Prepper burnout vs cruising altitude
Good topic, FAlley. You’re at crusing altitude now. Good for you. Here is how it went for me.
My journey was longer than yours, and in two parts. Part One happened in the 70s–for context, I graduated high school in 1973–when I saw that modern agricultural practices and the growing population bomb were unsustainable. Moreover, to put it mildly we were not handing our waste stream intelligently. I understood the “E” for Environment. And as organisms became resistant to our meddling (germs, weeds, insects) I could increasingly see that this would not end well. I tried to structure my life accordingly. I gardened organically, totally restructured my diet, recycled, and supported green causes – all the while knowing I was in the minority and that we were headed for a cliff. But I changed my lifestyle as best I could and moved on from there.
The “E” for Economy was also something I understood early on. America went off the gold standard when I was a teen, and we were emeshed with other currencies that were also fiat-based. I understood, even then, that fiat currencies do not end well and watched wth alarm as the USA ran up big debts. I was horrified to see my fellow baby boomers use up more than their share, and scorned their blind belief that we–who were merely the Last Man Standing after WWII–were in their opinion entitled to all this as if it were the divine right of kings. When the European Union was born, the flaws in its financial union were obvious to me. Again, I saw that this could not end well. I tried to structure my life accordingly. I was fiscally responsible, got out of debt, avoided conspicuous consumption, and tried not to follow the lemmings into a “popular” career. Getting a degree & career, and getting debt free were choices which took years of daily, sustained effort.
But when Dr. Martenson explained the final “E” of Energy to me, that’s when I had my personal Minsky moment. In 2009 I had just moved to SC from NY because I could see the entire financal system was unstable, and I found this site. I watched the Crash Course. I understoood the “E” of energy. That’s when I really took the red pill.
Within two years I was a prepped as I could get us, energy-wise. And then I started to burn out. I’m surprised it took this long, considering my Three “E”s journey started around the time I graduated high school. But–to use the analogy of a jet taking off–all it meant was the “climbing to altitiude” was over, and now I needed to coast at cruising altitude again.
Jets use up most of their fuel getting to crusing altitude, and are not meant to sustain the burn of gettng to that point. My first panicked reaction to the crash course can be likened to a jet climbing: I burned through a lot of money, emotional energy, and time. But now things are the best I can get them, and I can chip away at the rest. At this point–what I call cruising speed– like you, I go on with my life, ready for whatever threats I see coming but not frantic. And all the things I am doing are good for me anyhow: I spend less on electricity, heat, water, and gasoline.
“…everything I do has a dual use and worrying about SHTF serves as a motivation to do these things that I should be doing anyway even if the future is rosy.” – joesxm2011
Agreed, and that’s the point. Whether or not I am forced to grow things to survive, I can have fresh vegetables and fruit, and gardening for me is a pleasure and a means of exercise. Whether or not the grid goes down my few solar panels are enough to charge our cell phones, a laptop, and our rechargable AA & AAA batteries: in a power outage from a storm that will be huge. Whether or not hyperinflation rears its ugly head, I can live off my larder if my car needs major repairs or I have a dental emergency. I can add to my sustainable lifestyle little by little.
So it’s not a matter of burnout, it’s a matter of reaching crusing altitude. The initial panic and shock of taking ther red pill is not sustainable. That’s okay. Once you realize that things need to change you can reach a new equilibrum. Sounds like you’ve done that, FAlley, and I applaud you.