Late night television, snuggling with my sweetie after a long week of wheels and deals. A movie called “Family Man” with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leone flickers through the quiet of a darkened living room.
Nic Cage is Jack, a high-powered, Wall Street mogul. While negotiating a multi-billion-dollar merger, he told his frantic staff that they would be working on Christmas Day. He walked out into a light Christmas Eve snowfall to a small store for some eggnog, as he had for many lonely Christmases before. He happened upon an argument between the shop owner and a simply dressed Don Cheadle with a questionable lottery ticket in his hand. After defusing the situation with the cash in his money clip, Jack walks out and arrogantly asks the man if there was a mission he could go to. Disgusted with the response, Don Cheadle’s character responds, “Oh, I’m going to enjoy this” as he had something planned for Jack.
Jack wakes up the following morning with a blonde woman asleep on his chest; no real surprise until a five-year-old girl comes jumping on the bed screaming about Christmas morning. Jack leaps up and runs out looking for his Ferrari, but finds instead a minivan. He drives to the city where his penthouse doorman does not know him and the security guard at his high rise office won’t let him in. He returns home to find himself married to Kate with two kids. Instead of Wall Street, he works in a tire shop. The parallels of the two lives start to resonate in my weary mind.
Jack opens up a checkbook, to find the register full of calculations, a sure sign that money is tight and every dime counts. He sighs because in his former life, money was not an issue, he could buy anything he desired. In my “city life”, I negotiate multi-million dollar contracts, throwing around tens of thousands like Monopoly money. Yet, at home, I squeeze pennies with a white-knuckle grip.
Jack chose, early on, to pursue his business life over his college sweetheart, and now was given glimpse of the other life he could have had. I feel the same every morning as I head to work. So many exchange time and sweat for a view of the mountaintop where money is no object, and I admittedly have done it myself. When five o’clock rolls around, I return to the simpler life that reminds me why I travel to the city each morning.
When Jack is offered a job at his former “city” employer, he tells Kate they could have everything; have a life that others would envy. Kate replies, “We already do.”
Jack realizes that after thirteen years apart, he still loves Kate, embracing this new life as he lovingly holds his children. When his “glimpse” is over, he wakes up in his former life, alone and empty. He finds Kate and begs to tell her about the other life they could have had. They end up talking into the night about how good they could be together.
Monday morning, when my “glimpse” is over and I return to my “city life”, I, like Jack, would postpone multi-million dollar deals to pursue my sweetheart of 30+ years. Not running through an airport to find her, but in the contact list on my phone, or sneaking out a bit early for dinner plans.
The movie was a well-needed reminder about priorities; a life (and wife) that I love dearly, that tends to fall behind the demands of the “city”. It is a “glimpse” into the better path that I choose.
I truly am
Blessed in Great Measure
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