Sunday, 29 December 2013

Ground control to Major Tom.....

I'm on holiday at the moment in Sydney, Australia, spending time with family.
A change of scene is always good and I'm finding that when you are on holiday, you become part of someone else's or other people's realities while you take a break from your own.

We went to see "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and found some parallels with the character to my own life and to others around me; people I have the privilege of knowing for a long period of time and those who I observe or interact with in everyday conversations, and that includes strangers.

David Bowie's "Space Oddity" plays at a pivotal moment in Walter's life when he has to make the decision to take the plunge, to move beyond the daydreams or delusions (depends on how you look at them really) and make your own reality.  I won't spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet, but it's not the first time that Walter Mitty has made it to the silver screen.  There is an earlier film version starring Danny Kaye.  Ron Howard contemplated doing his portrayal of the character but things didn't work out for him.

As much as Bowie sings about this conversation between Ground Control and Major Tom, I couldn't help but think that at this pivotal moment in the movie, Walter is having this very same internal conversation with himself, even when in the movie starring Ben Stiller, Kirsten Wiig's character sings the song to him to motivate him to change his behaviour and move beyond his unknown.

I guess to avoid the trappings of having these Walter Mittyesque moments ourselves in our own lives, there is an element of risk that is involved.  We must take calculated risks to live the lives we were meant to live.  If we were meant to be overly cautious, what kind of life would that make to lead?  We wouldn't really be leading at all, but spending far too much time playing things safe and not really experiencing all that life has to offer and would that mean if we chose to daydream or have delusions about what we could have, should have and would have said and done, does that mean that we spend too much time living in the never was because we never did?

As we prepare to transition from the end of this year to the new year, there will most likely be moments that you recollect when you were a bit Mittyesque and wish you could have had the courage to do things differently, do things more boldly without the fear of how you are perceived by others.  Life is too short for regrets, so celebrate your triumphs, learn from the trials and continue to move towards the me you are meant to be.

So from Major Manu to Ground Control, rather than say, Planet Earth is blue and there is nothing I can do, I say, Check ignition and may God's love be with you.