Every day it seems like the world needs something from you, right now. The feeling that you cannot take even a minute for yourself is pervasive. It encroaches on your personal health and well-being every day. What I have found is that the more I take care of myself, the more I am able to meet the needs of the world. There are many ways to take care of yourself: exercise, eating healthily, meditating or even just taking some time to read a book or watch a movie. A little down time can make all the difference. One of the efforts I have made to find some time for myself is to not check email over the weekend. I took my email app off my phone, and I only check it when I’m sitting at my computer a couple times a day. The effect on my stress levels has been extraordinary. I’m not proposing that you do that. It may work for your life, it may not; I don’t know. It works for mine. What I do propose is that you take some time each weekend for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a lot, maybe a couple of hours. With this in mind, I plan on suggesting a movie or book each Friday that may be something you have been meaning to watch or read, an old favorite to review or even something that you have never heard of. I’ll probably throw some curveballs out there in the coming months, but I think for my starting attempt at this I’ll go with something a little simpler.
Sometime in grade school my family was getting ready for a trip to the Jersey Shore. Not the Jersey Shore with a bunch of drunk idiots, but the one with boardwalks and skee-ball and salt water taffy. We actually went every year, driving halfway across the country just to meet up with the rest of our extended family for a couple of weeks in one giant beach house. However, this particular year I made the mistake of staying up the night before to watch a movie while my parents were packing. And what movie did I stay up watching right before heading to the shore for two weeks? Jaws. That’s right, Jaws. Now, if you’ve never watched Jaws, stop reading right now and go watch it. Seriously. It’s on Amazon streaming for $2.99. I’ll wait. If you have seen Jaws, then you know what happened next. I didn’t even go swimming the first week we were on vacation, and I think I only went in up to my knees the second week. To this day I am always a little wary in the water, and you will NEVER get me to swim at night in the ocean. That’s prime feeding time!
Anyway, I bet you saw snippets of Jaws on AMC or TBS or TNT all summer long, but when was the last time you sat down and watched the movie from beginning to end? The movie is fantastic! The characters are subtle and brilliant. The tension that builds through the entire movie is palatable. And how can you not love the scene where Robert Shaw tells the story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which I will not link here because I want you to watch the movie. That scene was written by the brilliant John Milius (another movie I highly recommend is the documentary Milius if you have the time). So, my suggestion to relax this weekend is to head over to Amazon or pop in the DVD if you already have it, and check out Jaws from beginning to end. Watch it like it’s the first time you’ve seen it, and watch it as a film not some summer blockbuster. It’s a much better made film than you might remember.