Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying"

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying. -Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Some days we awake from sweet slumber ready to take the day head on. Bright eyed and eager to face challenge and adversity with courage and strength.  Other days, the challenge lies in the simple act of crawling out from under the covers, wandering half blind through the darkness as we fall deeply into the pit of despair that we so hopelessly call our daily routine.  Infectious melancholy that we harbor deep in our souls as we so willingly succumb to its repetition.  It is within these days of woeful awakenings that the joy and wonder of life can begin to fade quietly into despair.  We are all different.  We have our own stressors and daily obstacles to face.  We all place different value on our stressors and it is easy to get caught up in our own perceived desolation.  And so, it is within these moments that we must choose our daily path.  To get busy living or get busy dying….  

Whether you know us and have been following our adventures on YouTube, or have stumbled across this article by chance, you should know….Both Marcel and I have decided to get busy living!  I’m not saying that we don’t both have our days of gloom and doom (take today for example…nothing but trouble!!), the point is, that even in the days that go directly down the toilet, we never lie down and give up.  We (and by we, I mean me) may whine every now and then and grumble to each other about our own daily stressors, but within those moments of wretched despondency, there is always light.  Radiant illuminations of adventures to come and the bright glow of memories to treasure.


Get busy living, or get busy dying.  Every fellow adventurer knows that there is some risk involved in exploring. This past weekend we stood on the banks of the Kennebec River in Richmond, Maine with aspirations of exploring Swan Island, an abandoned and historic settlement full of mystery and wonder.   It was a bitter cold day in November, and we were hell bent on crossing the chilled water with nothing more than a well-loved Coleman canoe separating us from life and certain death (or a really bad case of frost bite). 

As always, trepidation gives way to splendor as courage is fed by trust. There was just no question that we would cross, and cross we did!!  It was our island for the day and we relished every moment of serene exploration. Our thirst for nature and abandoned structures quenched, we forgot all about aching feet, freezing cold temperatures and the inevitable death-defying canoe ride back to the Explore-mobile. To live in the moment and to be the only two people in the whole world exploring that island just at that moment in time, was worth any perceived danger. And so, as we arrived back on the safety of the shoreline and heated seats, we smiled.  Another amazing adventure to treasure and another chance to inspire others to make their own memories…no matter what the stinking weather holds.  There is always the element of danger in exploration, but risk gives way to immunity when one of your greatest loves comes in the form of; pitch black hallways, decaying staircases, whispering souls of history and stunning artifacts from days gone by….just to name a few.

There are many obstacles that by all intents and purposes should deter level headed, mature, responsible and completely sane people from diving headfirst into, and although we are all of those things, our desire for adventure overrides any reservations we may have.  Is it not enough to feel the sting of a razor sharp thorn as it rips unhindered into our thighs while we wander through an abandoned woodland?  Maybe the pungent odor of a million spores of mold dancing dangerously though the air as we peer into rooms betrayed by time. Or possibly, precarious walls and buckling hallways taunting us with their decay.  Maybe just maybe the risk comes in the form of judgement and disapproval of our escapades from those who have no understanding of what we do.  Peril can take many forms when you get busy living.  But here’s the thing…when we have slowed down, when we can no longer push our bodies to their limits, we will sit, our fingers lovingly intertwined as we share our memories with each other…no regrets, for we have lived life to the fullest.  Get busy living….or get busy dying…that’s goddamn right!