If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the last couple weeks you know I’m going through a little bit of a… thing.
You know, as I sit here typing this, it’s really probably my version of a mid-life crisis.
Or more like a mid-life breakthrough.
I turned 50 last September, and I still can’t believe it.
I don’t feel 50 in many ways.
But in other ways I do.
I’m more experienced.
I still have plenty of areas where I want to do some work but I’m also so much more self aware than I was in my twenties and thirties and forties.
With this enlightenment comes some pretty big a-ha moments.
I’m realizing I’ve been stressing over stuff that’s really not stress-worthy.
I’ve been killing myself to do things that, in the end, really won’t matter.
I’ve been focusing on the wrong stuff and getting my panties in a bunch unnecessarily.
I’m, in all likelihood, past the halfway point of my life.
I really, really want to enjoy it.
I want to enjoy my kids.
I haven’t enjoyed my kids.
Not as much as I could have.
Sending Number 3 off to Florida a couple days ago amplified the rate at which time is passing.
My mom being diagnosed with cancer in December put a magnifying glass on things.
And Number 7 is already 8 years old.
She was a baby when I started this blog!
Sure, eight is still young. But so many stages of life are behind us.
And I don’t want to hold on to the past or be living looking behind me, but I am aware of how quickly life is moving.
I really want to be more present. And I want to spend more time engaged with my family.
YouTube and (fucking) TikTok and Facebook and Instagram have magnified the degree to which my kids and I coexist but don’t necessarily interact.
The past couple months have been so busy that my kids have been on devices more than they should be and I have been buffering the things in my life I don’t want to think about or engage in by spending way too much time on Facebook.
And by eating. But that’s a whole different topic.
As the kids get older, finding time to just be together as a family is something that is getting harder and harder to do.
It’s a reason why I’m taking a look at our schedule and the level of chaos in our lives.
When you can’t find one night a week where everyone in your family can sit together at the end of the night, then I think it’s time to reevaluate.
Because in the end, that, to me, is the only thing that really matters. And those are the memories you will look back on most fondly. The times you spend together.
And that’s what reminds you of your home base. Your place to come back to. Your place to recharge and to just be with the people who you know and love and trust, and who know and love and trust you.
The people you can let your guard down with.
Your safe spot.
So I have been trying to carve out at least one night a week for family movie night.
Sitting as a family on the couch in pajamas with blankets and popcorn and experiencing a movie together is something I love.
And one of the benefits of Number 7 being eight years old is that we are now at the point where we can watch a movie that everyone enjoys.
But it can still be a challenge to find a movie that appeals to everyone, and I know I’m not the only one in this situation.
So I’ve decided I’m trying this as a once a month blog post — our favorite family movies of the month.
I’ve been going old school when possible, inspired by this blog post about one woman’s experience when she had her kids watch Mr. Rogers.
So, here are the movies we watched in January (and one TV show).
1988, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, PG, 1 hr 44 minutes
If you somehow never watched this movie, it’s the story of a kid who wishes he was big and when his wish comes true, eventually (and inevitably) realizes being a kid wasn’t so bad after all.
This was a big (no pun intended) hit with the kids (except for the scene where Tom Hanks touches Elizabeth Perkins’ boob over her bra).
I loved watching it again, and the kids really enjoyed it.
2. The Peanut Butter Falcon
2019, Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, PG-13, 1 hr 36 minutes
This is a Mark Twainish story of a messed up but good-at-the-core dude (LaBoeuf) who befriends another dude who has Down Syndrome (Gottsagen) and escaped from a state facility.
There are so many things about this movie that I loved. And the kids loved it too.
The message was so good. The relationship between LaBoeuf and Gottsagen genuine and endearing.
And I have read that the two of them have become very close friends in real life, and it makes me love this movie that much more.
I think the PG-13 rating is mostly for some cursing/language.
3. Little House On The Prairie
Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson 1974-1982, G
Okay, this isn’t a movie, but this is still a major favorite in our house.
I got the entire series as a Christmas gift about 4 years ago, but the younger kids were just a little too young then to really enjoy it.
Now it’s one of Number 7’s favorite things to watch, and we are slowly making our way through, watching an episode when we have a chance.
The kids like it so much that nobody is allowed to watch an episode unless everyone is home. We have been watching this for the past year or so, and we just finished season 4 last night (there are 9 seasons in total).
It’s almost 50 years old, but the lessons and the messaging are timeless, and my experience with this show is similar to that of the woman who showed Mr. Rogers to her kids.
We have been watching most of our movies through (affiliate) Amazon Prime Video.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can get a free trial here:
They have virtually any movie or TV show.
Many are included with your prime membership. Some you have to rent.
We rented the Peanut Butter Falcon.
Big was free.
And the entire Little House on the Prairie series is free!
Tonight we are going seriously old school with The Shaggy D.A.
I’ll let you know how everyone likes it in next month’s family movie night blog post.
In the meantime, have you watched any movies that your family has really enjoyed?
If so, please share and I’ll add them to our list!
Until next month, remember what’s important.
Whether it’s a family movie night or something else, make sure you carve out time to do stuff together as a family.
Because time isn’t gonna slow down for any of us.