Titan AE Cosmic Castaway



Feeling like a castaway?

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When was the last time you saw the Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away?" One afternoon last week I was looking for a movie to watch while I took my afternoon rest and pulled that movie out of our DVD file. I was somewhat stunned when I realized how many analogies can be drawn between my life and that particular story.

It’s the story of an ambitious, highly driven young man. He’s in love, he has an excellent career and his whole life lies before him. One day he boards an airplane for a routine plane trip for work and while washing his face in the tiny airplane toilet, there is an explosion. He escapes from the plane wreck with the help of an inflatable raft and is cast away onto a small unknown island. Life as he knows it has totally changed. Sound familiar?

The instinct for survival within a human being can be amazing. We all have it. In some it is more highly developed depending on many factors. The point is, we all are rocked to the core when we are “ship wrecked” by chronic illness. At first there’s a tendency to give up and just move from couch to bed and back again. We often lose hope for awhile. If you can still work, you can often feel your skills, your acuity and sharper edge slipping away. We’re all different yet in many ways we are much the same.

We don’t have many of the challenges that Tom Hanks' character faced. We have warmth, we have fire and we have food and shelter. We don’t have to survive on coconuts and raw fish, thankfully, but deprivation comes in many forms. Like this movie character, many of us are faced with loneliness. I’m married to a dedicated workaholic who is caught up in a massive job as the only R.N. taking care of 70 felons at our local jail. He’s seldom home and when he is, he’s exhausted. I don’t have to talk to a volleyball named Wilson, as Tom Hanks' character did; no, I talk to a pushy Jack Russell named Annie and a quirky little Miniature Schnauzer named Jake. Awe, come on, that’s better than talking to a volleyball, isn’t it? I can say things to them I don’t want to burden my husband with because, frankly, he’s heard it all after all these years. I realize I’m one of the fortunate, to have a loving spouse. Many of these adjustments we have faced together.

That movie character was on that island for four years. Many of us get “stranded” for at least four years, but hopefully not quite that long. The necessary acceptance and adjustments don’t happen overnight, that’s for sure. It takes time to modify, adapt and eventually decide how we want to lead these new “cast away” lives. Everything we have been up to this point comes into play. There is no pat answer. There is no right or wrong way to adjust, as long as you are not self-destructive. For most of us, however, there are two choices to be made. We can either stay on that island, alone, angry and bitter, or we can choose to drag ourselves out into the “ocean” of life and just say “yes” to what remains for us.

Freedom of choice is available for the taking. You can drown your sorrows in alcohol. You can deny what’s happening. You can drive away those who love you by constantly complaining. You can throw things, kick the cat, and drive your car and your life erratically. The choices are yours.

-Sue

Last Updated:4/29/2008
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Date: 14.12.2018, 04:33 / Views: 94373