Thursday, 26 April 2012
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Last week I went to see Titanic 3D, a film that seemed to define my generation. It was our classic, the masterpiece we ALL saw, some ten times or more, in the cinema no less. That night I watched it with new eyes. Not just as I marvelled at the underwater scenes that were purely magical in 3D, but in the story. Yes, it is somewhat overacted, cliché, and it tries too hard at times to be artistic. BUT it does portray a time honoured message, and delivers a speech that will sit in my heart forever. Throughout the film Jack talks about ‘Making it Count’, making each day, each moment matter. This is the struggle for Rose. She feels she has yet to really live life. Jack offers her the opportunity to really embrace the here and now. And when it’s his turn to go, he says to her:
Jack: Listen, Rose. You're gonna get out of here, you're gonna go on and make lots of babies, and you're gonna watch them grow. You're gonna die an old... an old lady warm in her bed, but not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me? …
Jack: Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me... it brought me to you. And I'm thankful for that, Rose. I'm thankful. You must do me this honor, Rose. Promise me you'll survive. That you won't give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise.
I too have been forced to make that same promise. After watching my husband leave this earth too soon, I promised to live my life to the fullest. But what does that mean? How do we make each moment count? Each day matter? In the films they seem to say that only bohemians and vagabonds are able to live life to the fullest, with the freedom to go where they please, do what they like, when they want to. But that is a by-gone era. Or is it? And yet, celebrity culture (those who make the films that portray this message that ‘to be poor is to be happy’) seems to tell us that the only way to have a fulfilled life is through wealth. If you’ve got the celebrity and the cash, you have the freedom to do what you please (in exchange for privacy of course).
So how do we simpletons caught in the middle make the most of our time on earth? If we acquire a list of many things we’ve done, will that mean we’ve led a full life? If we fill our lives with loved ones but never leave our hometown, have we made the most of our time? There is no manual on how to live, how to forge a life you’re happy with and proud of. But it seems all that we all want is to make each day count. So I guess we’re all the same, when you get down to it.
It doesn’t make it any easier though. I find myself frustrated with the abundance of choices that lay before me. I no longer have any ties. I think about up-ing sticks and going travelling, or moving to South Korea and earning a good wage as an English teacher….but then I worry, will that ruin my chances at forging a long term career I find satisfying and enriching? People say ‘you can change your life at any time’ but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. There comes a time when you’ve amounted too much responsibility to be able to walk away from a steady pay check you’ve come to rely on. And let’s be honest, there are careers out there for which you simply grow too old to start out on the bottom rung as the newbie. So I feel like I’m up against the clock. And that’s not living. So how do I break out from the mould created by society? How do you find the strength to say ‘this is my life and this is how it’s going to be’ and frankly, how much choice do we get in the matter? I got married, my husband got sick, and I said ‘I’m going to get a good job and raise a family with you when you’re better’. And better never came. So what do you do when your choice is destroyed? You have to come up with new options, new choices, a new life and for me, that’s only just beginning.
That said, welcome to this blog. Here's to figuring out how to 'Make it Count'.