130: Be involved in your life

130: Be involved in your life

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Today I’m tackling topics like the gift of life, responsibility and choice, consequences, and how this all relates to the future. Let’s talk about getting involved in your own life… and dive into some most likely politically incorrect conversations.


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Many of us grew up hearing (or are even told now): You take better care of it if you have to pay for it. When something is handed to you for free, you don’t appreciate it as much because you didn’t work for it.

The crazy thing? We are given a life. Regardless of what faith or science background you come from, the fact is you’re alive and you yourself had nothing to do with making that happen. So I consider the fact that you’re here and breathing to be pretty cool, and I think that means you should do something with that life while you’re here.

But I think a lot of us, because we were just handed our breath and our life, take it for granted. Because, as was said earlier, things we don’t have to work for aren’t appreciated as much.

Have you ever felt like you’re living in a fog? Or like you’re watching your own life happen as if it’s a movie on a screen and you’re not really in it? It’s just passing you by?

I recently heard the phrase be involved in your own life from an adult saying it to a kid that was spending “too much time” on a video game, but when I heard that phrase, and I knew we really all need to hear that phrase.

Responsibility and control

Be involved in your own life can mean different things. It can mean stop worrying so much about what’s going on over there or keep your eyes on your own paper. But for today’s episode, I want to take the approach that you should be involved in your own life as an acceptance that you are responsible for it. You are in control of it.

It’s all you, baby.

And I can hear some of you now. “But Amy, I’m not in control of the taxes that I pay and I’m not in control of the mask mandates and I’m not in control of what my governor is doing and I’m not in control of…”

Okay. Hold up. Calm down. I didn’t say you were responsible for or in control of the whole world or what other people do. Bring this back a notch or twenty and let’s talk about You. Because part of the issue I see with a lot of people is that it’s easier to complain about what they can’t control than to take action on things they can.

One of the best ways to be involved in your life is to start taking care of you.

Stop waiting for someone to save you.

So many people are waiting for someone to come save them. To take care of them. To take care of the issue.

Listen. You have to put into your life. Especially when things suck, when things are hard, when you don’t like where things are going, you have to put into it.

You have a choice every single day and that choice is to a) sit idly by or b) get up and do something. (Read that again.)

Stop waiting for someone to take care of you and start taking care of yourself. What if no one is coming to take care of you? Or what if you don’t want to have to rely on someone else’s “care”? What if you don’t want them to take care of you because their “care” comes with a lot of strings attached?

I know. You’re thinking, “Well, Amy. Easy for you to say. We can’t all have a homestead where we raise most of our own meat and have a giant garden and homeschooled our kids like some kind of hippies.”

Self-reliance and self-sufficiency and everything that comes along with life as a homesteader are great things. But you don’t have to have five acres on a dead end gravel road in central Minnesota to start taking care of yourself. We all make choices every single day about what to do, what to be involved in, and how to make it better.

Don’t be stagnant. Use the life you were given. Make a better choice about something today.

Understand cause and effect. Accept that choices have consequences.

Allow me to be, perhaps, politically incorrect here.

What makes me insane about this covid thing is that the people I personally know who have had it and have gotten really sick with it are people who a) had preexisting medical conditions, (which yes, I understand are sometimes the cards we are dealt) or b) folks who could stand to lose some girth and move around a lot more than they do.

Take care of yourself. When you don’t, things happen.

Now that’s not to say that you have to be a size 6. I know people who are a size 6 who struggle to put a cast iron pan on the stove and if I asked them to run from my house to the barn (about 150 feet) they’d keel over. So this isn’t about being skinny. This is about being healthy. And the fact that we live in a place where I can say “be healthy” and people don’t understand the definition of being healthy, and they’re a slave to the number written inside their jeans, shows how messed up and distracted we are.

I remember a MadTv comedy sketch from way back in the day called “Leona Campbell on Smoking”. It takes place in a hospital where a family is all gathered around a comatose family member, talking about how they are so sad and so surprised that he got lung cancer. Another character, Leona Campbell, enters the room and says in this hilarious voice, “can I ask you a question, was he a smoker?” And the family says yes he was, but that they were still so surprised he got lung cancer. Leona asks, “Didn’t you see the warning on the pack of cigarettes? The billboards with the Surgeon General’s warning?” The point of the sketch (which I don’t even think you could get away with these days) was y’all, he smoked like a chimney and now he’s dying of lung cancer. Gosh, that’s a mystery.

Cause and effect. Actions have consequences.

Now I’m not saying don’t smoke. I’m not saying don’t eat at McDonalds everyday. I believe you can do what you want with your body. I mean, it was given to you, right? But don’t smoke like a chimney, or eat at McDonalds everyday and balloon up to 500 pounds, and then wonder why you get some virus and it almost kills you.

I mean, come on.

That’s like stringing a tightrope over a pool filled with venomous snakes and being surprised when the person who chooses to walk over it everyday falls in one day and meets their demise. Go ahead and walk that tightrope if you want, I’m not going to stop you. But come on, choices have consequences.

Does taking care of your body mean you will never get the flu? A cold? Covid? Not at all. Does it mean you’re generally going to deal with it easier? I would bet you a gazillion dollars YES.

Why is it more radical nowadays to say I’m going to eat well and take care of my body than it is to say I’m gonna get stuck with a needle?

Take care of yourself. Cause and effect. Actions have consequences. You get what you give.

Now this isn’t just about physical health. It’s about mental health. Your home. Your goals. Your budget. Your life. Be involved in your life—before anything else. For all the chatter out there about what might be headed our way in the future, we don’t really know what’s coming around the corner. So get involved in your life now so you can deal with whatever is coming up around the bend.

Where do you need to be involved in your own life? That’s where you need to start. Get your ducks in a row. Stop being passive about what happens, don’t let life pass in front of your eyes.

You cannot possibly start tackling the issues that affect other people’s lives until your head is on straight and you know where you are headed. And that only comes from being involved in your own life and having an actual grasp on this life you’ve been given.

You’re responsible for you. What goes into your body, your reaction in situations, where you wake up in the morning, the to-do list you’ve set in front of yourself for this day, the words that come out of your mouth. How much time and attention you give to the things you come across in the day. You are responsible for all this. And you have to be involved in all of this. Actually involved. Because if you’re not, other things will steal your attention and you will get overwhelmed.

And then what happens?

Then you sit back on the couch with a bag of Cheetos (real or metaphorical) and say I don’t even care and you become a blob (real or metaphorical). And I really think there are people, organizations, and/or entities out there that want us to be a bunch of Cheeto eatin’ blobs who just don’t care and can be told what to do. Because when it comes down to it, too many people don’t care enough about their own life to be anything more than a Cheeto eatin’ blob.

Because their life was given to them for free and they don’t appreciate it or what it can actually do.

My friends, listen. You were not given your life for it to be used for someone else’s purposes. (Read that again.) Which is to say that choosing to be involved in something is completely different than being buffaloed into it or brainwashed about it.

But Amy, I’m a homesteader and I live out in the country and I raise my own food and I’m super self-sufficient and and and. That’s great. Look at the other areas in your life, because we all have areas that we’ve let slide by. Maybe it’s your budget. Maybe it’s a difficult conversation you need to have with someone. That thing that comes up and you think “nah, I’m not gonna deal with that now” … that qualifies as ignoring the issue. That qualifies as being uninvolved in a part of your life.

Preparing for the future

I love it when things sync up. (As in, when content creators in the same niche end up talking about the same things without having talked to each other beforehand.) While working this episode/blog post, I saw that Jack Spirko had uploaded a little audio clip on Odysee and YouTube that he did called Where Will You Draw the Line. It was a fiery, foul-mouthed speech of frustration, and I thought it was great. (Seriously, go listen to it.)

One of the things he said that really stuck out to me (edited for language) was: Are you in a prison cell? Where you can’t get out and you get no choice they tell you when to eat and when to sleep and when to use the bathroom? You get one hour exercise? Is that you? No? Then shut up. Shut up about what you can’t do.

If you are listening to this and you are someone saying, “what is happening right now to our world?” and you’re really frustrated, that should be more than enough of a kick in the pants to get involved in your own life. Because right now, or in the future, there may be things you want to lend your voice to.

But Amy didn’t you just tell us that participation is optional?

Yes. Yes, I did.

But I also said, I’m not telling you not to fight, I’m saying know what you’re fighting for. Participation is optional means don’t let people force you to participate in drama that isn’t going anywhere. Participation is optional means if you feel there is a more productive or roundabout way to do something that doesn’t involve doing it with the masses, you have the option to go that way instead.

So yes, there may be things you want to participate in. Or fight for or against. Or lend your voice to.

Let me tell you something. If I had a cause, the people I would want fighting for that cause would be the people who were first involved in their own lives because I would know they have their heads on straight. You cannot give yourself fully to issues you want to work for when your life behind closed doors is a chaotic mess.

You just can’t.

So if you are of the opinion that something needs to be done about what you think is coming, for Pete’s sake, please start getting your life in order. Please involve yourself in the life that you’ve been given so you can use that life for the things you want—or need—to use it for.

Amy Dingmann, 4-5-21

Resources:

My new book! Make Friends with a Dog: 18 Tips to Live a Good Life

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