I am not a big movie buff. I rarely go to the theater nor do I watch many at home. However, I have seen the Shawshank Redemption and the above quote nicely sums up the movie. I highly recommend watching it if you have not. The majority of the movie takes place in a prison, Shawshank. The characters spend years serving their sentences. Some react with anger, some with despair, some make the best of it, others are miserable and some never give up hope. I feel these reactions can translate to so many situations we find ourselves in, either by choice or circumstance.
When Tim Robbins character, and later Morgan Freeman’s, utter this line it spotlights the fact we always have a choice in life. We may not be able to control all circumstances, but we can control our feelings and reactions. It is an awesome power and it can affect your health, your relationships and your mental well-being. I have witnessed people who I fear might strain a muscle if they were to smile. I have been around people who radiate so much joy it is impossible not to feel like dancing around them. I know people who are so angry at whatever situation they are in they lash out at anyone nearby. I have experienced connections with people who have great outlooks on life and can keep things in perspective.
When you choose to make the best of any situation, you are exuding positive energy. Life is precious and short and if you do not appreciate all it entails, let this be a small wake up cry. Getting busy living means different things to everyone. It might mean planning a vacation. It might mean planning a staycation. It might mean jumping out of an airplane. It might mean reading a book. It might mean running a marathon. It might mean strolling around the block. It might mean scaling Mt. Everest. It might mean watching a movie about Mt. Everest.
To me, getting busy living means finding what brings you joy and taking the time to fit it into your life.
If you have been following my recipes recently, you might have noticed how often I make roasted, smoky shiitake mushrooms. They are so easy and taste great on everything (for those of you who think everything is better with bacon, I substitute shiitakes). So when I saw this recipe for Portobello, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches, I had to try it!
recipe from Mark Bittman’s VB6
3 large portobellos, washed and destemmed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Whole grain bread
sandwich spread of choice (I use Vegenaise)