For the past 52-weeks, we have invested in, researched for and practiced ways to get our families prepared for the unexpected. This investment of time, energy and supplies is not yet complete. You are at pivotal point in your preparedness journey; either you feel comfortable with the preps and skills you have attained and feel they can carry you through an extended emergency, or you have begun to see that it is necessary to take your preparedness journey to the next level. Some of us find that we are never finished preparing, researching or learning new skills to help carry us through a given emergency. This need to learn and develop more is what I want to discuss with you today because it won’t require you to go and invest your money into preps. This next step is about a change you will make to your existing mindset. Because now we are at a point where we shift from preparing for a preparedness lifestyle into living a preparedness lifestyle.
As James T. Stevens says in his preparedness guide, Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook, a paradigm shift occurs once the mindset changes from being prepared to living a preparedness lifestyle, “suddenly it’s neither so daunting or burdensome – it becomes your routine – the way you live on a daily basis!”
That being said, once I adopted this new lifestyle, I realized that my current living situation did not support what I wanted or needed to achieve. I didn’t want to just talk the talk, but wanted to walk the walk. Changes were made, and some of those were met with resistance from friends and family members (something I am sure that many of you have first-hand experience dealing with.). Once I adopted this mindset, my attitude shifted from living in fear to living with courage to face what may come. I had found my balance.
My need to take preparedness to the next level has changed my entire outlook on life. It simplified my life in a way that I no longer am concerned with what the latest fad is or what Snooki is doing on television. In fact, for the better part of 3 years I severed my ties to television and didn’t watch it. Each of us will make our own choices as to what is best for our families, but my choice to concentrate on my preparedness path and work on going forward with it has been a wonderful blessing. I’m much more immersed in caring for my chickens, finding ways to get my garden to grow, appreciating my surroundings and making sure that my family is cared for.
There are challenges to shifting to a preparedness lifestyle and I have documented those issues on my website and in this newsletter. But I continue to stay positive and view mistakes that I make as learning experiences. Sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t, but at least I am working towards my goal of being 100% self-reliant. I am thankful that I still have the time to make these mistakes and learn from them.
Throughout your preparedness journey, no doubt many of you have become frustrated because you can’t seem to wrap your head around a certain skill, or you can’t seem to prepare enough because of the rising food prices, or you are growing more and more concerned that a large scale disaster is around the corner and you won’t be ready in time. Don’t get discouraged! We have a wonderful community that is there to encourage us through these bumps in the road; and I am here for you as well. In the coming months, I will be posting videos and articles that will enhance your skill sets and encourage you further. The bottom line is this: we can only prepare so far, then we have to trust our skill sets and leave the rest to God.
I want to leave you with a quote. “Remember, that even though we are preparing for rainy days, it’s important to enjoy the sunshine we have.” Waiting for the bomb to drop is no way to live. In my experience, I have learned the importance of living in the now. We must make time, no matter how small to enjoy the love and the gifts that are surrounding us right now. After all, these are the moments that we are going to look back on and remember.