Ferris Bueller Was Dead Right

Being born in 1980 and growing up in the 90’s, I remember a lot of great movies that my parents, siblings and I would watch together. Classics such as ‘The Great Outdoors,’ ‘The Blues Brothers,’ and ‘Planes Trains and Automobiles’, for example. ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ was always one of my favorites. I thought it was hilarious the way he programmed his keyboard to make coughing and puking sounds so he could fake being sick to skip school. He was beyond cool. Ferris Bueller was sort of another version of Zack Morris (from Saved By The Bell) to me. I thought both of these dudes were like the coolest guys on the planet as a kid. Okay, I still think they’re cool.

There are obviously some classic scenes and quotes in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ Some of my favorite are:

  1. “If you’re not over here in fifteen minutes, you can find yourself a new best friend.” – Ferris to Cameron on the phone
  2. “You’re Abe Froman?” “Yep, that’s me.” “The sausage king of Chicago.” “Yep, that’s me.” – Ferris at a fancy French restaurant.

My favorite quote, however, is:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

Today, as I’m writing this, my oldest daughter (Astrid) will be finishing up kindergarten in four days. It’s difficult for me to process how quickly her school year has gone. I know it’s cliche, (still, it’s true none the less though) but it seems like it was just yesterday that she got on the bus for the first time. I’ll never forget how bravely she walked right on the school bus that first day of school.

A few days ago, my second oldest daughter (Murphy) graduated from preschool. She’ll start kindergarten in August this year. In a few months, rather than walking out to the bus stop with one daughter each morning, it’ll be two. Again, this is very difficult for me to process. Life is moving so damn fast that I can barely comprehend it some days.

My twins (Clarke & Crosby) recently turned three. They have two years of preschool left, then it will be on to kindergarten for them as well. How did that happen?

Last night, as I was walking upstairs to retire for the evening, I stepped on one of Clarke’s little babies that she plays with all the time. I don’t know why, (maybe because it was late) but I just stood there for a little bit and looked at it. Two thoughts entered my mind:

  1. It’s things like this I’ll miss when they get older.
  2. One day, in the not too distant future, I won’t find little toys like this lying around the house.

This morning, I thought about finding that little toy baby again. I thought about how quickly life is moving. I thought about how the pages of the calendar turn each day and that there’s nothing I can do about it. I thought about how I might feel about the past 365 days I had just spent when I wake up a year from now (God willing).

In my book, I talk about how powerful regret can be. Especially at the end of our lives.

Look, I’m not a life coach. I’m not self-help guru or powerful public speaker either. But, I have learned a few things over the duration of my 38 years. One of those things is that Ferris Bueller was spot on. If we don’t stop and look around once in awhile, life is going to pass us by. If we don’t slow down, relax, and enjoy the present, we’re going to miss it. Remaining present is simple, but it’s not easy. If you’re anything like me, you can easily get consumed with thoughts about work, the future, home projects, money, investing (okay maybe that’s just me), the past, etc. Stuff that frankly, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter all that much.

Sometimes I write articles to remind myself of something, more so than to say something to whomever reads my blog. This is one of those articles. With that said, I wish that all of us can realize that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I hope that we live our lives with purpose. I wish that all of us can remember to remain present, rather than focused on other things. I hope that we can all identify the moments that we want to remember forever, and then burn them into our memory. This is our only defense against the clock because it never stops ticking.

Each day we wake up, we’re one step closer to the coffin. It’s a sobering thought, however, it doesn’t have to be a sad one. How we will feel at the end of our lives heavily depends on how we live out our lives today. Because, if you really think about it, today is all we really have. If we live today with intention and remain present as much as we can, we win. If we can win more days than we lose, I think we’ll feel, at minimum, pretty good about our lives for the most part.

If you’d like, join me today in living life with a sense of urgency. Then again tomorrow and the next day. I truly believe that we will thank ourselves in the future.

“Time rolls by, the clock don’t stop.”