My sore throat seems to have transformed into a full on sinus thingy. It's awesome. I'm pretty excited about it. Nothing says party like a headache and free flowing snot. I would have just gone to bed (like a smart sick person) but I wanted to talk briefly about the movie Up In The Air.
In case you are unfamiliar and don't care to click the link, Up In The Air is nominated for best picture by the Academy and stars George Clooney as a man that flies all over the country firing people. The way it works is that companies hire him to fire their employees so they don't have to. Essentially he distances himself from any meaningful relationships on purpose as a way to keep his "baggage light" and he considers himself home when he is "Up in the air" flying, thus the title of the film.
Even though the movie has a big name actor in the main role it has a definite independent film feel. It's character driven which makes it likable since, let's be honest, George Clooney is likable. He doesn't talk enough to be considered annoying and he has a charming smile. He's great in the role and you like him. Other then that I liked the music a lot. If you are considering watching this movie I feel compelled to warn you that the language is pretty rough. You have been warned.
All right, so, Ryan's (Clooney's character) whole schtick, his life mantra if you will, is outlined in a speech he gives using a backpack as an example.
The gist of it goes something like this. He asks the audience to mentally fill the backpack with all their possessions. You know from your house right down to your toothbrush. Then he asks to you to imagine that he lit the bag on fire. What would you save?
It's a thought provoking question. What would you save? Being honest what's the first thing that comes to mind? OK so I'm going to tell you what I would try to save. I know that I might be called out as a liar for this one but I've never lied to you before so you are just going to have to trust me on this. If I was standing outside of that bag with my husband at my side and my children safely in my arms, I can not think of a darn think I would risk reaching my hand into the burning bag for. I own a lot of stuff and I really like most of it (except for the toys, I hate toys.), but I would let it burn. I suspect that I'd cry. Mourn the loss of my things that I had built attachments to. Think about all of the work it took to accumulate those things. Although on some level I might feel liberated from the weight of them. Which, of course, is the point of the exercise.
He then empties the bag (metaphorically still) and asks us to fill it with the people in our lives. All of them. From the guy that pumps your gas to your spouse and children. He does not light this bag on fire. He does however go on to talk about how the relationships we allow into our lives are the heaviest things we have. It's true. I imagine there isn't a person reading this blog that wouldn't rush head first into a burning bag to save someone they love. We become responsible for the people we allow into our lives. Does this mean we should streamline our relationships? Only allow the truly important people in? Should we disregard certain people to lighten our load?
The more I think about this the more I think of the song that says, " He ain't heavy, he's my brother." (is that how that goes? I'm working through a headache and what I suspect is a slight fever. I'm not sure about the fever because my thermometer fell into the toilet and has gone to the great medicinal graveyard in the sky. Yes, that really happened.)
Take for example, our kids. Raising children is a huge responsibility. It's heavy and not just the whole keeping them alive part. We are responsible for teaching them everything they will believe, what they will stand for, how they will treat others, how they will treat themselves and how they will prioritize these things. We make or break them. They are like soft clay and we impress on them without even trying. It's a heavy burden. And one I would risk my whole life to rush into a burning bag to save. Why? Because of the human connection. Human connection is a gift from God. It's something we need. If we didn't, why would God have given Eve to Adam? Why would he want us to multiply?
We need human connection. It's why we marry, have friends, stay in touch with family. It's even why we blog. I guess my point is that some burdens aren't heavy at all. They are actually gifts, even on the hard days.