General Question

mcbealer's avatar

What are you in the middle of?

Asked by mcbealer (10182points) April 29th, 2009

This question was inspired by the movie, Hope Floats , starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr.

The following conversation between Birdee (Bullock) and her young daughter ties the phrase “hope floats” into the film:

“Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”

Do you agree with this philosophy? Why or why not?

What are you in the middle of?

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17 Answers

_bob's avatar

Human Resources and Legal.

Seriously, though, I’d say all parts count the same.

Harp's avatar

That’s not the way I tend to see it, no. Too linear, like a game token moving along some charted progression. Reality seems quite different to me. The present moment (and is there really anything else?) is in itself both an end and a beginning, both effect and cause. In this view, I’m not sure there’s actually any place for a “middle”.

gambitking's avatar

I’m in the middle of a new beginning

nikipedia's avatar

It’s hard to live in the moment if the moment sucks. At those times, I like to think of my life as a story, and imagine myself looking back on that moment as the beginning of something that would ultimately lead to something good.

(I guess that sounds a little nuts when I articulate it.)

Anyway, I think that’s pretty similar to what the movie was saying. But I also think it’s hard to know what you’re in the middle of until you can look back on it from after it ended.

casheroo's avatar

I’m sure that might be true for some, but I’ve already overcame my childhood. I’m living in the present.
I think it is all important. My childhood helped shape who I am today, and presently I’m beginning to start my own family.
I’m branching off into adulthood, yes I’m already married and have a child, but I’m only 22. Age doesn’t really matter, because anyone that gets married and has children (probably) goes through this. You take on a lot of responsibility, you have to make decisions that won’t just affect you, but the lives of your spouse and children, and grandchildren….Everything I do will have a ripple affect on the rest of my family. It’s very stressful to think about.
But, at the same time, I’m so happy with my life that taking it one day at a time is very easy.
I don’t believe endings are sad. I believe the beginning of the end will start when my children are grown, when my husband and I will start our own journey together, and we get to see our grandchildren brought into the world. That won’t be sad at all.

wundayatta's avatar

Whereever you go, there you are. You can define the place you are in as the “middle” of whatever came before it and whatever is to come afterwards. We are always in the middle. Maybe that’s the same thing as being present in the moment.

I am in the middle of so many things: the life of the universe, the existence of earth, the gradual movement of tectonic plates, global warming, technological development, political change, the outbreak of peace (and war), a recession, a marriage, childrearing, constant learning, maintaining health, trying to answer this question.

I could equally well describe myself at the beginning or end of these things. It all depends on where you choose to situate yourself, and what time frame you choose to look at. There is no middle without it being relative to something else, and the something else we relate it to is an arbitrary choice.

Anyway, as Harp says, wherever I am, that’s the moment that counts the most.

DeanV's avatar

I’m in the middle of doing my homework. And I should probably go back to it. Class starts soon.

qashqai's avatar

I mostly agree with the philosophy. Endings are sad. Beginnings are scary if what is in the middle is really worthy. If not, beginnings are as sad as the endings themselves.

I am now in the middle of my last couple of years on the earth.
I always said that I would not turn 29, I am 27.

Why was 29 and not 30, then, I still don’t really know.

mzgator's avatar

I just turned forty in February, and I have been told that this middle part of my life will be the best. I hope it’s true, although my entire life so far has been pretty good !

gimmedat's avatar

I am in the middle of good things. My health is improving and my family is stronger than it’s been. I am happy with my career and I know that new goodness is coming my way.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m in the middle of getting ready for work and going to work with a little indecision on either end as to whether I really want to go to work.

cak's avatar

If limbo is the middle, that’s where I am. I was feeling like I was on track, getting better – nothing could stop me! Now. Tendon damage, broken ankle – right foot…driving restricted – AGAIN. I’m back to being dependent upon others to get around. Pain is high and mood is low. In fact, mood sucks. I’m somewhere in-between good and miserable – indifferent. I really don’t like being there, but I guess we all land there, sometimes.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@cak. I’m really sorry to hear that you aren’t feeling well and I hope you get better very soon, my friend.

shrubbery's avatar

I agree with Harp, that sounds too linear for me, and I don’t really think time is linear. And I think that when we are reminiscing what stands out the most are just random moments that touched us in some way, and not necessarily a story with a beginning, middle and end.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I guess I do agree with the philosophym but it’s rather debatable. I am in the middle of a lot of things, however, like:

Not knowing what to do with my life.
Fights.
An anxiety-ridden waiting period.
College.
A bag of jelly beans.
Chuck Klosterman’s IV.
New York City.
My youth.
A pack of birth control.
My sheets.
My roommate and her boyfriend making strange noises while they sleep.
A transition.
My long term photo project.

mcbealer's avatar

oh wow! I’m so happy to read all of the responses so far!!

I’m just now waking up, spent most of yesterday sleeping…

@Harp makes a great point, this is a very linear perspective.
and I’m not sure I agree with it myself wholly. Although I enjoyed this movie immensely and those that know me know I oft refer to the expression, hope floats. For me, it’s a reminder that no matter how hard life gets, hope is there, if you just reach up and grab onto it.

As far as the philosophy… for me, a lot of beginnings are scary, although not all. Sometimes they are very exciting indeed!! Many endings have been quite sad, although some are a relief!! And as far as the middle… I agree with @nikipedia that sometimes this part is evident to us only after, when we look back. There’s something to be said about nostalgia!!

As I approach 40 (happy belated b-day @mzgator !!) I find myself thinking along the lines of @qashqai because all of my life I’ve had this feeling I’ll probably not live much past mid 40s. And I’m OK with that… I just wish sometimes that I could have the wisdom hindsight offers us… while still in the present.

As @casheroo pointed out, having a family rushes forth a whole new set of responsibilities, and I think too—- at least for me, it swirled together all of my beginnings, middles, and ends.

I think looking at my life now, it is an ongoing series of ongoing beginnings, middles and ends. I think I am in the middle part of child rearing, really getting to know myself, and sharing life with my younger dog, Gertrude. I hope I am still in the middle part of having good health. Because as @cak reminds us, it can be very fleeting!

@cak ~ sorry to hear about your injury! hope you have a mild spring where you live and can enjoy sitting outside and enjoy nature coming back to life all around you :0)

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