Movie theaters are one of the few places where I completely relax. I like to go to the movies on the weekend and have averaged at least one film a week since I started high school in 1974. But sometimes my health interferes with my plans. Last fall, homebound by illness two weekends in a row, I became frustrated and anxious about my inability to go to the movies.
Like most people, I hate being stuck at home sick. But last fall I took a look at my anxiety and frustrations and reminded myself that it was not 1974.
This might seem obvious, but sometimes the habits of our youth remain with us, and we need to occasionally reevaluate them. In 1974 if I missed a movie in a theater, I could wait and hope it would be shown on television in several years in an “edited for television” format, or that it might be shown at an art house at an indeterminate date in the future, or that it would be rereleased briefly during award season if I was lucky. If none of these conditions occurred, I might never see it.
But now most movies arrive at a local Red Box or on Pay Per View within six months of their initial release. Last fall I needed to forcibly remind myself that I could see the film I planned to watch in the near future, even if I had to view it from home. While I’ve lived with poor health since adolescence, the world has changed, and some of its undesirable effects have been mitigated. This is important for me to remember so that I don’t become distracted unnecessarily by negative feelings and instead can focus my energies where they belong.