“Let It Go, Louie” by R Ann Parris
Full disclosure up front: I have been hearing this phrase from my father for so long – usually when the dogs continue to re-alert at something they’ve been told is okay, we know, repeatedly, endlessly – I could not remember where it came from. Honestly, I figured it was a 1950s-1970s cartoon, TV show, or Western. I looked it up for us. It’s so much better (and much, much younger, so I haven’t actually been hearing it as long as I really perceive every time I hear it – the mind is a funny thing, which bears pondering all on its own as we push through life and preparedness). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMfg-cR0jKE – Enjoy!
Every society is made up of individuals. Our cultures have influence, as do our family units. Even within those, and sub-groups where we spend our time and mental hours, there are individuals.
The thing about individuals is that they’re each an individual. That means they’re different, however surface similar they may appear, no matter how many identical boxes they check in interests and history.
Even when we start on similar footing, we’re different.
Sometimes those differences create conflict and stress – regularly, even just stress we keep inside ourselves.
Being aware of those differences, in all the ways they occur, gives us a step up in two very important skills for both life and preparedness.
One is the ability to say “Let it go, Louie.” The other is the ability to actually do so.
Keeping Up With the Joneses
I am not the Joneses. Or the Jetsons. Or Claire Wolfe, Martha Stewart, James Wesley Rawles, Carlos Hathcock or Eric Shackleton reborn, TheRumpledOne, Ryder, Admin John, BushCraftGuy101, my parents, the neighbor, or anybody else.
And they’re not me.
Sometimes we compare ourselves to others, and find ourselves lacking.
There’s some value in comparisons, but not if it’s destructive. For the most part, it’s not actually necessary, even if we’re after a benchmark for measuring our current condition or a goal to aim for. There are plenty of standards we can find, standards and measurements derived from the combined past experience and averages from hundreds, thousands, or millions. Those are far better than an individual comparison, both mentally and as far as effectiveness.
When we’re cruising through sites, and start feeling a little intimidated to make contact with somebody or doubting we’ll ever get *there* and feel like giving up, let it go, Louie.
You’re doing just fine making the headway you are. And wherever you are, you’re ahead of somebody else – because you’re on a prepper site, or reading something that may help you feel better about washing your hands of something that only causes stress. Those are positive steps some never get to.
Be realistic about what you try to accomplish, keep pushing forward on your path, and let it go, Louie.
…ridiculous. …insane. …stupid. There are all kinds of ways to end that phrase in a less than appreciative or positive way. There are all kinds of people and posts that generate those reactions.
Preppers and the posts and replies we see are not immune.
Preppergroups.com exists to help people find somebody like-minded. To that end, people are allowed to post what they like (with a few exceptions, like ads, political commentary, advice blogs, spamming members/posts, hatefulness or discrimination).
We don’t have to agree with somebody’s post – the mentalities involved, where they are or have decided to ride out whatever comes, what they want, an opinion they hold, or the Big Thing that they have decided to prepare for.
We see it, skim it, and if we aren’t a match for them … let it go, Louie.
There’s a forum if we really feel something we’ve seen needs to be discussed, or if we’re trying to raise awareness and share information not related to a specific, free opportunity for training and gathering with other preppers.
Even on that forum, we’re liable to see something that just boggles the brain. We’re welcome to reply there (using general societal rules of polite conduct toward strangers, and something more constructive than “that’s just…ridiculous/stupid/insane”).
Eventually, even there, arguing is going to get nowhere. If we’re spending time repeating the same thing over and over, or find our blood pressure rising … let it go, Louie.
That holds true in any conversation anywhere. It holds true anytime we’re receiving dead-end negativity instead of constructive criticisms (constructive, not approving).
“Let it go, Louie” isn’t just for dead-end conversations, wild-crazy-naïve-risky plans or Big Thing fears, or pointless comparisons of ourselves to somebody who is or has more or better – stuff, people, skills, location. It applies universally.
To include good advice.
Again, we’re all different. We’re at many different life stages in many different locations. We have different backgrounds and pasts, and different bodies, homes, laws, equipment, obligations, support, income, and skills.
That sums up to mean we have very different capabilities.
When we see something awesome – a tangible, a skill, an accomplishment – and we want it, too, ask a couple of questions.
Can we do/get it? Do we have what would it require? How would we pull off the prerequisites? Does it fit into current budget (time, outlay, cash)? Is it worth realigning those? Worth realigning priorities?
See, the thing is “let it go, Louie” does not have to be an all or nothing, all-time permanent response.
If the answer to those questions is “no”, no biggie. Start a list for someday and append the words “for now”. Review the list periodically, because as we travel down this prepper road, priorities and capabilities – and thus what’s actionable – will change. Sometimes regularly.
Until then, keep on track, and … let it go, Louie.
Take a gander at the fruit baskets that pop up everywhere as a holiday of some sort approaches: apples, oranges, pears.
Sometimes there’s grapefruit, clementines, tangerines, and kumquats. Sometimes local stores include variety crates with bananas and grapes. Sometimes they include dried apricots and a little less commonly in my neck of the woods, figs or dates. A fair number of the gifting and holiday-sit-out types include nuts.
And sometimes, for some holidays, there’s a fruitcake.
They’re each different. We can argue the merits of one or another over some other fruit, but it’s not going to change them. They are what they are.
Some are fragile, some are hardy in packing and have long shelf lives. Some are easy to eat, some messier or cleaner.
Some are trees, some are vines, some we call trees but are actually shrubs. Some are easy to grow with wide soil tolerance and few pests, some more difficult. There’s variance in just how much cool and cold weather they need – or will tolerate.
There’s value in that.
We just have to remember that an apple is never going to be an orange, and an orange is never going to be an apple, and there are always going to be fruitcakes out there somewhere, and learn to let it go.