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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FilmSnork110 COMPLETE: 115 Movies Watched, 1 Man Changed

For the first time in a hundred days I did not wake up overly tired, did not spend my breakfast confirming that my Kindle was loaded with a movie for my commute, did not check over and over if Netflix had mailed out the next film in my queue and will not need to consume a late night box of Cheez-its to keep me alert during a late night screening.  I also did not have to watch a movie on the train, walking through the streets of Manhattan, in the elevator or while giving blood.  There was no commitment to fulfill.  Just a normal day.  But, what a glorious day.  On the train to work I did something very simple and it felt odd, almost dirty... I read a magazine.  A weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I am going to miss it.   But the weight of the challenge has been replaced with a new sensation, power.  Power to control my life has returned to my hands, and no longer lies in a list of films.  But the power I am feeling it not just the return of control of my life... it is more.  Today I woke up a new man.  It is a miracle, it really is sort of a miracle.  The FilmSnork110 has changed me forever.  I feel great.  Even better than great, I feel reborn.  People don't get to feel like this often so when you do you must take advantage of it because if you waste it, you are going to burn for it. 

As I started this challenge I kept getting asked one thing, "why?"  The answer was simple.  I had started to forget my passion for film and needed remind myself what it was that drove me.   One thing people did not seem to grasp, The FilmSnork110 was never a challenge to others, it was a challenge to myself.  I am sure there are plenty of people out there that can top 11o in 100 days (I encourage you to.)  This challenge was created to attempt to revive a dormant part of myself that I realized I missed.  As my life became more complex and responsibilities multiplies, my time for movies has dwindled.  Where at one time, not too long ago, I used to watch 5 movies or more during an average week, I found myself barely finding the time to watch one.  This was not me.  This was not who I was.  Throughout my life I had always insisted I would never fall into the the trap of allowing my life to be consumed by the grind (work, stress, daily responsibilities, etc.) to the point that things I was passionate about fell to the wayside.  When I found myself coming up with excuses as to why I could not part take in my favorite things (besides my family, of course and farm fresh eggs) I realized there was a problem. 

I had to do something.  I had to take a chance.  I needed to make a change.  If not, I may become what I feared worst - someone that forgot that enjoying life was living life.   A plan needed be devised and implemented quickly. One that would throw me right back into the mix, watching movies again; something hardcore, something merciless.  So I decided to do some house work as I tried to find a solution.  I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this - the FilmSnork110.  110 movies in 100 days.  Needless to say to those that followed my progress,  I did not take the task lightly.  Each film was given my full attention knowing that afterwards I would need to rate, review, write journals about and often discuss the films.  I was quickly immersed.  I was home.   As each day passed I felt more rejuvenated, more alive, more like the old me.  That is where the miracle took place.  I stopped making excuses and I found the time to return my passion to my life.  With passion back in my life the passageway to my dreams was suddenly not as obstructed as it had once been.  Even with all obstacles in my way (my wife loves when I refer to her and the kids an obstacle) I was able to reach my goal of 110 movies, even surpassing it for a grand total of 115 movies.  I, the same guy that could barely fit a movie a week into his life found a way to watch about eight films a week.  Not only did I restore the passion I had for film, but that passion seemed to multiply.  I was rejuvenated.  I was reminded what I wanted out of life did not have to be constrained to what was listed under my job description, it could and will be so much more.  The miracle is the FilmSnork had risen and nothing will reverse that.

The miracle can happen to you.  It can happen tonight for all of you.  If you believe in those dreams that you once pursued, the miracle can happen and once it does then you'll want it to happen all the time.  Watching movies for the FilmSnork110 was only a catalyst for my miracle.  You need to find your own personal catalyst.  As we grow older it is easy to forget who we really are.  We set aside our passions for tasks.  As our list of responsibilities grows, many will consciously decide there are elements of their life they can shed.  For other people it is not a conscious decision - they become overwhelmed and things are lost in the commotion.  If your passion is one of those lost elements or worse set aside for "the perfect time," then it is time you give your life shake up.  The biggest myth out there, that there is a "perfect time."  People love to tell you how they don't have time for it.    Guess what?  NO ONE has time.  If you do not take the time you lose the passion, when you lose the passion the dream dies - which is why you must fight for it.  When you get just a taste of that passion you get that momentary spark inside you - you will not be able to stop yourself.  You just have to want that feeling and if you like it and you want it you'll get greedy for it.  You'll want it everyday of your life and it can happen to you.  SHAKE UP THE ROUTINE!  If your passion is painting and you don't paint because you are too tired from the gym, the skip the gym.  If at the end of your days you followed your dreams, creating your own personal art collection, and all it cost you was living life with a muffin top... you win!  Re-channel your energy.

Change your focus, live the life you want, not the one you are told you must live.   If your dream is to go to Paris, then go to Paris.  If you cannot afford to, then work harder or spend less or sell blood and save - that is the sacrifice.  Dreams do not happen, they are achieved.  If you are waiting for it to happen you are missing the boat.   Follow your dreams and you won't be one of these bastards that says "I don't have time for (fill in the blank),"  you'll be to busy loving life.  Follow your passions.
 Write a book, travel, design clothing, be the world's best father (or 2nd best, I fill that position already.)

Would you ever tell your children that they should follow their dreams and embrace their passions only until they reach a certain age, then abandon them?  I hope not.  That is not sound parental advice.  Then why do you tell yourself that each day (I am not accusing you of actually talking to yourselves, at least not all of you) through your action or lack there of.  You only get one life and it you are not living it, the what the hell are you doing?  If you have a dream you must pursue it now.  Being a parent, completing your work for your employer are not sacrifices, they are requirements.  It is the time between which you must harness and turn into your own.  That is the time for sacrifice.  Whether it is getting less sleep than you want, skipping the big game or in my case not watching a movie - unless you sacrifice (or are very lucky) you will never turn the dreams to reality.
There is a great quote from "The Shawshank Redemption, "get busy living or get busy dying."  No truer words have been spoken.   I have embraced the clarity provided to me by the FilmSnork110 to realize it was time to get busy living.  I have discovered that parts of me I thought were gone were very much alive.  This silly, little challenge has opened my eyes to that.  Not only did I get to watch a great number of wonderful films (and some Adam Sandler films as well,) the challenge has forced me to start thinking like a filmmaker again, it has reminded me that the person I once was still exists inside me.   My dreams are not longer a memory, they are something I am current pursuit of.   I believe in it now.  I believe it is going to happen to me now.  I'm ready for it.  It's great.  It is a good feeling, it is really better than I have felt in a long time. 

I am not exactly sure when this journal entry because a self-help program - for that I apologize (kind of.)   If you have set aside your passion I recommend you challenge yourself   It does not matter if it is movies, gardening, tennis or painting - go and do it again.  Take it from me, this monumental waste of time (a some have called it) has sparked a fire inside of me that will burn for years to come - perhaps until the day I die.   I cannot say I will ever take on something like it again, at least not until FilmSnork is my full-time job, but I would never give up the experience.  Thank you for your comments, likes, emails, texts, phone calls, conversations and general support.   Now roll credits.

Put a little love in your heart.  Put a little love in your heart.

Here is a breakdown of the FilmSnork110:
115 movies
217.4 hours
9.06 Days
13044 minutes
782640 seconds 
9.06% of my life was watching movies 
Total stars given 771
Average film rating  6.7 stars
Average Adam Sandler film rating  3 stars
Highest rated first time viewed films:  Every Little Step, Take Shelter, The Avengers
Lowest rated first time viewed films:  Grown Ups, The Sitter, Saturday the 14th

Instead of watching 115 movies these are other things that could of been accomplished.   If you have a task you would like to add to the list, let me know and I will do the calculations.

15.5 college credits
5.45 full-time work weeks
70 NFL games (4.4 full seasons)
87 NHL games (1 full season and possibly a first round of the playoffs)
Raced the entire Tour de France 2.52 times (at Lance Armstong's pace)
Listened to 326 the entire Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 
Listened to Pink Floyd's The Wall 137 times

Driven across the USA from NYC to San Fran 5 times 
Driven 56.7% way around the world
Flown back and forth between LA and Singapore 6.5 times
Climbed Mt. Everest 13 times (at world record pace)
Walked from Atlanta to Chicago
Prepared 4348 Ramen Noodle  in the microwave

Cooked 54 stuffed 15 pound turkeys
Watched the entire series of The Sopranos 2.75 times
Watched all 506 episodes of The Simpsons 1.17 times
Watched all the Star Wars movies back to back 16.25 times 
OR just watched the good Star Wars 33.7 times
Read the Bible the full way through 2.85 

Watched Joey Chestnut consume 88699 hot dogs (at his record pace)
Have had a colonoscopy 434 times
Have had 145 root canals

Some people will question why I did not do some of activities listed above.  They are missing the point.  I hope you enjoyed the whole FilmSnork110 experience as much as I did and hopefully get more out of it.

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