Saturday, July 11, 2009


(Pardon the lapse in MAC has been getting a post-European adventure tune-up)

On Thursday Chris and I saw the newest Pixar creation, "UP".

We saw it in Disney 3D, hence the rocking glasses.

UP is the animated story of a 78 year old man who, in search of adventure, ties thousands of helium balloons to his house and flies away to South America. Mid-way through flight he discovers an eight-year-old stowaway; comedy and emotion ensue.

I left the movie theatre over 48 hours ago and I am still thinking about the movie.

I think I've only written about 2 movies on this blog, this being the second, and they are both Pixar movies.

The messages in the movie are solid.

The three that stood out most to me were:

1. Even in the midst of life's grandest adventures, it's people and relationships that matter most, not things.

2. Middle-class can mean happy and fulfilled.

3. It's never too late.

For Chris and I, moving back to the States has been a whirlwind.

I had a dream the other night that I was on a lake merging my boat into a lane of jumping fish. Only, the more I merged, the more jumping fish there were. So many that they were smacking me in the back of the head and I couldn't see anything beyond them.

I psycho-dream analyzed myself and decided this dream is a metaphor for how I feel about merging back into American life.

Slowly trying to drive our boat into home ownerships, jobs, cars, relationships with friends and family, mortages,'s blinding.

Where before I was taking time to enjoy my tea, snap pictures, enjoy nature and live with only the things I needed, now I am driving through restaurants, barely remembering to bring my camera places, avoiding the outdoors in fear of dying of heat stroke, and staring down boxes and boxes of "stuff" I own.

Where does this feel to rush and value stuff come from? How much of it is the culture of America bearing down on me, and how much of it is just me feeling like I need to go-go-go?

I like to believe it's 90% culturally driven, but even if it is cultural, who in the end decides how to act?

That would be me.

I've never been to China, but in my travels around the world I have never experienced a more face-paced culture than the States.

This may anger a few of you (though I'm not sure why), but Americans have trouble slowing down.

When someone asks you what you did today (Saturday), how good would you feel about telling them "slept in, cooked lunch, took a nap, and watched some TV." I'm willing to guess that would cause embarrassing feelings for most of you.

Or if you're a teacher and you have the summer off, how good do you feel about saying "I'm just going to relax all summer."

It's not really in the American psyche to think doing nothing is okay.

We're always suppose to be wanting more, doing more, seeking more.

What's the rush?

Where are we going and why?

After 5 days of mortgage hunting, house hunting, bank switching, hair cutting, social eventing, car searching, utter and pure exhaustion, no one suggested we slow down.

No one.

No one asked us "what's the rush?" or encouraged us to take time to get over our jet lag.

Sure, people said, "don't make rushed decisions," but no one suggested we don't be rushed.

There was one person, one very professional person, who recommended we slow down.

And I ask - Why had that never occurred to us? Or to anyone else?

UP is a beautiful reminder that there is no need to rush. And, that it's important to separate working to live vs. living to work.

There is so little that we really need to do over the weekend.

See our families. Re-connect with friends living far away. Keep our bodies healthy. Take the dogs on a walk.

I'm going to try to remember this as Chris and I fumble through moving back to this fast-paced environment.

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