My mum had a range of old movies that she would watch over and over again. Every week she would go through the TV listings and carefully circle those movies she just had to watch again. She would the likes of Casablanca and Singing in the Rain at least once a year. As she made 90 that’s a lot of views. But some strange movies would also get onto the ‘watch again and again’ list. Dirty Harry….. Die Hard …….. anything with Chuck Norris in.

But then there were other movies. Movies she would watch for the first time and only ever once. For these B-list movies she had an interesting strategy. If she didn’t like how the plot was progressing she would stop the movie. Stop the movie and make up her own ending. That changed the very essence of certain classics. Maximus doesn’t die in Gladiator. Tom Cruise was the rogue agent who killed his spy team in Mission Impossible. All the Gangsters get captured at the end of The Godfather. Bruce Willis was a ghost in Sixth Sense right from the start and there was no need to watch the rest of the boring movie as he was going to be resurrected at the end. The little fishing boat was completely unsinkable in Perfect Storm.

The strategy worked for mum. She was never disappointed in a movie ending. I must admit I am tempted to give it a go. I could watch the first 10 seconds of a Newcastle United game and then assume we played total football like the great Brazilian side of the 70s, winning the game by at least 6 goals. I could read the first line of my annual tax form and then assume the authorities owe me money. I could start baking a cake then assume it’s a gourmet masterpiece. I could cut one strip of lawn and assume the rest would cut itself.

But here’s the thing. What happens if the bit of the story you miss out actually is the best bit. What happens if you skip the bit where your dreams come true. This will sound bad but I gave occasionally felt like skipping parts of my life. Life can wear you down sometimes. Single parenting sometimes feels like it never stops – it has done the last day or so. Constantly pushing up a never ending slope. I could also miss out the grieving and bereavement section. But if I did skip parts of my story WHAT COULD I BE MISSING OUT ON. The fact that yesterday and today have been tough doesn’t necessarily mean that tomorrow will be. You just never know. You never know when dreams can start to materialise. That’s a reassuring thought.

38 thoughts on “Endings

  1. An excellent outlook that will keep you moving ahead even when you don’t know where you are going or if you will end up at your destination. And the story created by life is real while the made-up one is not. Reality can be touched. Fantasy cannot. It’s elusive. And every experience we walk through will make us stronger and more able for the rest of the journey.

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  2. i like your mums works fine for movies. But for real life i think the answer is two-fold.One can always imagine a happier ending, and by doing so may even be able to manifest one, or at least a better one than would have happened if a negative one was imagined. But who wants to know ahead of time either way? part of life’s joy ( and learning) comes through the journey and not the destination:)

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  3. Yep, if only I’d stopped cutting my hair circa 1977 I might have the full mullet. Have you been rubbing you Philosopher’s stone again? You know what happens to boys who polish their pebble?

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      1. I was growing my hair beautifully before all this, but then some very strong glue on my PPE stuck to the top of my head and I had to be cut free. ✂️
        Now it’s as if I was in a sauna with a bobble hat on and someone kindly came and took it off. I’m not going back, the future is looking much more comfortable.


  4. In hindsight I “see” the sweet mixed in with the bitter. It is only in retrospect that I realize that the hard times also came with life lessons I could learn no other way – like empathy and compassion so I would not want to miss out on any of it, despite the painful experiences I’ve lived through.
    Yes, life can be hard, but it can also be so good. Hold onto your dreams. Make them your focus because I do believe in the adage, “what you think about you bring about”. No, that doesn’t mean if I visualize a million bucks laying on my table that it will appear, but focusing on the positive is the only way I can get through life’s hurdles. I think we are of like minds in that. 🙂 Hang in there, Gary, the years will pass so quickly, even though they may feel like quicksand atm. Love your positive attitude. Keep dreaming and hoping for the best!


  5. That is such an important way to look at it. Never turn around and walk back, because you might have been only one step away from the finish line. We develop, things change, circumstances change, people change, and every new day is another bead in that chain of new developments. A dream is only as far away as you let it be. The closer we keep it to our hearts the more likely we will see it blossom. A thing is only lost when you stop believing in it.


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