'You either get busy livin', or you get busy dyin''.
That's part of a quote from one of my favorite films of all time, The Shawshank Redemption. If you haven't seen it, first of all, shame on you. Secondly, the quote stems from a conversation in which the character of Andy Dufresne tells his best friend and fellow prisoner Red that life comes down to two simple choices; you can get busy with living it, or you can get busy with dying and leaving it altogether.
I watched that film again a few days ago, probably for the 1000th time. It's one of those cinematic masterpieces that hits on all cylinders of human emotion, and it always leaves you feeling uplifted and with a much better outlook on life itself.
But that quote also makes a good point altogether about how we live our lives. We seem to operate at a break-neck pace and very seldom take the time to slow down and really enjoy ourselves, even in those littlest of moments, or we put off things like that trip you've always wanted to go on, or those sites you've always wanted to see.
I'm guilty myself of doing that. I get so caught up in work and making sure there are good articles and photos for people to read and see that time has a way of speeding by without me even noticing it. I mean, seriously, where did these last few months go? It feels like 2017 just started a week or so ago, yet we're almost approaching the midway point.
I've decided that I'm going to slow down and enjoy myself this spring and summer. Every time this part of the year rolls around, I typically think of what I'm going to do on my summer break. However, I think I have to break that monotonous practice and think about what are some things I'm going to do for the ENTIRE summer. Why confine things to just those two weeks when we're shut down at the office?
Here's a list of things I want/am going to do this summer. Some are close to my heart, while others may seem rather menial or even bland to the casual observer...
Try out the Deja Vu Cafe in Moose Jaw: This is a chicken joint that I've heard nothing but great things about, especially the sauces and made-from-scratch milkshakes. I know it seems a little abnormal to drive all the way down to Moose Jaw for chicken, but I figure I'll just take a Saturday somewhere on the calendar, jump in the SUV and make a day of it. That food better be worth the drive!
More beach trips: When the weather's really warm, one of my favorite things to do is drive down to Danielson Park at Gardiner Dam and find a spot somewhere on the sandy beach area to have all to myself. I make an afternoon of it with some sunscreen, my shades, and something good to read. But to my knowledge, I think I did this *once* last summer, and I really don't know why. So I definitely want to do more of that over the next few months. You'd be amazed how relaxing a couple of hours on the beach by yourself under the hot sun can be.
More fishing: I used to consider myself a pretty good fishing enthusiast, but my participation in the sport has really been cast off in recent years. (terrible fishing pun count - 1) I do enjoy it, but I guess my issue with it is I get discouraged because it's hard to find a good spot where you can cast off from the shore. I don't have the luxury of owning my own boat (yet), so that's not an option, and I'm more likely to catch seaweed than anything with a mouth. So I really wanna get back into fishing, and I'd also like to learn how to clean and prep fish so they can be cooked.
Canada 150 events: Yeah, I'm obviously not the only one taking part in these. I'm really looking forward to Outlook's celebrations, and I think the menu of activities offers something for everyone. As well, my hometown of Conquest is also holding a day-long event over the August long weekend that could be interesting. This summer, it's definitely going to feel good to be Canadian, and I'll be raising my jug of maple syrup and toasting with a serving of poutine in celebration with all of you!
Back to BC: Last August I drove out to Victoria, British Columbia. This August, I'm heading back to Victoria, but I think I'm taking the quicker route by airplane this time around. I'm calling it a sequel to last year's adventure.
Getting back to Candle Lake: My favorite place. It's my childhood vacation destination that still brings me back to the days of long car rides with my family and the long list of memories that we made up there. I try to make a point of getting up to Candle Lake at least once every summer, but I missed out on heading up there last year. I don't plan to miss out this year.
These are but a handful of my goals and plans for this summer, and I hope to add to it. Call it grabbing the bull by the proverbial horns, but I just believe life is about the experiences you have, so there better be more good ones than bad.
For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.