Why I love, What About Bob?




My husband hates the movie What About Bob.  He's a psychologist and thinks the idea of a patient stalking you to your vacation home, then subsequently winning the hearts of your family and driving you insane, sounds more like horror than comedy.  I on the other hand, love that movie.  I have a soft spot for the antics of Bill Murray.  What can I say, I'm from the Ghostbusters generation, but that's not the only reason I love it.  I actually think it contains some sound wisdom.  Really, I do.   

Sometimes I wonder if the producers of What About Bob knew they be doing the public a favor when they made the movie?  And I'm not talking about raising the awareness of bladder explosion. (Which is real, by the way.  My sister had a patient in the ICU whose bladder had exploded.  That is the honest to goodness truth!)  No, I'm talking about the sound psychological advice contained in the pages of Dr. Leo Marvin's book, Baby Steps. I wish I could actually buy that book and read it!  Unfortunately it doesn't exist.  Though I can imagine what it would say if it did:

 When facing an overwhelming task (such as doing a gigantic pile of dishes), do not look at the whole chore.  Simply break it down into manageable chunks.  First say to yourself, I will do the cups and only the cups and so forth.  

Okay, so a famous psychiatrist might not bother with telling you exactly how to do the dishes, but that's how I use the advice.  Baby steps to load the dishwasher, baby steps to wipe down the counter, baby steps to fold the laundry.  It makes me laugh and I get things done.

I think most of us as writers are pretty much baby step specialists.  After all an entire book is written letter by letter, word by word, page by page.  Sometimes when I start a new project (after the initial new book rush), I look at all the work that needs to be done before finishing and I get overwhelmed.  Then Bob's voice comes into my head, "babysteps to the elevator" "baby steps to get on the bus" and suddenly I know I can do it!  What about you, do you baby step your way through life or am I the only one who loves this?

11 comments:

  1. Baby steps all the way! Sometimes, it's the only way I make it through the day. :-)

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  2. I love WHAT ABOUT BOB!!! (I can see how Neal could hate it though) Yes, total baby stepper here when writing (and performing many other overwhelming tasks).

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  3. I LOVE that show! :D I haven't seen if forever! And I'm definitely a baby stepper as well. ;)

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  4. That's the only way to write. I f I look at the big picture then I just get too overwhelmed, so it's baby steps all the way.

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  5. You are so my daughter. When I have a huge pile of dishes I say, "I'll just put 10 items in the dishwasher every time I go by the kitchen." Usually I get started and I just keep going, but that's how I trick myself into starting. Bet you never knew that about me did you? Mom

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  6. Mom, I would have guessed that was dad! After all these years I can still learn something new about you.

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  7. I love that movie. And although my husband has never seen it, I know it is one of the movies we would not mutually love. Not because he is afraid of his patients turning him into a crazy person...well, he doesn't have patients...but because I don't think he'd GET IT. I need to see it again...alone, probably. I've been using baby steps lately to finish my book only I haven't been repeating that mantra to myself. Which I should. I should also get off the bus at the bus station and start calling out loud for "Dr. Leo Marvin."

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  8. I frequently have to take a vacation from my problems along with the baby steps.

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  9. You, my dear friend, are a genius! It's been a long while since I've seen What About Bob, but this is a great (and hilarious) refresher for me. :) I'll be doing this all conference now, just wait---Baby Steps into the Conference Center, Baby Steps up to the panel, Baby Steps out to lunch. ;-) All thanks to this post.

    Well done, Candi. Well done.

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  10. Hi Candi,
    Just discovered your blog through Jenny's. I was laughing when I read your post....I also loved "What about Bob" and my husband hated it. Could have had something to do with the fact that we went with another couple, and my friend Lisa billed it to the husbands as "a lot like Meet the Parents ". NOT what they expected, but I couldn't stop laughing!

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  11. I'm all about baby steps. And I love that movie too!

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