Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

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aarondenal's picture
aarondenal
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Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hi All,

I have for some time now been really diving into what I call "transition" which is a blanket term for the resiliency training we are all on this site working toward in our own manner.  i am a newbie to the financial terminology that pervades a lot of these posts and others that I am reading, and have been learning so much from every thing I read here.  Thanks to all.

I am starting to come unglued.  The reality of the necessity of all this is setting in bigger and bigger every day, and it is getting a bit funny how I am at the same time full of complete and utter dread and excited for it all to shake down.  Every day there is some thought I have about some wierd thing that I do not want to see go by the wayside (today's was Q-tips "gotta stock up on Q-tips").  I have lists and even a whole binder I have made to help keep my self from losing track of all my brilliant ideas.  I am riveted to the news and also the topics discussed on this site like I am watching some exciting action movie starring Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, AND, Sean Connory.  I am also freaked out about what may be coming and how I will react, but more scary to me is how those will react who will be truly taken off guard.  Not sure what to do about them...not being them...

The problem, in case I have not mentioned it, is that I am starting to come unglued.  I cannot really stop thinking about all this stuff.  It is all I really want to talk about with anyone (with a small exception-my small children 4 and 16 mo., who I am working hard to shield all this from since they are so young)  even though no one really cares to listen, much less meet me where I am (or even raise me a notch or two-heaven forbid).  I am feeling a clear sense of urgency, and am just not sure where to turn exactly since I feel so 'behind'.  Soooo behind.

Oh, our energy resiliency is virtually non-existant.  i find myself daydreaming for some super-cool cabin with a wood stove in a fabulous community with just the right amount of old-time benefits (eg. an old broken down hydro station that is just begging to be revamped) and new-found convenience (eg. New Urban planning complete with communal chicken coops)  This is really just not in the cards for me at this time, and I am getting more and more bummed by the day about that.  And our water, I cannot even think about the water.  I could go on and on, but I guess where i am going in this borderline vapid post is that I am feeling very worried that no matter what I do, no matter what I have acquired, it will not be enough to truly "prepare us".  I am feeling so small and insignificant in this sea of sleepwalk.

i cannot make or have things that I think would help prepare me appear out of thin air.  These things take time and research, and most importantly, money.  Like most everyone else in my predicament, the latter is a quite complex subject at this moment.  Everyday I feel like I am racing against the clock to get or do something to move me along.  But then I get these thoughts that take me totally off course.  What if I should really be doing something else?  Ee-gads, stay focused woman.

I am just venting here I suppose.  I dont really think there is any pill or magic substance (silver?) that could take all my troubles away at this point.  I just have to continue.  But sometimes I have to admit to feeling a smidge overwhelmed by all the possibilities.

Anyone else? 

 

 

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hello Aarondenol,  Believe me, most of us on this site have experienced what you are going through to some extent.  I keep sane by prioritizing, and by making at least some increment of progress in my preparations every single day - today I took my little guy to a coin show and we picked up some junk silver dollars.  Having kids myself (9 and 14) I think that the responsibility we bear to them is an extra burden, both conscious and unconscious, and this may be behind the heightened level of dread you feel.  All I can say is... your kids are very lucky to have you as a parent!

You can't do everything... certainly not all at once.  (stored) Food and water (or water purification ability) should be very high on anyone's list.  If you have not figured out the water thing, you should probably move that up your list.  This does not have to be real expensive... my prep's are pretty minimalist since I live near water sources;  A few 5-gallon plastic water jugs and a Katadyn water filter ( http://www.rei.com/product/720265 ).  If you need a source, or a rain barrel (  http://www.commonsenseprep.com/index.html ) then figure that part out too.  There are people on this site who can and will help you with ideas for any aspect of your preparations - just ask.  With every increment of progress... release some of the pressure on yourself.  One step down in dread for me in the last week was to get some long term storage garden seeds in my pantry (http://www.non-hybrid-seeds.com/sp/survival-seed-vault.html).. and there was a great thread here on gardening books recently.     

You are a fellow seeker of truth... and the truth is indeed riveting, especially given the level of cognitive dissonance between the "happy talk" found in the mass media and the... well... truth of our predicament.  I was expressing dread similar to what you describe not long ago to my brother (the therapist) and he thought I should find a meditation class... have not done so yet, but maybe I need to get that moved up my list  : )

 

 

 

 

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

I left a response at thread (2).  Travlin

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

hello aarondenal,

I understand compleatly . At times i just want to pack up and more to they middle of nowhere.

As everything else in life even to get out and away from where we are going with the world you need money.

We have chickens , fruit trees, vegies gardens, worm farms etc . But to go any futher like a aquaponics set up , solar power , well even just buy the house we live in all needs more money (that we dont have).

If there are more genuine people out there like Chris Martenson who just waht to help us & get the information out there are there some willing to help us all out with money. I hate Money and those of us that would really use money to help  become better,more aware, more sustainable, more community  minded happy people dont have any and all the evil manipilating souls have pleanty.

I feel very frustrated most of the time , I have the belief , i have the dream , I just need someone to give us a chance. 

Quote " They come they take , its never anough because they cant relate, to the real world thinking the oyster is just for the pearl .( John butler)

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

I heard an interview Chris Martenson did once, I think it was for the commonwealth club, it used to be available on itunes, not sure now. In the interview, he said "being infinitely prepared takes an infinite amount of resources."

I take that quote to heart. Very few people have the resources to become infinitely prepared. That helped me to slow down myself. I made a list of what my top prioridites were, and got to work slowly building what I could. One other thing that helped me was to make a second short list. This second list was the last few dollars I would spend; for example, if the poop really hits the fan, my wife and I are taking off of work and going out to buy these ten items (1. XXXXX, 2. XXXXX, etc). Since we have a little food set aside, these might not be what you think (one stop was the garden center, the other was a small farm that usually has chicks and ducklings). Having this list helped me to keep my mind at ease.

Chris also said in the interview (I'm paraphrasing here) that "being 10% prepared is vastly superior to not being prepared at all" in other words, even if you have some things done, it might not be what you consider "Enough" but it is going to be a huge step compared to nothing at all.

It is important to keep your mental health in check also. If you have a strong mental health situation, you can adapt. If something (society) were to break down, don't mourn it. You can try to reinstate it through productive work, but don't spend all day lamenting the loss of q-tips. Let it go and you will be free to move on to something productive. This is a big reason kids can still thrive in terrible environments. It becomes "normal" for them, because they don't have long held conceptions about the way things "should" be.

You also have to relax and realize we are dealing with probabilities here. If things hold together thoughout your lifetime, you don't want to spend 40 years worrying every hour and then have nothing to give your kids but your worries and some canned goods.

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

i cannot make or have things that I think would help prepare me appear out of thin air.  These things take time and research, and most importantly, money.  Like most everyone else in my predicament, the latter is a quite complex subject at this moment.  Everyday I feel like I am racing against the clock to get or do something to move me along.  But then I get these thoughts that take me totally off course.  What if I should really be doing something else?  Ee-gads, stay focused woman.

 aarondenal
As others have states we DO know how you feel. I was talking to a guy I worked with once. He thought all of this collapse stuff was BS. He asked me "What good does it do to worry about it if you can't do anyhing about it?"
Like a lot of people here I have no means to prep from a financial perspective. About the only thing I do is buy silver when I can.
 So I thought about the question mentioned above. When I first started to realize what was coming I was angry, depressed and kind of panicked. I went through that stage for about a year then I slowly accepted it and started doing whatever I could. What I realize now is that the most important part of being prepared is being emotionally and mentally prepared and to get to that stage is going to envolve pain.
So to the question: "What good does it do to worry about it if you can't do anyhing about it?"
When things really start to unwind here in the near future there are going to be a lot of people mentally going through what I did but they will not have the luxury of time that I have had to get my head and my house in order. Its going to hit them like a ton of bricks and they won't have time to adjust they will just have to react.
In my opinion, the worst part is ending for you, you're on your way to mentally adjusting. The rest is just doing the best you can with what you have.
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yoshhash
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

welcome aarondenal,

yes, call this a rite of passage.  I too am constantly aware of every day, every news item.  My wife and I have a long long way to go, and feel we are not "winning " the race (yet), there are days it feels utterly hopeless.  but on the other hand, we have made amazing progress in the last year, and every day we are getting more and more traction.  I find this process absolutely adrenalizing and motivating, if you were to take my pulse most times of the day, I'm sure you would find it higher than normal don't need caffeine, used to alternate between insomnia and chronic fatigue but strangely I am up at the crack of dawn without an alarm clock, and I am GOGOGO all day, sleep like a baby all night.  (Of course it helps that I love my jobs, both which are tied to helping society become more efficient and self-reliant, both which were born from this newfound collapse awareness).

Try to harness this adrenaline in a good way- yes, treat it like a race, but it is a race in which you do not know where the finish line is.  Panic does you no good.  You have to pace yourself, try not to compare yourself to others, do not let panic drive you, do not dwell on stimuli which take away your spirits.  Do use this site to draw ideas and inspiration, do draw your own limits of what are good and achievable goals.  Drop all useless activities like 99% of television programs.  Use your surplus adrenaline to get/stay fit, get out and run like it is a real physical race.

I for one do not believe that all society will descend into a violent free for all (some will, of course, I am only saying that it is better to "circle the wagons" than to presume that I am better off in on my own), and for that reason, I do not intend to "run for the hills".  I intend to stay put, get more self reliant/efficient, get to know my neighbours, find out who my potential allies are, discuss strategies, find local sources for vitals and "useful waste" (buckets, pallets, used cooking oil, scrap metal, etc).  

Choose your battles carefully.  DON'T BURN YOURSELF OUT.

[edit- Oh, here's a very important one that noone has mentioned yet:  beware the pitfall of putting additional strain on your relationship(s) (presuming that you have).  There are several threads dedicated to this.  Many  couples have split over this issue, some for the better, but not always, since it is infinitely helpful to work as a team.  Don't shove it down their throats, let facts speak for themselves.]

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Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
aarondenal wrote:

I am starting to come unglued.  The reality of the necessity of all this is setting in bigger and bigger every day, and it is getting a bit funny how I am at the same time full of complete and utter dread and excited for it all to shake down.  Every day there is some thought I have about some wierd thing that I do not want to see go by the wayside (today's was Q-tips "gotta stock up on Q-tips").  I have lists and even a whole binder I have made to help keep my self from losing track of all my brilliant ideas. 

The problem, in case I have not mentioned it, is that I am starting to come unglued.  I cannot really stop thinking about all this stuff.  It is all I really want to talk about with anyone (with a small exception-my small children 4 and 16 mo., who I am working hard to shield all this from since they are so young)  even though no one really cares to listen, much less meet me where I am (or even raise me a notch or two-heaven forbid).  I am feeling a clear sense of urgency, and am just not sure where to turn exactly since I feel so 'behind'.  Soooo behind.

Aarondenal -

You aren't any different from the rest of us.  To varying degrees, all of us have been where you are.  A year and a half ago, Cat and I went to the Lowesville seminar out in western Virginia with the thought "Okay, we get it, something is going to happen and at the very least it's going to be a bumpy ride.  Now what?"

I would strongly suggest you go through the Self Assessment found under the "Take Action" tab at the top of the page.  Once you have the SA done, prioritize the various action items in a tiered list and start working on them (I would save the hydroelectric plant for last though Cool).  Your action item list is going to be unique to you for any number of reasons.  One of the biggest is that YOU have to prepare for what YOU think is going to happen - not what other people think, or even worse, what other people tell you is going to happen.

One of the points Chris and Becca kept reinforcing was that in whatever you are doing to prepare, keep in mind that it is a marathon, not a sprint.  Start attacking your action item list from your SA and start knocking out the items as you can.  Your list is going to be prioritized by numerous things - time, scale, money, knowledge, environment (we want 100 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but our financial situation won't allow us to do that tomorrow, so instead we'll be happy and keep chipping away at our action item list on our 1/3 acre in rural/suburban SE Virgina).

Once you have an Action Item list written down, you can see progress as you get things done.  Chris and Becca kept hammering away on us at Lowesville that getting that first item on your list knocked out is one of the hardest steps because it is the first, but it represents one of the most important steps, also because it is the first.  They don't necessarily get easier as you continue through the list, but you are working towards a goal and you can look back and see what you have accomplished to date to achieve that goal.

It's easy to get overwhelmed by this stuff.  I may be reading a bit into your post, but I sense that you are trying to read everything here on CM.com and are allowing yourself to be pulled in a thousand different directions?  I don't read half the topics in here because I just don't care about the specifics of the subject.  I'm not saying that they aren't important, but they don't have a direct impact on my preparations so I'm not going to spin my wheels on them.  Whatever is going to happen is going to happen - whether it is because of inflation vs.deflation or the as yet undiscoverd transbioticnuclearflation really doesn't matter to me and getting wrapped up in a debate over the finer points of why or why not also doesn't affect my preparations.  A lot of the thread topics and discussion are IMO purely for social interaction - which is also fine, but in the end, it's more noise than signal and doesn't contribute to your preparations and working on your Action Item list.  Knowledge is valuable, actionable knowledge is priceless.

If I may be so bold as to suggest an item for your Action Item list here's one that was on ours and was crossed off quickly and it didn't require any money out of our pockets.

1.  Find the closest Farmer's Market and go visit it to see what they have. 

The spiral possibilities from this simple action item are amazing - you have found a source of locally grown food.  It is likely cheaper than local grocery chains, the amount of petro energy used to deliver the produce to the Farmer's Market is far less than what it took to get the California avocados delivered to a Food Lion in Virginia.  You may also find a couple of Community Supported Agriculture farmers. 

You are in a good place here at CM.com and there are a lot of people who have been where you are and would likely be willing to help out with any questions that come up.  Come here and vent as often as you need to, there's always somebody home.

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hi aarondenal,

Yeah, when you first realize the scope of the coming change it is rather overwhelming, isn't it? SmileBut thankfully, you can just chip away at things. "The best way to get to be where you want to be is to do the best you can where you are." - Gary Hawes

In my case, someone early on suggested I read a rather thorough prep book: How to Survive The End of the World As We Know It. It was WAY over the top - I mean, the guy lives in a "tactical environment" and was talking layered defences and walkie-talkies, but there was a lot of very organized good stuff in there. I turned each chapter into a sheet on an excel file and adapted it to my situation. Food, water, heat, medicine, you name it - onto the spreadsheets it went. When I was done, I felt better because at least I had a plan. I prioritized it. Then I chipped away at it.

***

That was over a year ago. SInce then we've made a lot of progress. And some weeks all I did was monitor my square-foot garden or buy six large bottles of rubbing alcohol, or extra TP. One time all we did that week was get an old "burn barrel" to deal with combustible trash (if things fall completely apart, how do you deal with waste?) Some weeks the progress was things like a friend who got a new combination gas & charcoal grill gave us his old grills so we could cook outside if there was no electricity. Other weeks it was big things like a solar-powered attic fan or an effiecient wood stove or a grain grinder. This last week it was renting an auger to put in the last three fence posts for a security fence, and to drill holes for some blueberry and indian hawthorn (medicinal) shrubs ot be planted. As long as it was progress, it was energizing. It's amazing how much better it feels to be working toward realistic goals than it is to flail about in worry.

You'll go through the horrid feelings in waves, but you'll get through them. And it will never be enough, but any prep is better than none at all.

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Tycer
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Yep, been there. Go back there time to time.

If I were to start over today knowing what I do I would start with water resiliency. Then footwear that we can walk for days in. Then a 72 hour kit like in the Cody Lundin book 98.6 Degrees, then start building my pantry like in Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salisbury, then extra eyewear for Nancy, then the longer term emergency kit like in When All Hell Breaks Loose by Cody Lundin, then some bulk grains, then some PMs, then ......

It gets easier. Your sense of urgency is balanced with time. It will pass soon. It's going to be an exciting ride and no one know how or when it will truly play out. 

Don't forget to enjoy the little things. You are no good to anyone if you are exhausted and cranky.

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hi Aarondenal,

Don't sweat the small stuff. I have it on good authority that we have 2 years, 8 months and 29 days left so plan accordingly. (oh, and don't forget the extra TP).

 

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hi, Aarondenal.  I just wanted to echo what Dogs in a Pile wrote regarding the farmer's market; I am beginning to realize that relationships are one of the most important preps you can make (coming from a self-professed introvert).  From taking a Transition Training workshop (met some cool folks about an hour north of us offering resiliency workshops), to getting to know a local honey producer (who gave us some raw beeswax in exchange for home-canned preserves), to befriending a local grass fed beef producer (who called us at home when he had a surplus of local grass-fed beef and offered us a two for one deal), I am beginning to realize that who you know is as important as what you know.  Nobody can know it all, do it all, or have it all (or almost nobody, anyway).  Find people.  Build relationships.  Learn from them.  Share with them. 

You will find allies in the least expected places; don't feel like you are in this alone.

Bluenoser

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

I hope I am not crossing the bounds of the "speak no religion" when I respond thusly:

I think you need to step back and look at the bigger picture. You are obviously not trusting in yourself or a higher power. You are trying to insulate yourself from every possible calamity because ultimately you don't feel at peace with the world.

I've in some bizarre way had the fortune of struggling a lot due to health stuff and since I've never had financial security or a big house in the suburbs, I feel a bit more confident that I'll scrape by somehow no matter what. I don't "need" a bunker (though it might make things easier). I know how to connect with people and create what I really need in life if I have to.

So there are two bigger picture things you might look at:

1. If you are an atheist, then you believe that when you die, there will be nothing. The blessing in this is that you'll feel no pain and not remember any bad times that happened while alive. It's as if they did not exist! Problem solved! So if this is the case, if worse case scenario, you died at an early age of hunger, you certainly won't be suffering after your death.

2. If you are spiritual, then you probably believe in something better after death. Or at least a break between incarnations. So what is a few years of misery during a collapse compared to your spiritual being that exists eternally? Nothing.

I bring this up not to evangelize about any particular spiritual path, but just to remind you to look at the really big picture, which is, you are going to die someday. And get to peace with it. Because what you are expressing here is really a fear of death. That's all.

I hope that helps. 

 

 

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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
soulsurfersteph wrote:

I bring this up not to evangelize about any particular spiritual path, but just to remind you to look at the really big picture, which is, you are going to die someday. And get to peace with it. Because what you are expressing here is really a fear of death. That's all.

Steph

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

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soulsurfersteph
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
Travlin wrote:

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

Well, I don't it is that much different, because it's still about trust and being at peace with death. Whatever you believe, their pain will be temporary. And I am sure you will do everything you can within your power, but you can't protect them from everything or every possible problem that lurks out there.

Human beings are remarkably resilient. I met a lot of homeless people when I lived in Los Angeles and people really don't need a lot to survive. It's easy to forget that when you are use to living in a big comfy house but you can live on a lot less than you realize if push comes to shove. And your kids can too. You gotta have some sort of faith, whatever that means to you, even if it's just faith in their survival instincts.

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ao
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Travlin wrote:

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

Well, I don't it is that much different, because it's still about trust and being at peace with death. Whatever you believe, their pain will be temporary. And I am sure you will do everything you can within your power, but you can't protect them from everything or every possible problem that lurks out there.

Human beings are remarkably resilient. I met a lot of homeless people when I lived in Los Angeles and people really don't need a lot to survive. It's easy to forget that when you are use to living in a big comfy house but you can live on a lot less than you realize if push comes to shove. And your kids can too. You gotta have some sort of faith, whatever that means to you, even if it's just faith in their survival instincts.

soulsurfersteph,

If crunch time ever comes you're going to do just fine.  You obviously have great resilience in the two most important areas .... between your ears and in your heart. 

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Tycer
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

I like Steph's attitude and will try to remember it when I get overwhelmed.

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yagasjai
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Three quotes come to mind after reading your post. They comfort me. Perhaps you will find some comfort in them.

1) "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Gandhi

2) "You are only as safe as your neighbor." Chris Martenson

3) "We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them." Einstein

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Romans12.2
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

I spent exactly 14months in pure survivor mode.  Reading everything, cashing in all investments. $1500 costco carts and online survival shopping every night.  I thought the end was around every corner, I was not ready so I lived in fear.  I could not hide this impending doom and frenzy from anyone, including my kids.  My husband was busy with prepping too and we are now a fairly self-reliant family with 4 acres, just small town suburbanites.

Then the SHTF.  Between the solar powered barn and the 55 gallon drums of kerosene, my thin, athletic 44 year old husband had a heart attack.  He lives thanks to incredible technology and medical genius.  He will survive if I can squander enough plavix to keep his six heart stents free from blockage.  Talk about nothing else matters.  I'm in a different place now in my prepping.  I like to take a blue pill every few nights with my glass of cabernet and picture my family eating sushi (which we love) forever. 

My point is, don't forget to look at who's right in front of you and just love them.  What Travlin said is so true, it might not fall apart any time soon....don't waste your life worrying. But, It might fall apart tomorrow, so try to do something everyday.

Today I illegally photo-copied my husbands prescriptions and faxed them to Canada so I can stock up on another six month supply of meds (third time)!  Never thought I had it in me, but I think that's what separates us from the rest.  We are not willing to sit back and hope someone takes care of us, we will be the remnant.

 

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Rector
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Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

What a great thread this turned out to be!  Thanks for all the thoughtful posts.  Here's mine:

I counsel lots of my friends of enormously different financial and intellectual levels on this whole prepping process when I get the chance or am asked a question.  My advice varies somewhat from person to person, but the one thing I tell everyone is to 

1.  Pick your scenario.  You have to decide what you think the most likely outcome is, and how fast things will deteriorate to that point.

2.  Prioritize

3.  Make SOME progress everyday.

You can't do more.

More specifically, I believe that a financial crisis is the most imminent threat, so I took steps to protect my wealth first.  Buy PMs, get out of debt, get some cash together, liquidate crap assets that can be converted to money, and reallocate any investments.

Once that was done, I began working on the most important things first like food and water (which are the least expensive BTW).  Then I progressed down the list through energy, firearms, and other topics.  I think the societal and infrastructure collapse is the least likely, and longest to unfold event, so I took those extreme measures last (ammo, etc.).

Every day I learn to garden, exercise, and continue to learn new things.  Do the simple first and do it consistently.  As long as you are running faster than the other campers, you will be better off.

Good luck,

Rector

Nichoman's picture
Nichoman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2008
Posts: 422
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Hi Aaron:

 

There's lots of good stuff in the replies in this thread.

As someone who has been in life threatening situations more than once in the military, offer two things consider critical in a crisis/emergency...

1.)   We tend to think (planning/actions/behavior) the worst...then over-react and/or freeze.   In essence, becoming our own worst enemy.   Seen it too many times.

2.)   Don't do anything in a state of fear or anxiety...do them (planning/actions) when you've reached a "comfort zone".   Real life emergencies and crisis are nothing like the movies.   Balance and perspective are the two words that come to mind here.

Point number 2 is the key (part of "trusting yourself").

Add relationships, local community you'll be fine.    Humans working together can handle just about anything!  I've been there more than once.

The fact your aware puts you ahead of many/most...keep that in mind.

 

Nichoman     

 

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Travlin wrote:

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

Well, I don't it is that much different, because it's still about trust and being at peace with death. Whatever you believe, their pain will be temporary.   <snip>

Nice words Steph, but they don’t mean much compared to watching your children suffer and possibly die because of problems caused by the stupidity and greed of other people.  Fear like Aarondenal feels is legitimate and one of our survival instincts.  I know you’re trying to be helpful, but to a parent your response can be seen as trivializing.

Let’s just agree that our perspectives are different and let it go at that.  Further discussion would not be productive.

Travlin

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 610
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
Travlin wrote:
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Travlin wrote:

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

Well, I don't it is that much different, because it's still about trust and being at peace with death. Whatever you believe, their pain will be temporary.   <snip>

Nice words Steph, but they don’t mean much compared to watching your children suffer and possibly die because of problems caused by the stupidity and greed of other people.  Fear like Aarondenal feels is legitimate and one of our survival instincts.  I know you’re trying to be helpful, but to a parent your response can be seen as trivializing.

Let’s just agree that our perspectives are different and let it go at that.  Further discussion would not be productive.

Travlin

 I am a parent. I understand your position.That said, I'll stand with Steph on this and agree to disagree with you.

Saffron's picture
Saffron
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 29 2009
Posts: 250
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
Travlin wrote:
soulsurfersteph wrote:
Travlin wrote:

It's different when you have kids that depend on you for their lives too.  I can accept my death, but not theirs because I didn't do my best to save them.

Travlin 

Well, I don't it is that much different, because it's still about trust and being at peace with death. Whatever you believe, their pain will be temporary.   <snip>

Nice words Steph, but they don’t mean much compared to watching your children suffer and possibly die because of problems caused by the stupidity and greed of other people.  Fear like Aarondenal feels is legitimate and one of our survival instincts.  I know you’re trying to be helpful, but to a parent your response can be seen as trivializing.

Let’s just agree that our perspectives are different and let it go at that.  Further discussion would not be productive.

Travlin

 

I hope I don't regret this - I am not interested in starting a war and there's already been agreement to disagree. Nonetheless, I am bothered by the idea that if I am concerned about my children's future it is because I am uncomfortable with death. I am reminded of a family member who drank and smoked excessively and would counter any concerns of his health with "we're all going to die anyway." True, but by taking care of my health I'm hoping my last years are still somewhat enjoyable, unlike his which were spent in and out of hospitals and with a great deal of pain and discomfort. In other words ... the concern is not so much death as quality of life while we are living.

I would venture to say that is why you moved out of Los Angeles, Steph, because surely you can be at peace with death as much in that city as Austin? 

I won't presume to speak for other parents, but I have no illusions that I can protect my children from "every possible problem that lurks out there." But accepting they have a path to live and choices to make that might sometimes put them in harms way is quite different than accepting that *we,* as in *our generation and a couple before* have acted so irresponsibly that our children will pay consequences that we would consider unacceptable. 

soulsurfersteph's picture
soulsurfersteph
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 16 2010
Posts: 204
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together
Saffron wrote:

I hope I don't regret this - I am not interested in starting a war and there's already been agreement to disagree. Nonetheless, I am bothered by the idea that if I am concerned about my children's future it is because I am uncomfortable with death. I am reminded of a family member who drank and smoked excessively and would counter any concerns of his health with "we're all going to die anyway." True, but by taking care of my health I'm hoping my last years are still somewhat enjoyable, unlike his which were spent in and out of hospitals and with a great deal of pain and discomfort. In other words ... the concern is not so much death as quality of life while we are living.

I would venture to say that is why you moved out of Los Angeles, Steph, because surely you can be at peace with death as much in that city as Austin? 

I won't presume to speak for other parents, but I have no illusions that I can protect my children from "every possible problem that lurks out there." But accepting they have a path to live and choices to make that might sometimes put them in harms way is quite different than accepting that *we,* as in *our generation and a couple before* have acted so irresponsibly that our children will pay consequences that we would consider unacceptable. 

I understand what you are saying, but I still feel you have to come to peace with death. Because you can't control everything and you can't be there protecting your kids 24/7. Of course, you want to do your best, as I've said. This isn't about throwing your hands up in the air and not caring if your kid is playing out in a busy street, waiting to get hit by a bus. But at some point you need to come to terms with death, illness and dying (for yourself and your loved ones) or you can get paralyzed by fear.

It seems like there's a general trend these days for parents to want to bubble wrap their kids against all possible negativity. Even my sister is homeschooling because she's afraid of public schools now. Then there are the parents who restrict their children from everything from Harry Potter movies to video games to even having a little chocolate on Halloween.

I grew up playing Atari, watched TV until I was blue in the face some afternoons, and played outside with the neighbor kids with almost no adult supervision for hours on end. I ate Twinkies and Happy Meals and did not get obese or become a coach potato. I walked to and from elementary school, which was maybe a mile away, at the age of 7. And hell, I'm not *that* old. 

It's almost like, we've gotten so used to comfort as a culture that we can't handle even the slightest bit of uncertainty or risk.

And yes, I did move because I don't want to be caught in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles with riots and earthquakes. But I have friends who are staying (for now), who have also come to terms with this idea that they will somehow manage and be OK even if the big one hits and there's some civil unrest. But that's due to their personal spirituality, which some may feel is naive....but bottom line is, they trust.

BTW, one of the biggest reasons I moved is that my intuition was *screaming* at me to "get the hell out of dodge." So I listened and I left. This is also part of my trust mechanism, that if I am in tune with myself I'll hopefully make the right decisions and be "guided" to do what's best for me. 

The key thing is to deal with your fear. Trust me, I have fears. When I was driving halfway across country to move here, and I thought my Jeep wasn't going to make it, I had a total meltdown of the "crying curled into a little ball" sort. But when stuff like that comes up you have to deal with it, try to let the fear come out and pass through you, and pick yourself up and keep going. It helped that I had support with me and I also did a lot of my personal spiritual practice to calm myself down.

Obsessing, fantasizing about worst case scenarios and getting paralyzed and stuck in fear is not going to help you or your family. Ultimately, your children will be best served if you are at peace with the world, not fearful of it.

 

 

 

 

 

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 28 2009
Posts: 863
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Nobody is at peace with death. Even people who feel there is plenty of evidence for an after life, aren't "at peace" with death happening, like, next week. Of course there are exceptions, like complete bliss ninnies who are so ethereal and detached they are a risk to themselves and others. Blissed out parents should have their children apprehended by the ministry of child welfare. "Que sera, sera", should not be the background hum of child rearing.

aarondenal's picture
aarondenal
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2010
Posts: 59
Re: Getting a bit edgy-working hard to hold it together

Wow, what a great bunch of thoughtful stuff here.  This was exactly what all I was looking for when I posted-a combination of good support/cheerleadinig with some very nice practical advice and ideas.  I appreciate every single reply to this post. 

I will add that the feelings that come up for me change daily, almost hourly.  I am not stuck in "fear" any more than I am stuck in any other emotion.  That is one nice thing about small children, they help me stay very present.  I guess I was just struck at the time of my original post by a feeling of "no matter what I do, it is not enough".  I am now coming clearer to the idea that "preparation" is actually mostly mental, and that anything that is actually done is gravy if an attitude of preparedness is harnessed.  Much easier said than done, and believe me I am "doing" plenty in order to prepare.

I do especially appreciate the bit about confronting fear of death.  I happen to believe that all fear, no matter what it appears is actually a variation on a fundamental fear of death.  I think that it is no small task to ponder this idea while thinking about what changes may lie ahead of us.  And hopefully a sense of release and trust can start to become more and more accessible which will only prove useful no matter the situation.

Thank you all!

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