You have to love a good video montage - different clips patched together, to tell the story of what someone's life is like at a particular moment. And all set to music.
When I imagine the movie montages that stick out in my mind, they are usually used to symbolize some sort of progress:
- the love montage: a couple meeting, getting to know each other, and falling in love (why are they always chasing each other in the park and wrestling around in leaves or sharing a messy ice cream cone? Maybe I'm dating myself - cough-80s movies-cough!).
- the underdog montage: someone getting good at something against all odds. A scrawny thing turned boxer (think Rocky or the Karate Kid), a meek person finally getting respect in the office, someone with two left feet becoming the best dancer this side of Fame (I love the 80s and I'm sticking to it). This montage is good for showing someone practicing and practicing until they are so good at [fill in the blank] that they can take on the best of the best.
- the downward-spiral montage: this is reserved for break-ups, descents, and general sadness taking over. These are not the most fun montages to watch, but they do exist.
I think I've been visualizing my life in montages for a while now (strange to say) but I don't think I ever really stepped back to think about the behavior until today. I suppose it's a way for me to sort out what my life looks like - what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time. By splicing the scenes of my life together at any one time (because the montage most definitely changes from week to week, month to month, year to year), I get a good picture of what is happening. Does my life make for a really energizing montage? Or does the song end with me wondering what I'm doing and whether I'm focusing on the things that will make me happy?
Today's montage was definitely of the joyful sort. As this song came through my headphones, these were the quick scenes that flashed before me:
- Me bouncing along as I made a subway transfer and stopping to help a sweet older woman with directions. Standing to talk with her for a few minutes as she thanked me and reflected on the kindness of strangers today
- Me with some of my clients in a meeting, dry erase boards filled to capacity, working hard, but also finding moments for laughter
- Me at my laptop, writing and smiling
- Me in my kitchen, cooking with Gerry
- Me with my family, walking in the city on a sunny Saturday
- Me sitting quietly, contemplating the amazing things that have happened this year, as well as the losses
In this case (as I think usually happens - I will be more aware of this behavior moving forward!) the first couple of images, and the ones with most detail are things that will have just happened to me, and typically things that make me feel good. Those thoughts then lead me to think about the other things in my life that are joyful - joyful meaning happy or real.
I am not sure how long I've been doing this, but the visualization of positive elements in one's life surely leads to more of the same...