Measuring Life in Bruce Willis Time

I got this wild idea a while back to re-watch all the Die Hard movies. After streaming services left us empty-handed, we bought the DVD pack and our quest began with the original 01-dieDie Hard (1988). This classic Christmas movie hit theaters when I was nine years old–too young to see rated “R” movies. Watching it on DVD reminded me that R-rated movies are never the same on cable.

Die Hard 2 (1990)–the one in the airport. I’m not sure I ever watched this one before my current mission. (Wait, why are they switching ammo? OMG!) I was probably too busy being a middle-schooler and trying to figure out if/how I would survive into adulthood.

Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)–the one with Samuel L. Jackson. In 1995, I was in high school and obsessed with Pulp Fiction (featuring both actors) that released the prior year.

Half-way through our Die Hard journey, we introduced our kids to Fifth Element one family movie night. My daughter was confused on the plot most of time, but enjoyed the crazy setting and appreciates any movie where chicks kick tail. It came out twenty years ago, which is even harder to believe since that was the year I graduated from high school! It’s still at least monthly that someone in my social circle references either a “multipass,” or “I got no fire.”

Continuing the theme, we next introduced the wee ones to The Kid (2000). I was still a kid myself when this released, finishing up University–the terrifying and exhilarating unknown possibilities of life before me. Willis played a grown Russ Duritz, confident he’s winning at adulthood, when his younger self unveils that he has lost his way. “So, I’m forty, I’m not married, I don’t fly jets, and I don’t have a dog? I grow up to be a loser.” His evaluation of adulthood success is reminiscent of my first post, where I mentioned always envisioning life with a dog. (As it happens, the hypothetical dog, Chester, is also the “world’s best dog.”)

In 2000, Unbreakable also came out. We re-watched this movie New Year’s Eve going into 2002, the night my husband and I got engaged.

Next up, we watched Live Free or Die Hard (2007), a pretty solid addition to the franchise in which hackers immobilize America. Sadly, it reflects a time when gratuitous violence against innocents mars our real world, reflected in cinema. At this point, I’d graduated from college (twice), gotten married, and our first baby was coming soon.

We have not yet re-watched A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). By the time this movie released, I’d transitioned into a new career specialty and baby number two was on-scene.

Unlike Russ, we don’t have to wait until our impending 40th birthday to check-in with our childhood self, and it’s not too late if your 40th is behind you. We celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary last month by marking an adventure off our bucket lists: whitewater rafting. One day, we may actually go on relaxing vacations; so far, though, there are too many adventures ahead.

It’s good to take stock, every now and then, of the vision you have for yourself (childhood and adult versions) and see if you’re missing out on anything, like being a pilot or having a dog. Often, some adventure has come up in conversation, and we all say “we should do that sometime.” If you don’t PLAN it, “sometime” becomes never.

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Watching these “old” movies, especially with our growing children, has highlighted the passing of time. Recent health issues with family a generation before us, as well as our anniversary, have even my husband (who’s the least nostalgic person I know) remarking on the speed of life. I’ve heard from those my senior that they still see themselves frozen in their twenties. You’d think I’d have a better sense of aging, since I work with college and high school students. That I don’t is probably a sign that I’m way more embarrassing and un-cool than I realize.

IMDb lists Die Hard Year One as rumored to be in the making. Wonder where life will have taken me when it hits the big screen?

How would Josie Junebug mark her years in film? Well, she’s still pretty young. I know she’d approve of having the World’s Best Dog in your life as soon as possible. I’m sure she’d be a Bruce Willis fan too, if she ever met him. Split did just hit video, and she never misses a family movie night. I guess I’ll put that in my Redbox cart for the weekend and continue the theme.

To those experiences life has been throwing at us lately, I’ll channel my inner John McClane who, beat to hell, defies his enemies with a hysterical battle cry, “Yippee-ki-yay-mother—–!”

Special shout-out to my new followers, who encouraged me to get a new post out. If you love our totally awesome family photo that marks our anniversary milestone, checkout more of the genius of Mandy Padgett here.

In the comments, share something you’ve been wanting to do–and when/how you’re going to do it. Or, name your favorite Bruce Willis movie.