“Your card is expiring in two weeks, would you like to renew it right now?” She had her finger poised over the register waiting to ring up an additional, $45.
I looked over at my stash:
- 40 rolls of 2-ply individually wrapped toilet paper
- 1 box of 30 individually wrapped 2-ply paper towels
- a 35 pound box of peanut oil
- 2 jumbo sized cans of ground coffee
- 1 industry sized bottle of dish soap
- 2 cases of bottled water
“No thanks. If the world ends before two weeks, I gave you the money for nothing!” I held a straight face, as the cashier blinked at me twice. Although I was joking with her, I was halfway serious.
My mind was already thinking ahead. In two weeks a lot can happen:
Even DOOMSDAY could happen. Whatever that might be!
This wasn’t the first time my mind jumped into gear. As a prepper of more than 15 years, I’ve had a lot of practice. I’ve also seen my share of people going to the extreme when it comes to being unprepared.
From one extreme to the other
For example, I have friends who live their lives on the edge. They have on average, three days of food in the house and two rolls of toilet paper. They truly believe that Walmart will always be there for the rescue, and that Uncle Sam has lots of money.
A psychologist friend of mine and her physician husband, both believe that everything in society will stay the same– our economy will always maintain, and that things will continually get better. They never plan ahead, except for their retirement.
I used to think like these people.
I can still remember several years ago when I was newly married and living paycheck to paycheck. A friend of mine gushed about how she’d found this amazing sale and that her cabinets were stuffed to the hilt.
“Why did you do that?” I was unimpressed.
I couldn’t imagine spending extra money on things I didn’t need right away. I had more important things on my mind, like having spare money for the weekend, and being able to eat out.
At the other end of the spectrum, were some folks on Doomsday Preppers. I noticed the unhappy faces. One family was building an underground bunker, and the mother was worried sick over her family being killed and her daughters being raped.
I looked at their children and wondered what they were thinking. Did these kids think they had a future? Were they excited about graduating high school and maybe someday getting married? Were their parents robbing them of their childhood?
Sometimes I have to turn off the TV and tune out the news as the negativity in the media can drag a person down.
Even gardening includes planning ahead
As a gardener, I have learned all too well the trials and triumphs of planning or not planning ahead.
Many a time, I have neglected my plants by failing to water them or not paying attention to pests. I’ll never forget the day I was admiring the first ripe tomato of the season, and went into the kitchen to open a can of tuna. I placed the bread on the counter, and I pulled out a knife. I went back outside to pluck the warm fruit and noticed half of it was missing. In less than five minutes, with my back turned, something stole my lunch. I wanted to throw in the dish towel.
But deep down, I know that the worst thing I can do is give up. I have to think back on the success. I have to remember the sense of accomplishment I feel when providing for my family vegetables I had nurtured and grown myself. I can’t think about the year when I had sweat and toiled for two surviving cucumbers. Or the time the squirrels un-dug my freshly planted watermelons. I have to focus on my accomplishments and my dreams of a better garden.
In order to be successful, I realize I have to think ahead and plan for those potential problems. I plant more vegetables now so that I can afford to lose some. I mulch and build shade so that I can shelter my plants against drought and extreme heat. There are so many challenges in the garden, and yet, so many ways to conquer them.
How can a person experience joy in the garden, unless they’ve experienced disappointment?
Prepping includes enjoying life as it comes
I also realize as a prepping mom, the worst thing I can do to my family is to squelch their joy. I have to approach our future with excitement and anticipation.
I stock up more so that we can afford to suffer loss. I prepare for hard times and bad weather, by making sure we can handle any type of emergency. I think ahead for possible worst case scenarios, so that we can enjoy the good days ahead and not be devastated if or when hard times come.
We plan for the worst and hope for the best. We prep not because it’s the end of the world, but we prep for a positive future.
I have noticed when it comes to prepping that there are two types of people— those who get busy with living and those who plan for no tomorrow.
I’m sure some of you out there have recognized author Stephen King’s quote here, “Get busy with living, or get busy with dying,”?
I don’t know about you, but I want my family to get busy with living.
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