DAY ONE : The Martian

My 35 Day Life #ReThink explained through Hollywood Blockbusters.

I’ve watched the movie The Martian no less than 100 times over the course of the pandemic. The fundamental lesson of ‘solve enough problems, and you get to go home’ has echoed in my mind as we have all being doing whatever needs to be done in order to survive. I’m actually watching it again right now as I write this. 

At the end of the movie (*spoiler alert*) as Matt Damon has returned home to Earth, a caption pops up “Day 1”. It’s the “and now what?” question I think a lot of us are asking ourselves these days. For those who actively engaged, or those who took up a defensive position, or both, it seems impossible to come out on this end of something so profound without lasting damage.

My version of that damage has presented itself in the form of a general inability to resume the pace of (pre-COVID) normal life. For a long time prior to the pandemic, I operated at what I thought then was full speed ahead. Looking back I would equate with it to the original Mars mission of The Martian, before being stranded in an hour-by-hour struggle to survive, alone ... on an entire planet. That was what COVID has felt like for me, and I’m sure millions/billions of others. My situation is not unique, but that doesn’t make it suck any less.

After watching talk by Adam Grant about our reistance to Re-Thinking an issue, I began to the wonder how I would even start something like that. My dad will tell you, that as a kid I would start the process of ‘cleaning’ my room by pulling every item off every shelf, out of every drawer and piling it into the center of my room. Maybe it’s that tendency to entirely clean house rather than make small steady progress towards an evolutionary goal, that drove me to take a month off work to completely tear down and rebuild. Where will it lead me? Who knows. I’ll just work the problems one at a time, and see if I solve enough to go back home. 

Tomorrow : Twister

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  • Joseph Murphy