Getting busy living

I woke to screaming, and sat up in a daze. Then there’s a blank.
It was difficult to open my eyes – the vision in my right seemed blurred. The sky was above me, grey, and I am sure there was a light drizzle (but that may be because before all this happened it had been raining). My friend was next to me, saying “Hold on, Meg. The ambulance is coming. Please be okay.”
I remember that my chest hurt – it was really sore to breathe. I tried to take in my surroundings, but it was just too much effort.
I remember gasping out, in stammered breaths, “It hurts to breathe. I think I’m going to go to sleep.”
The next 24 hours were a haze – very brief moments of memory that can be recalled when I talk about it. The rest? Things that those who were there have told me.
I was wearing all my favourite clothing items that day – they cut them all of me.

I had been asleep, on the journey home after a weekend away with my friends, in the back of a truck (under the canopy). It was four days after my 18th birthday. The truck lost control on the icy road – I was later told that it was due to driver negligence – and hit rolled a few times, landing on the edge of a cliff. For whatever reason, even after the canopy had been flung off, I had remained in the truck bed and was only thrown out just before it came to a stop. (Thinking back now, if I had been thrown out earlier, maybe I would have been crushed and dead, instead of very much alive, as I am today?)
My body was broken, my face cut up, and I was bruised all over – and yet the mirror in my bag was in tact. It hadn’t even cracked!?!?

I was in hospital for 15 days, and brought home in an ambulance because I still couldn’t walk. I’ve healed well, other than the scar tissue and pain that comes with cold and rainy days – and yet I LOVE those type of days ๐Ÿ˜‰
I had a long list of injuries, but the ones that matter for the purposes of what I am actually wanting to share on my blog today, were the injuries to my ‘arms’. I broke my right collarbone in two places, and my left wrist. This means that on top of everything else, I couldn’t use my arms.
Still bedridden and healing up, I became incredibly bored. My pile of unread booksย  were calling me, but I wasn’t able to hold them or turn pages. So my brother provided me with a bunch of movies, the next best thing. Much to my mothers horror, in this collection was the movie Shawshank Redemption. And I watched it at least twenty times.

Itโ€™s a difficult movie to watch โ€“ so much sadness and a bit of violence, and scenes that leave you feeling a little ill to your stomach. But buried in that movie are so many little inspirational things that it makes it very much worth watching, if you can tolerate and get through the rest.

Let me set the scene for those of you who havenโ€™t watched the movie โ€“ and refresh the memory of those of you who have.

Andy (played byย Tim Robbins) has been convicted of killing his wife and her lover. Surprisingly, heโ€™s probably the only man who winds up in that prison who is actually innocent. Itโ€™s not easy, and he definitely suffers. One day, out in the yard, heโ€™s having a conversation with a new โ€˜friendโ€™ he has made, named Red โ€“ played by Morgan Freeman. They start talking about what they would do if they got out, and for a man who has been institutionalized for a very long time, it is no surprise that Red fears that he may not survive on the outside.

Itโ€™s Andyโ€™s part of the conversation that made an impact on me though.
He describes how he may as well have pulled the trigger โ€“ that he had loved his wife so much and yet pushed her away, and that had ultimately caused her to be in a place that had caused her death. He talks about being caught in the path of a tornado, and how he didnโ€™t expect the storm be lasting as long as it is.
And then he begins to talk about his dream : one day, when he gets out, heโ€™s going to go down to Mexico and open a small hotel on the beach โ€“ the Mexicans say the Pacific has no memory. And thatโ€™s how he wants to live out the rest of his days โ€“ in a warm place with no memory.

Bearing in mind that Red is pretty much his only friend in those dark, dismal walls; youโ€™d expect his response to be supportive. But sometimes our reality is just so dark that we canโ€™t see any light โ€“ and when we do see a light in a tunnel itโ€™s usually another train coming.

So Red tells him he has a silly pipe dream, and that Mexico is out there, and Andy is in here, and he should forget about it.

Andyโ€™s response is :
”Yeah, right. Thatโ€™s the way it is. Itโ€™s down there and Iโ€™m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

And that’s the truth. We can either truly live life, or just wait to die.

Sometimes life is hard, and it can feel like we’re imprisoned by its harshness, circumstances and negativity. My country, my town, my immediate surroundings are in crisis at the moment. It scares and saddens me, because I have a passion for people and I see past how things are directly impacting ‘me and my kids’. I carry a weight for those around us too. It’s not a burden that debilitates, but it definitely causes crying in my heart and soul, and pushes a button inside me to ‘act’. I don’t quite know how to explain it, so I may take some heat for the way I’ve said it.

I often joke that I am a ‘Prisoner of Hope’. I still have dreams despite the reality. And something inside of me constantly lives in hope. I don’t know what the future holds, and I have no desire TO know.

I DO know that every morning that my children and I can wake up and face a new day, things are good. Every moment that we get to spend, breathing and living and laughing, things are great. And every opportunity that we are given to help others in whatever way possible to us at the time means that things are fantastic.

For me? That is getting busy living. It’s living my best life.
Pursuing my dreams, living in hope despite our realities, and making a positive difference and contribution in and to other people’s lives.ย  ย 
And enjoying the simple things – laughter, a good book, cheesecake, coffee and rainy afternoons ๐Ÿ˜‰

How do you ‘get busy living’?


16 thoughts on “Getting busy living

  1. The Shawshank Redemption was a roller-coaster of a movie. Took me to some deep lows and some real highs, happily the ending was of the latter kind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope life resolves itself in a similar fashion! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m getting to the stage of life where i try never to be too ‘busy’ and find getting by nicely works for me.

    I’m so with you on the waking up each day being a good feeling and getting the chance to help someone over or through a difficulty being a big bonus.

    I try to find some humour every single day and enjoy a good laugh.

    As you have observed, some of the things i see and hear about going on in our world today make this difficult, but even more of a necessity. Sometimes i have to pull back from finding so much to be negative about and remember that I see pretty much all of the bad things from the whole world yet very little of it occurs within my own way of living. It’s best to focus more on where each of us are than letting other people’s misery drag us down with the weight of it.

    For me at least there is much to be happy about and grateful for.

    That gets me through and lifts my mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks. It’s still Wednesday here – lunch time, in fact. Lunch time is always fun – I like food ๐Ÿ˜›
    Unless you’re a night owl, you’ll probably be heading to bed soon.
    (I am not stalking you – I’m aware of Australian time because my brother lives in Sydney ๐Ÿ˜› )
    Let’s agree to share lines ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Silly me had not ‘followed’ your blog at this point ( Wednesday) so i was not getting your comments from your blog in my notifications! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Am off to Dreaming in the Darkness to see what else i missed!

      (You KNOW i will have something to say ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How do I get busy living: Working for most part of the day and then working out. Blogging, reading more, writing less.๐Ÿ˜„ I love reading, knowing what’s going on in people’s mind. I guess I get that from my profession๐Ÿ˜‚and travelling whenever possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s a fantastic idea! It’s been a few years since I’ve watched it too, so I have actually put it on my list for the weekend. When I get some down time, I’ll be hugging my pillow (because I’ll need it for crying purposes too ๐Ÿ˜› ) and watching it again ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Thanks for sharing that story from your life! ๐Ÿ™‚I think it is very telling how you in this post (as in reality) started focusing on other things, more encouraging and productive things, while healing, rather than pain and trauma. I am very glad you didn’t get even more hurt in that accident. And I really love your expression “Prisoner of Hope” ๐Ÿ˜…Think I’ll pirate that one.


    1. Thank you for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚
      When I was younger, the urge to grow in and from painful experiences didn’t happen very often – think I was too stubborn and too busy asking, “Why me ?”.
      It was only in my thirties that I started looking at everything a bit differently. My mindset and attitude changed. Ah, there are still times though! ๐Ÿ˜› But all in all, I find it a lot more beneficial now to take a step back and try to find constructive, positive and ‘growing’ moments in times of hardship ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m glad you like Prisoner of Hope – it’s been ‘my thing’ since my early 30’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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