Thursday, September 10, 2020

For the Love of Movies

If someone asked you what your favorite movie was, how would you answer that? That question has always stumped me. Maybe because there have always been so many to choose from, or because they all elicit such different emotions. 


I don’t watch as many movies as I used to, but I couldn’t consume enough of them in the 80s and 90s when I was a teenager. There were so many movies that came out of those decades that remain classics today—Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, St Elmo’s Fire, Top Gun, Flash Dance, Grease, Say Anything, Big, Toy Story, and When Harry Met Sally. The list goes on and on. These were fun to watch and a great way to spend a couple hours with friends on the weekend. This was before the days of Neflix, on demand and home theaters.


I was quite fortunate though to have been exposed to another level of movie watching through high school, of all places. Though I can’t remember specifically the list of movies we saw during our film weeks, I do remember the experience as a whole having a lasting impact on me. We’d watch a movie and write about it that night for homework. We learned to catch symbolism in movies like Hitchcock’s North by Northwest; we experienced war through Gallipoli and the Day After and watched Chariots of Fire and Breaking Away for storyline and character development. I actually never got to watch a Day After as that required a signature from home, due to its horrific content, which I did not get. I still haven’t seen it. 


As a kid, Heaven Can Wait, Grease, Star Wars and Indiana Jones were at the top of my favorites list, but as I grow older, I am moved more by the movies about love and relationships, The English Patient, Before Sunrise, The Intern or Dan in Real Life. As time passes, I’m sure the list will change again.


Through the big screen we can escape to unknown places (Romancing the Stone, Lawrence of Arabia, Under the Tuscan Sun); we can experience another time (Roman Holiday, Pride and Prejudice); live vicariously through someone else as they play out their rock star fantasy (Almost Famous, Purple Rain); battle enemies in a galaxy far, far away (Star Wars); fall passionately in love (Ghost, Legends of the Fall, The Notebook); chase after ones dreams (La La Land, Blue Crush, Fame); fight for the win as an underdog (Rocky, Rudy, Karate Kid); fight for what’s right (Erin Brockovich, Schindler’s List, West Side Story); or, experience life and death on the battlefield (Platoon, Dunkirk, Saving Private Ryan). 


Movies can make us laugh out loud, bawl like a baby, make our hearts pound and swoon. Some movies stick with us for a lifetime, but many of them fade with time, despite the impact they had on us at the time. Just the act of jotting them down is enough to trigger the memories that flood back when we think of a particular film. The movie tracker I created is simple and straight forward. You can use it several different ways. You can combine the movies you’ve seen with those you wish to see. Just check them off and rate them once you’ve seen them. Or, you could list just those movies you’ve seen or just the ones you wish to remember, the ones WORTH NOTING.

This printable is available in my Etsy store in both letter and A5 planner sizes. Click here

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A Walk in the Park

Crocodiles, coral reefs, giant Sequoias, cliff dwellings, hoodoo rock formations, erupting geysers, volcanoes, glaciers, white sand dunes and heavy stones that mysteriously slide across the desert—these are only some of the breathtaking sites you can see within our national park system. There are 62 national parks in the U.S. with roughly 350 additional sites—including monuments, battlefields, historical landmarks and recreational areas—to choose from. These parks, America’s greatest national treasure, attracted over 330 million visitors last year alone. Were you one of them?

Track the parks you've been to and keep an eye on those you wish to visit in the future with the National Parks Challenge Checklist, part of the WORTH NOTING journal series. Click here.