Yesterday I went to see About Time, the new Richard Curtis film. I always enjoy his writing and the way he tells a story, I’ve already watched Notting Hill this week on DVD and I was really looking forward to this film even without Hugh Grant in it!
I wasn’t disappointed; the film made me laugh out loud and inevitably made me cry. Any romantic movie stirs up my emotions but I can’t tell you about everything that made me cry because I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone.
However it is not spoiling things too much to say that the movie is about a man who can travel in time, but only backwards and only within his own life.
To perform this feat all he has to stand in a dark room, usually a cupboard or a wardrobe, clench his fists tight and think about the exact moment he wants to go back to, usually with a view of changing things for the better.
It got me thinking … if I could stand in my wardrobe and clench my fists how far would I want to travel back in time? What would I want to change? And let’s pretend I only get one go at it so I have to pick my moment well.
I’ve done some pretty silly things in my time, and I’m certainly not listing them all on here. Some things I cringe over - how could I ever have been so daft? I could go back and change them, stop me from making a fool of myself but without those moments that I laugh about would I still be me? And often my friends get a good giggle out of them as well! It’s all part of growing up, even if I am still learning at 45!
No in the grand scheme of things those events are not worth going back for.
Would I instead choose to go back to the last time I saw Andrew? What if I had stayed with him that afternoon instead of going out? Could I have saved him?
Time travel really does throw up the most interesting of dilemmas. If Andrew had his heart attack, because I’m not sure much could have prevented it, but if he survived would he have been the same person?
His dad had his first heart attack at the same age but it affected him to the extent that he was never quite the same again. To be honest I’m not sure I would have coped well with a shadow of Andrew in our lives, always there but not quite how he should be.
No I think if I was going to go back in time it would have to be to a happy day, probably one of those days out we had as a family that last summer.
Perhaps the one where we dropped the camera – let’s rewind that – I’d hold that precious object so tightly and capture many more happy snaps.
Eliminating the broken camera would save the arguments that followed; youngest son wouldn’t have been as moody as we walked along blaming himself, when really it was just an accident passing the camera between us when it slipped from our fingers, I was just as much to blame for letting go of the strap.
However this was still mostly a happy day, I would just like to go back and smooth out the crinkly edges of it, make it almost more than perfect.
The boys would skim stones until it became second nature and it would remain forever a talent their dad had taught them one sunny day. OK so it’s not the greatest life skill but it’s something youngest son has never mastered and it makes me sad to watch him when he sort of tries and immediately gives up.
If I could live this day again I would laugh louder and longer, enjoying every second. I would forget about my aching back and the long car journey which had exacerbated the nagging pain. I would just enjoy it all over again and I would make time for more kisses and hand holding and talking about the completely unimportant trivial stuff – those little things that I truly miss.
I’m really not asking for much, I don’t want to change time or alter the future – oh if only I could step into the wardrobe and enter another world!
But all we can do is enjoy the here and now. I’m learning and trying, choosing JOY when I remember, counting my blessings and trying so hard not to worry about what the future holds.
The past is sadly gone but I can always relive that day in my memories, maybe it wasn’t totally perfect but it was pretty good nevertheless!