by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:
Lately, it seems like you can’t find a speck of good news everywhere. Everyone in the country is beginning to figure out how rigged the game actually is, as Hillary Clinton skates yet again on crimes she committed. Meanwhile, people are shooting other people because of the color of their skin, the uniform they wear, or who they love. Heck, sometimes they don’t even need a reason, which is why good people need to be able to defend themselves.
On social media, the arguments have become vicious. People are becoming even more stressed and anxious after logging into Facebook hoping to see cute puppy pictures. Instead, they’re watching their friends rip each other apart over differences of opinions. And these opinions? They’re only based on what little we get to see in the news. Oh – and to ice the chaos cupcake, that “information” is massaged to get the most emotional bang for its buck or to manipulate us into hating, loving, or begging for gun control.
Keep in mind that our economy is also teetering on the brink of disaster, our water supplies are tainted, and our food is doused with cancer-causing chemicals.
The outlook is not very good in America right now.
We shouldn’t be having fun. We should be relentlessly preparing, shooting at targets, and getting the bunker ready, right? There should be no humor, no laughter, and no pleasure if we mean business, right?
Fun is not the F-Word
Now, more than every, you need to find some light in your day. “Fun” is not anti-prepper. It can be a remedy to the insanity of the world, lest that insanity infect you.
Every once in a while, someone (who doesn’t tend to last long around here) chimes into the comments section about the humor I try to inject into some of my posts. They tell me that this is all serious business, that the world is ending, and that they don’t find me one bit clever. Sure, they like the information, but my sense of humor, to them, is entirely out of place. They want me to remove anything that would cause a smile from my website, anything that is frivolous, and anything that shows there is life outside of prepping.
“Gadzooks,” they say. (Not really, because I think I’m probably the only person alive who still uses the word gadzooks.) “You admitted to watching a television show!!! Don’t you realize that a really bad law passed, they’re coming for your guns, and you’re being poisoned by *insert company here*!!!!! GET SERIOUS!”
Absolutely not. I can provide serious information without becoming a dry, humorless, unhappy person.
Because no matter what is happening, I want my kids to have a sense of joy. Survival is just as much about the strength of your state of mind as it is about your physical being.
Despite the horrible news in the world, I take some time each day to do something fun with my family. Sometimes we watch a free movie on Amazon Prime. Sometimes we play board games. (I smoke my kids at Scrabble – booyah!) Sometimes we read aloud. We hike, we go to museums, we go out to dinner, and we go on all-day-long road trips. We watch the antics of our fluffy baby chicks and we stick our feet in the creek. We go swimming, we enjoy meeting up with friends, and sometimes we just find animals in the clouds floating by overhead while we lay in the grass.
Does this mean that I need to give up my “prepper card”? Does it mean that my commitment to preparedness is any less diligent than those who grimly ignore all things related to popular culture?
I believe that there are different routes to the same destination.
Prepping can be an exercise of optimism
The route I choose is the road of optimism. Smiling, laughing, playing, using my imagination – all of those things keep me happy and focused. We all have to make our own choices about how we live our lives, and I don’t want to look back and wish that I had spent more time living and less time just plodding along, waiting for a disaster. Every person needs time to “switch off” and there are many different ways to do that.
To be entertained and to take a break in a long day of hard work can mean the difference between proceeding to the next day with optimism and enthusiasm, and dragging yourself out of bed to trudge forth through another day filled with duty, hard work, and focus, until you go to sleep, then get up to do it all again. While this may work for some people, it doesn’t work for many others.
My goals for survival are not limited to just continuing to breathe air, scavenge for food, and figure out the enemy’s next move. I want to have the perspective to still find joy in that first crocus poking its head through the snow or to wonder how the sunsets over the mountains can be progressively more vibrant every single day. I want to watch the baby lambs hop around on their spindly wobbly legs and coo at the sweetness of it. I want to laugh when I watch chickens run because that is the funniest thing you can ever see on a farm – it cracks me up every single time, the way they pull their legs up and put their necks into it.
To be able to have that perspective, I need to take a break from the seriousness I involve myself in all day, every day. To approach problems anew, sometimes I need to let them go and throw myself into something else for a while. I, like many people cannot thrive in a constant state of high alert.
I want to sit down at night with my family and just relax. I don’t want to spend every moment thinking about the possibility of China invading or launching an EMP strike over Kansas. I don’t want to be constantly thinking about what I’ll do if my homestead gets SWAT-teamed over the organic compost pile. I don’t spend all of my spare moments planning a nuke-proof bunker or drawing up designs for an ark to launch into the sea if a pole shift occurs.
Of course, this being said, it’s hard to shut off that mentality. We’re not passively laying there in a Beta state, dazedly absorbing commercials. We’re generally doing other things while watching the show, like sewing, doodling, or doing a craft. We pick movies apart and analyze them. We’ve found this to be an interesting and entertaining way to use our critical thinking skills, and I’m always impressed at what a good tool this can be when my kids come up with an angle that had never even occurred to me.
I recently wrote an article about some survival “what not to do” tips that I compiled during the last season of The Walking Dead. Not only were there some comments that seemed a little over-the-top-critical on the article itself, but I also received some angry emails from readers who were unhappy with my topic. They seemed to feel that my “admission” that I watch a popular show somehow discredited all of the other information provided on this website. They were offended by this one article that compared some pop culture to survival situations, despite the fact that they were not compelled to comment on the more than 400 other articles on the website that have no mention of television programs. Somehow, my mention of watching a specific show (one that is fairly popular with some of the preparedness set) seemed to summon up images that I sit here typing out articles while watching the Oprah channel and eating Cheetos.
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