Friday, July 03, 2009

Always Looking Up...

Yesterday I finished reading Always Looking Up, the second biography by Micheal J. Fox. The Observer gave it to me for our four year anniversary. I skipped through the big chapter on politics as I am more interested in Michael J. Fox's personal life, not so much his political struggles. Micheal focused on maintaining balance in his life by making his family a priority while using his own struggles to inspire others in similar situations. While Always Looking Up was good, I preferred Micheal's first book Lucky Man. His first biography talked more about his childhood and rise to fame. A major portion of Lucky Man focused on the devastating blow of Micheal J. Fox's Parkinson's diagnosis. He repeats how he recklessly lived his life - not thinking about consequences or time until he had no choice but to face his own vulnerability in the form of his disease.

While receiving news about a life changing illness would be devastating to anyone, when it happens to a celebrity, we are reminded that they are human. They may be notorious and rich, but when it comes down to it, they are here for the same reason as any one else - to enjoy life. Micheal J. Fox explained that the title Always Looking Up has two meanings. Micheal J. Fox is very short forcing him to be frequently looking up and the title is always fitting because he tries to focus on positive matters. Always Looking Up reinforced to me how we never really know what is ahead, but we keep moving as life changes. The last chapter entitled Are We There Yet? describes a road trip Micheal J. Fox takes with his oldest son. They have no set destination, just the goal to enjoy the ride. Micheal J. Fox reflects on his son and how Parkinson's occupies little of his young mind, because he enjoys his father and life. When Micheal is asked, "Are We There Yet," he doesn't give his son a definite answer, instead telling him to go outside and explore. After finding some keepsakes from the beach, his song returns and keeps travelling with his father.

I thought the last chapter was the best part of Always Looking Up. Life is a journey. We move. We stop. We savour. We remember. We pick up. We keep going. Micheal J. Fox proves that if we are going to move forward, which is our only option, we must always look up.


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