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Old 02-05-2003, 10:59 AM   #1
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About Schmidt

Ok, has anybody else seen the movie "About Schmidt."

Pam and I really enjoyed it ... but we're finding most of our friends didn't.

In the film, Jack Nicholson plays a 66-year-old retired actuary who finds himself face to face with mortality and emptiness.

Pretty depressing stuff, eh?

In the film, Schmidt and his wife purchase a Class A motorhome, in anticipation of traveling after retirement ... a retirement Schmidt is not ready to accept.

I don't want to spoil the story, but shortly after Schmidt retires, his wife dies suddenly, leaving him with absolutely nothing.

He decides to hit the road to revisit his past on the way to his estranged daughter's wedding.

I won't say anymore, because I don't want to spoil the story for you.

All of our friends ... everyone who has seen it ... hated the movie.

Why?

Because I think it hits too close to home.

So why did Pam and I love it?

Well, we have a lot of friends ... good friends ... who are currently leading "Schmidt-like" lives.

And we're hoping and praying that when they see the movie, they will start taking steps to avoid a similar, dismal future.

We would encourage all of you to not wait until the last minute, either.

Life's too short. Live each day as if it's your last. Don't put off to tomorrow what you should be doing and saying today.

We all know that.

But unfortunately, most either forget it or ignore it.



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Old 02-05-2003, 11:05 AM   #2
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Now

Now ... I will say this ... your mere presence here on fiberglassrv.com (or any other rv website, I might add), indicates that you either own ... or atleast are toying with the idea of having ... a cute little molded fiberglass travel trailer.

That's a good start.

But don't postpone or put off living live to the fullest until tomorrow.

Scoop up the significant people in your lives and hit the road ... if even for the weekend ... even if you camp in your driveway.

Make new friends (by posting and participating here fully) who will increase the depth and scope of your lives.

Your kids are going to grow up faster than you think. Don't let a day go by without loving them up.

Don't go to bed angry ... ever. (Now, Pam and I once stayed up for 5 days straight ... but we settled it before we went to bed.)

Happiness is a state of mind. If you think you're happy, you are.

Why am I doing this?

Because all of our friends hated the movie "About Schmidt." They all said it hit too close to home.

Well, it doesn't have to!

Make little life altering choices now so the big ones won't come as such a shock.



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Old 02-05-2003, 11:06 AM   #3
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Oh yeah

An oh yeah, buy and use your cute little fiberglass rv as often as you can!



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Old 02-05-2003, 04:30 PM   #4
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Schmitts wife

Oh Charles,
Did you know that the lady that plays Jack Nickelsons wife is from Illinois? Effingham I think.



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Old 02-05-2003, 07:08 PM   #5
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"About Schmidt."

"About Schmidt."
????

I thought it was about :red something else!!



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Old 02-05-2003, 07:38 PM   #6
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Charles

Thats one of the reasons why we bought our boler.Time marches on and while I can still march I want to do these activities.Thanks for posting this thread.



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Old 02-06-2003, 07:10 AM   #7
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Schmidt's RV experience

Schmidt's Class A motorhome experiences are a small part of the movie ... and there, I think, as a cliche of what many do in retirement.

One scene was specifically designed for laughs ... but I think is one of the most poignant and depressing part of Schmidt's life.

In the scene (which I won't detail so I won't spoil the movie for you), Schmidt pulls his motorhome into a campground, meeting a couple in another rig.

He later mistakes his neighbor's campground comaraderie for true love ... something that is sadly missing in his life.

Most people who see the scene laugh.

I almost cried.



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Old 02-08-2003, 09:41 AM   #8
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About Schmidt!

Charles,I saw this movie with two female friends and we laughed for about 1hr.50 mins with a break for the poignant moments.
This movie was billed as a drama which I cannot understand (Nicholsons face pre-empts that theory)
Nicholson himselfe said as he accepted a Golden Globe award
[paraphrase]they gave me this for a drama and I thought we made a comedy [/paraphrase]
I hope it receives awards for the cinematography .One word description for the whole thing ''Brilliant.'' It made a Nicholson fan out of me.Cathy Bates is infallible as ever.So pleased you and Pam enjoyed it!
t.t.f.n.



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Old 02-08-2003, 09:56 AM   #9
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Glad to here it, Pippa! I think what happens to some folks, is they laugh their way through the movie, but then, later, as the message of the movie sinks in, some feel it strikes a little too close to home.

Pam, however, says "That's why I'm glad we don't have a hot tub!":)



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Old 02-08-2003, 10:00 AM   #10
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And, as I said before, I think that owning ... or even thinking and dreaming about owning ... a cute little fiberglass trailer is a GREAT insurance policy against the depression that many people feel after watching the movie.

These little rigs put excitement, dream and hope in our lives ... even if we never leave the driveway.

And, this website ... on a daily basis ... brings together a group of folks who share that same lust for life.



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Old 05-30-2003, 09:30 AM   #11
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Hey, the movie, About Schmidt, is soon to be released to video stores, on dvd and video. I think first week in June ... but don't quote me on that.

If you didn't see it, suggest you rent it some night.

I guarantee you'll enjoy it.



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Old 05-30-2003, 11:05 AM   #12
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Living NOW!

Well, I admit to being pushed into it a bit, but at least for the next 6 months or so I plan to actually live now (with a fervent prayer that I'll never again have to spend even a moment in a grey cubicle!). Many of my friends are envious of my increasingly care-free lifestyle (closed on the house yesterday:wak ). I simply tell them all they have to do is quit their jobs and sell their houses. No takers yet, even when I offer to let them accompany me in my trailer. Granted, not everyone can or should uproot their lives, but we can all do more to make each day more "alive."

Even if I wasn't embarking on this journey, I am grateful to have had so many chances to really live. I have one friend who says she would love to see the West. Both times I drove to Utah I offered to take her along. Begged, really, cause I wanted a second driver. She was too afraid to step outside her comfort zone for even two weeks.

When I was finishing college and most of my friends were already graduated and in high-pressure jobs, I took a job as a nanny. For five years I got paid to finger-paint and go to the park at the first hint of sunshine. My friends have nice 401Ks now. But I have the memory of seeing little personalities emerge, hearing a toddler tell his first joke, chasing waves at Cape Cod, and a million other perks. No corporate benefits compare to having a child wrap their arms around your neck and say "I love you!" During that time I was also able to travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Florida, California, New York, Canada, Italy and many other places. I never made as much as I would have in an office, and the frustrations were often enormous, but I am really glad I got to have a job that let me live those years instead of remember them by my 401K statements.

Whatever "living" means for each of us, it is important to do it. Thanks for the reminder!



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Old 05-30-2003, 11:59 AM   #13
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JR -- I really like your perspective. Our lives have become so cluttered by stuff. We accumulate it to make us happier or make life easier, but in the end it just weighs us down. As they say, nobody reaches the end of their lives and says, "If I could do it all over again, I'd spend more time at the office". Simplify... The more you have, the more you have to take care of the things you have.



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Old 05-30-2003, 12:21 PM   #14
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I agree!

I agree with you, Charles! Our household is undergoing LOTS of changes this spring. Within these four weeks, both our kids are graduating -- from HS and college. My husband got a new job (down from three jobs to two, with decent hours and good pay). I got a new job -- down from two jobs to one, twice the amount of money and less traveling nationally. We are both more free on weekends now. All these big life changes were deliberate and have been made with lifestyle changes in mind.

We started 10 years ago making big lifestyle changes when we decided to move to Oregon. We both stepped out of great job positions and high pay (but high stress and hectic lives) to try to slow our lives down. It's taken us 10 years of hard work and compromises to get to the place we want to be but we are FINALLY here.

Now we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We both have jobs that allow us lots of freedom and respect and still pay us decently. We have a retreat-type house on the side of a mountain with nothing but forests, valleys, mountains and sky to see. Both our kids are launched and happy. Our health has never been better because of the decreased stress, exercise and better living habits that we've learned while here. And our marriage of 27 years is still strong and vibrant.

Our little trailer sits right outside both our office windows. We see it staring back at us daily. It reminds us to take time out and go have fun! We actually went through our calendars last week and wrote in camping trips through November! This way, we won't just be "squeezing in" camping trips.

Thanks, Charles, for giving me this place and time to reflect.

Nancy



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Old 06-03-2003, 09:45 AM   #15
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You are so right

JR, you hi it good. My husband is very much the 401k kind of guy, because he was/and is raised that way. His parents are VERY much like that. Right now, his sister is going through a horrible time at work, and all they can tell her is hang in there, your retirement pention depends on it. And I keep telling her to get out of there and find something else that you LIKE and makes you at least don't mind going to work. Life is too short, and she has been to the doctor once already for stress related illness. GET OUT.

I learned it a long time ago, as I missed many fun things (trips or special events) because "I had to work" that life's too short. Now, we have a beautfiful house on the lake, and we get out on it twice a year. I too, SWORE I wasnt going to let this house consume me, and it has. We don't enjoy our surroundings NEARLY as much as we should. I also have already told my husband that if anything happens to him, I am handing the house to his kids and hitting the road with a new truck and 5th wheel (Scamp, of course) the place is a work farm, and I would never be able to take car of it myself anyway. I love to meet new people, and can't wait to get started. Of course we will do this when he retires too, of course. 12 years left!
We think about it daily. My job in life is getting HIM to slow down a little. But his problem is he LOVES his job. Or I guess that's MY problem.
Oh well, it's all true. There are too many people that learn it too late.



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Old 06-03-2003, 10:34 AM   #16
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At what cost?

I work, in part, to keep insurance. When I was self-employed, I could not afford insurance. In the last year each of the three doctors I see regularly handed me prescriptions. I was up to like 6 medications by the time the doctor handed me a cholesterol lowering drug. Then I stopped and thought about it:

I am working up to 10 hours a day and commuting roundtrip 2 1/2 hours a day so I can make just enough to pay for insurance and medications to treat illnesses that are almost 100% controllable by lifestyle. I spend my life sitting behind a desk in a poorly lit office listening to people fuss about stuff that had no lasting significance. I leave the house before breakfast and often eat dinner at my desk. Cutting back on hours is not an option. There are no jobs closer to my house.

What would happen if I exercised (instead of sat in the car 12 hours or more per week), ate healthy foods (there are no veggies in the vending machine here), got enough sleep (5-6 hours was not cutting it), and RELAXED instead of stressing all day about stuff that won't even matter in a year, let alone a decade?

I fantasized about selling the house and using the proceeds to pay down some of the bills that were haunting me. I would not have had the courage to do it any time soon if I hadn't been laid off. Right now, I have NO IDEA what I'll be doing for income when the house money runs out. But, I do know I'll enjoy the next 6 months rather than spend them panicking about bankruptcy. I suspect I'll be a whole lot healthier in 6 months than I am right now.

On top of all the other benefits, I can spend more than one week a year with my mother who has been quite ill for many years. I can spend time with my 18 year old sister and my two year old niece, both of whom need the same amount of guidance! I can visit my older sister and her baseball team (NINE kids!). And I can reestablish relationships with my brothers, who I hardly see anymore.

This teeny fiberglass house is a lifesaver (perhaps literally if it gets my cholesterol levels down). Cheap enough to own it outright. Small enough to tow behind the car I already own. And I'll have my own roof no matter where I end up. Even if the worst happens and the bank takes my car, I'll still have my fiberglass house!



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Old 06-06-2003, 06:02 AM   #17
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Well, out of curiosity after reading this thread, we went out and rented Schmidt last night. Yikes! This confirms that there is a butt for every chair. We found the flick depressing and without focus or message. Frankly, I wonder why it was ever made?

I think the movie had a chance when they began showing the futility of buck-chasing while sacrificing a full life. Maybe if the Jack Nickolson character had driven into Bryce Canyon or some such spectacular sight at the end and asked, "Now where has this been all my life," the movie may have come together. As it is the movie merely points out how messed up a large segment of society is today. Thank heaven for the sanity of those here on this forum who "get it" and are out there enjoying this wonderful land.

Just one vote. Thumbs down on Schmidt! :zz



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Old 06-06-2003, 06:09 AM   #18
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JR

Right on.I have been there and survived.
:wave



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Old 06-06-2003, 07:08 AM   #19
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The clock

The first scene sets it up. He watches the clock as it marches towards the last seconds of his "organized" life. When I saw it, I was reminded of alot of people I know; the "I wish I", the "what if's", the if I had to re-do's... The ones always waiting for a kick in the pants, like retirement, or the kids to be out of school or moved out, or... Next thing they know, they are at that crossroad and don't know where to start or in no shape to do so. They buy that dream seaker, the big motorhome, just to find that that means living in very close quarters with someone you don't really know except as a service provider, care giver, organizer, etc...

One more thing that hits especially executives upon retirement: At the office, they are the King, the Boss. In the Home, the wife is the Queen, the Boss... Big shock to go from royalty to subject... To be the "go to guy" and become the "honey, where is the, or how do you", guy... Get up in the morning with no particular place to go...
And you happen to loose that "guide" through this new episode, you are left alone if you've lived life the way Schmidt did.

That is why you need to have hobbies, activities, friends, interests and passions as you go through life and maintain a "special" relationship with your spouse and anyone special in your life, more than a "Housewife", a "husband", "father", "mother", etc. Experience new things together, keep it fresh, but make sure you keep your individuality, do not melt into the other completely, so as to survive in the event that wonderful important part of you moves on before you do.

I am a firm believer that Quality is much better than quantity. I'd rather skip the overtime when it is not absolutely necessary to the running of the operation, to have those extra hours with loved ones or to keep the apointment I made with myself; a plan to do something neat today, tonite or this weekend.
Unless I win a lottery, I will not be leaving my children with great amounts of money when I leave this earth. But, I can assure you that I will leave them a wealth of souvenirs, experiences, discipline and the means to bite into life with passion. The love of Nature, the outdoors and great desire to fill that sponge of curiousity; lots to see, lots to do... JD



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Old 06-06-2003, 01:38 PM   #20
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now I have a dilemma.
I thought I'll probably like this one as Pam does.
then Ken says it's depressing. I hate depressing
Guess I see it and make my own assessment.

after JD's words, I thought of when my kids were young, I couldn't wait until they could be left alone if even for an hour. now I wonder why? spent half my life waiting for something. at least I solved that problem early on.



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