One of the many things I did on New Year’s Eve this year was cry hysterically. But in a good way. I watched the movie The Martian, and I’ve decided it is a must see for everyone in recovery (as well as anyone thinking about quitting drinking or facing a challenge of any kind).
The premise of the book and movie, is that an astronaut, thought dead, gets stranded on Mars by himself and against all odds, finds a way to communicate with earth and devise a rescue plan. It is a testament to the power of human resourcefulness, and the amazing things that can happen when community, love and respect are coupled with raw determination, humor and brain power.
I found the story heart-rending for the following reasons (even though I have never faced anything quite so dire and if I did I would be f*cked, because there was a lot of math involved…):
- I related to the character’s isolation
- Anything having to do with NASA and space travel gets me every time
- I identified with the power of a few helpful words on a computer screen when one is feeling completely alone
- I was inspired by the impact of a like-minded community
- It reminded me of Nick, who was a rocket scientist and was supposed to be my hot date for New Year’s Eve
- But mostly I was moved by the way this character rallied after every setback and how he was able to keep his focus in the face of such overwhelming adversity.
It’s a great movie: an inspirational movie and my favorite monologue takes place when Mark Watney is home and lecturing a group of astronaut hopefuls. He says, “At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”
Happy New Year.
And I want to thank ALL of you, for helping to bring me home…