Friday, 5 April 2013

Life for sale- lessons from 'Shrek forever after'...


So a friend and I watched the movie 'Shrek forever after' over the Easter holidays. If you haven't seen it, I'll give you a brief overview. Shrek is (happily) married to the love of his life, Fiona, and they now have 3 beautiful kids (if you can call ogre-kids beautiful). But, life is a bit dreary and full of mundane activities, you know, like, taking out the trash, changing nappies, doing the dishes, etc, that old man Shrek begins to miss the 'good old days'. He can't get a minute to himself, his friends (Donkey to be exact) just won't let him be, not to mention the tourists who keep stopping by to take pictures of his shack. He wants out. Back to a time when he was single, and he was a real ogre; the kind people were actually afraid of. After all, that's what he was actually meant to be right?

So, after having an outburst at the kids' birthday party, he meets the devil himself, I mean, Rumpelstiltskin (yes, I had to go to Google to check the spelling). Rumpel offers him the opportunity of a lifetime (or so it seems); Shrek can have a day of being a real ogre again, if he gives Rumpel a day from his past. Shrek decides to go for it, and asks Rumpel to take any day he likes. He gets 24 hours to be a real ogre once again, at the end of which he goes back to life as normal. Seems simple enough doesn't it?

So Shrek gets his day as an ogre, and things seem to be going great. That is, until they start going badly. Like, really badly. You see, Shrek asks Rumpel to take any day from his childhood, a day he won't remember and the devil, I mean, Rumpel decides to take the day Shrek was born. This leads to disastrous consequences. For example, Shrek meets Fiona and she has no idea who he is, because, guess what, he doesn't exist! So Shrek now has to find a way to undo the curse (something about true love's first kiss...) In the end, he realises that he had something amazing- pretty much everything he needed for a happy life. He just needed to open his eyes and look around him.

Ok, it was a bit of an extreme scenario, but it got me thinking (as always) about how sometimes we want what we do not have...it can be hard to count your blessings especially when there are one or two blessings you think are missing. It's easy to think the grass is greener on the other side; if only I had that job, or if only I lived in a different country, or was married, or had a child, or had more money. Truth is, there's always something to be thankful for. Actually, if you look (and not even that hardly) you'll find several things. So, I'm learning to be thankful. For the obvious things, and also for the, you know, not so obvious.

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