Do you have a movie that no matter how many times it’s on, you have to watch it? Now I can’t say I do this anymore, but there was a time that I watched a lot of television and we watched a ton of movies and we had a different movie channels and the different USA’s and TNT’s and shows and all the ones that were on all the time. And I would spend afternoons and evenings just mindlessly scrolling up and down, just waiting for something to distract me from what I needed to really do. And then it would happen. I’d get to some channel and there would be The Shawshank Redemption and every single time it was like game over. I am not doing anything else for at least the next hour or two hours depending on where in the movie it was. And I would feel guilty and giddy at the same time because I knew I was wasting my time.
But I also knew I was going to enjoy so much watching this movie yet another time. And the amount of time that I’ve quoted that movie or talked about or discussed the scene, I can’t even imagine or count how many times that was. I had to have seen The Shawshank Redemption more than any other movie in my life. So why do I bring this up today? I bring it up because it’s Halloween. Now that’s confusing because The Shawshank Redemption has nothing to do with Halloween. But the reason why I’m bringing it up and associating Halloween with it is because I used it recently to teach our son Nolan a good lesson. And Nolan is twelve and he’s very creative. He loves building stuff. He’s constantly got the glue gun or the heat gun or a blade, there cutting stuff and he’s building little projects and he’s so into it and it’s just amazing to watch.
And he’s always had this creativeness in them. I remember talking about this when he was five and six years old, having had the ability to figure things out because he’s always trying to tweak and build something. Now I’ll go into it in a future episode, but we are on pretty much a full digital detox. So really for the last two months, the kids have had very little screen time, if at all. And I’m not going to go any deeper into that. There’s a whole nother episode or two to come from that. But what’s happened with the digital detox, it’s, it’s forced the kids to be more creative and to be more engaged with their mind. So Nolan loves creating. And last year he created his own Halloween costume. It was a halo guy where he built the helmet himself. He built it where he had lights attached that he could turn on at nighttime.
It was really intense and very imaginative and extremely impressive. And I felt so bad for him because on Halloween night it rained and it was made out of cardboard, but we went out that night and it got wet. But it was just cool to see him build his own Halloween costume to go through all the struggles instead of just buying something. So this year he upped the game. Now again, he’s doing a halo costume, but this time the stakes are higher. This costume is entirely made out of foam. That needs to be meticulously cut, needs to be customized, it needs to be glued together. There are literally 10 different parts, 10 different steps to this. The helmet he and Elizabeth had been doing for the past month and they’d been following this guy on YouTube, Andrew DFT, and he builds these amazing things out of foam. So obviously that is cut into the digital detox bit, but this process has been about a month.
They’ve been going after this and this has literally been school certain days, full days of building this costume. It’s pretty cool watch because he gets up and he’s like, I’ve got to get lessons three and four done today. And he’s self-driven with it and he’s problem solving. And it’s so frustrating at times because you see him working. It’s quite literally destroying the table with the glue and the heat gun and everything going into it. But it’s so worth it. But there are some really frustrating time that he’s dealing with. I mean there’s times he’s feeling like he’s not going to hit the deadline. There’s times when you hear from the other room just a scream or a squeal when he burns himself with the hot glue gun or when something goes wrong that he wasn’t expecting. And I kind of have to chuckle a little bit, I want to say it, but I’m like, this is awesome.
Like this is life. This is what you’re going to have to deal with and you’re going to have to figure stuff out. And it’s not always going to be easy and it’s going to be challenging and anything worth it is going to be difficult. So I internally love the struggle that he’s going through because it forces him to figure this stuff out and we’re not telling him what to do. He’s not being led, he’s leading. So I can tell you when I come down in the morning, sometimes he’s already working on the costume and there are nights that were like, put it down. We’ve got to get ready for bed. So with the challenge, but it’s amazing to see the focus and how much better he’s getting. And the confidence that comes with accomplishing it and seeing it actually coming together, trying on the helmet and seeing it fits and then adjusting it and then the shoulder pads and the things for the arm and the things around the chest.
And the thing is it looks amazing, but about a week ago he had that moment he had that day that he wanted to quit. He was so frustrated he didn’t think it was going to get done in time. And I wouldn’t say he was about to give up, but I think he really was questioning everything that was going into it and if it would even be able to get it done in time for Halloween. So this is where Shawshank comes in because earlier that day I was messing around on YouTube and I don’t do it very often, but I had recorded some content and then I got stuck in a little bit of a rut, a little bit of inside info when I’m like that I’ll go to YouTube and I’ll look up some clips from some old movies that I either liked or I was inspired by. And I’ll just watch a couple of clips and I can’t tell you how many ideas or content come from doing that.
So I went to YouTube and I typed in Shawshank, because it’s one thing to watch a clip or two to kind of get me out of my mental rut. And if you know the movie Andy who was played by Tim Robbins was wrongly accused of murder, was in jail for over 20 years and then finds a way to escape. So I was watching the clip about when he escaped and what it took an early on in the prison sentence. He was chipping away at the wall because I believe he was carving his initials into the wall and cell and a chunk of the wall fell out. Now you could see the curiosity into frame’s face and Morgan Freeman was his friend Red and he was narrating the movie and he explained how the frame was so into geology and how interesting that was to him. And that hit me because our kids are very into geology and they study rocks when we travel.
They love to pick up the different rocks and to look at them and figure out where they come from and how it happened, how they were formed, all of that. So caught my attention as I was watching the clip and then he said something that got my attention even more. And I thought about Nolan cause I knew how frustrated Nolan was with building this costume. And he goes on to say that geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes. Really. It’s pressure and time. And I immediately thought about Nolan, I immediately thought about his struggles and I wanted to bring this to him because if he could understand this lesson, if we could all understand this lesson, it not only will lead to so much success in the future, but it allows us to fight through the hard stuff that we’re going through in the present.
He needed to go through the pressure and the time to make this happen. And the time was obvious. This is not the type of costume that you can create in an afternoon and to make them understand you’re not just going somewhere and spending $40 and buying a costume that somebody else created that anybody else can have. You are personally creating and building your own costume that you can be proud of because of the effort and the imagination that you put into it. And that’s the time part. But the pressure is twofold. The pressure, first off is the deadline. You can’t procrastinate in a Halloween costume because it needs to be done by Halloween. It’s going to have very little effect if you get this done on November 3rd so that’s the pressure. But at the same time the pressure is doing the work, the quality of the work.
You have a standard that you want to uphold and that’s what stressed him out because at times he felt like it wasn’t good enough. But the point with pressure and time is to embrace it because that’s all it takes to get the job done. And of course after I showed him the clip, it was him and Dylan, their questions weren’t at all about the costume. It was how did he dig that giant hole in the wall? Did he do it at nighttime? Did anybody know he was doing it? And I was like, okay, well watch this movie at some point cause they seen them thrawled by it. And maybe it’s the digital detox that anything that was on the screen would be so enthralling to them. But I think, I hope that the lesson got through and it’s a lesson that I have to hear for myself sometimes too, when I become impatient. And that is if you put in the time and you give it enough pressure, you can get anything done. So we are off to go trick or treating, and if you’re looking for us, no one’s the one with the awesome handmade halo costume. Dylan is an adorable little Spiderman, and Andrew is a teenager, so we’ll figure it out right before we go. I imagine, and I’ll talk to you in November.