simply set aside any thought of deviating beyond my regular routine and headed home.
But today, I fought it.
And I feel I am a better person for it.
How about you guys?
Examine your lives today and take a chance.
Make that change! Even for a moment.
Believe me, it will be well worth it—whatever it is that you decide to do.
Now playing: Maroon 5 - If I Never See Your Face Again