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2021 Twenty: Get Busy Living

I have come to see the world differently this past year. I think everyone has in their own way, and I’m very disappointed in what I’ve seen. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of things that have existed for as long as I’ve been alive, but as we’ve all been isolating some things have come into focus for me like never before.

Let me assure you that I have never nor will never say COVID was “fake” or that it wasn’t real or serious. However, in my opinion COVID was anything BUT unprecedented. That was just a trigger word that was overused, much like “pandemic” - both of which the media coined first. You see we’ve always had viruses. And they have always been potentially fatal, killing millions every year. So what made this year's virus different?

Well, for whatever reason the powers that be and those who TRIED to lead us through this saga, chose to “lead” with scare tactics and a doomsday narrative. This instantly created a culture of fear. From hoarding toilet paper to wearing a mask while you’re driving alone in your vehicle, seemingly everywhere I turned people were being overwhelmed with an involuntary response and a flood of hormones from the sympathetic nervous system causing them to make irrational decisions.

This isn’t living. Maybe for a short while - like for the “two weeks” we were initially told last March - it’s acceptable to be frozen in a state of fight or flight as you search for answers, but now a year later and people are still frozen with an unwarranted fear. That’s not how I want to live my life.

We’ve all seen and heard so much published and posted in various places this past year. Unfortunately, most of it has been incredibly divisive, but this was (part of) the post I resonated with the most:

“When do we decide quality of life outweighs the risks?

I understand COVID can be deadly or very dangerous for SOME people, but so are strawberries and so is shellfish.

We take risks multiple times a day without a second thought.

We know driving a car can be dangerous, we don't leave it in the garage.

Many speed and don't wear seatbelts.

We know the dangers of smoking, drinking and eating fried foods, we do it anyway.

Is hugging Grandma really more dangerous than rush hour on the freeway?

Is going out with friends after work more risky than 4 day old gas station sushi?

Or operating a chainsaw?

When and how did we so quickly lose our free will?

Is there a waiver somewhere I can sign that says, "I understand the risks, but I choose a life with Hugs and Smiles, and the State Fair and go to Church and go hug my Mom in her retirement home.

I understand that there is a minuscule possibility I could die, but I will most likely end up feeling like crap for a few days - like I have already experienced in years past.

I understand I could possibly pass it to someone else, if I'm not careful, but I can pass any virus onto someone else."

I'm struggling to see where or how this ends.

We either get busy living or we get busy dying.

When God decides it's your time, you don't get any mulligans, so I guess I would rather spend my time enjoying it and living in the moment and not worrying about what ifs and maybes, and I bet I'm not the only one.”

This summed up all my feelings and really hit home for me. I immediately made it my mantra and made it a priority to get busy living and to ignore the manipulative, fear mongering agenda and corrupt narrative.

Instantly a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Life felt better. I felt alive. This is how I want to live. This is how I want my kids to live. All of them… yes, even Madison.

This goal is a little different from the rest as it is more a mindset. But it’s as equally important to me as my other 19 tangible goals are, and I share it publicly for the same reasons. Not to spark an argument or a fight. Not to fuel even more division between us, but to be real, raw and vulnerable in who I am.

This whole #2021Twenty project means something to me. It’s a driving force in who I am and is fueled from my beliefs and values. It’s also meant to show that new year’s resolutions don’t have to be a bad thing. Setting goals for yourself can be a good exercise. Perhaps some of my goals may even inspire you to set your own.

Yet while today’s goal is incredibly personal and typically would be kept private, I felt that withholding it from my list would be like adding a filter to an image on Instagram - and that’s not being “real, raw and vulnerable” like I claim to be.

So, here it is, I’m making my 17th goal to get busy living!


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