Life’s a garden; dig it. I love those immortal words from the movie Joe Dirt. The whole line in that interview with Joe Dirt went like this: “You gotta keep goin’. What am I gonna’ do, quit? That’s not an option. You gotta’ keep on keepin’ on. Life’s a garden, dig it. You gotta’ make it work for you. You never give up man; that’s my philosophy.” Some of the best advice for our lives actually came out of Joe Dirt’s life story. I have to admit that I may have some struggles, but my parents never abandoned me at the Grand Canyon and the top of my skull did form, although I am bald and I have considered the mullet wig a time or two. But the crazy thing is that we all have struggles, and we all have hit that point of just feeling like “What’s the use?” or “ I am tired of the struggle, so I quit.” I love how Joe Dirt looked at all of the things in his life that did not go like he had planned, but in his own way, he found life was a garden that just required some effort to make it produce some good for him, regardless of the weeds.
Not to keep beating a dead horse, but my struggle is Parkinson’s (may be a first time reader out there, so just keeping them in the loop). That doesn’t make me special or make my measure of struggle any greater than anyone else’s struggles. I don’t walk in their shoes, so I cannot possibly know. It is an awful blow to be dealt to hear your doctor award you with the prize of PD, and give you some prescriptions and bleak educational material about how you suffer from a degenerative disease with no cure, and tell you to come back in a few months to see how “things are going.” I am sure many of you can identify with similar diseases or loss of a career or loss of a loved one or any number of things that do not have a very positive outlook for the future. Things suddenly pile up across from you, and you feel defeated, beaten down into your very spirit. You feel like the world borrowed another line from that same movie:”Maybe we’ll go to McDonald’s and get you a waaaah burger and some French cries.” You feel no one understands, no one cares, you have hit your bottom, and you just want to take your ball and go home and not play life anymore.
Well, follow Joe’s advice. “You gotta’ keep on keepin’ on.” I had to dig my garden and make it work for me, so I planted seeds of biking, writing, OCR racing, exercise, starting a support group, encouraging others with PD and other struggles, becoming a voice for Parkinson’s, sharing my story, drawing attention to PD, and being active in the fight against my disease. I started working the empty soil of hopelessness and sadness of Parkinson’s, adding in the fertilizer of thankfulness and feeling blessed and faith and family and friendships and laughter and humor. I have to work every day weeding out apathy and self-absorption and selfishness and pain and fatigue and depression, and water that soil and those seeds with motivation and serving others and compassion and love for others and life. And you know what? I keep going; I don’t quit. I am able to harvest joy and happiness and inspiration for myself and others. I find that my garden produces kindness and support for others and in the end, the amazing bloom of hope; hope in a life that is full, regardless of the struggles I face, and a life that is blessed because I have another day to impact at least one person’s life in a positive way.
So remember Joe Dirt, and remember that I believe this too; “You never give up man; that’s my philosophy.” Also remember his advice “if you’re covered in oil, don’t stand next to a fire.” That may be helpful if you are lighting some spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, or whistlin’ kitty chasers.
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