Monthly Archives: March 2012

GETTING STARTED

I keep allowing myself to get distracted by all of the different preps that can be undertaken. Some of that is due to my paranoid nature, and some is due to the allure of being completely independent and self-sufficient. Some of it is the appeal of learning some forgotten skill set, something that makes me unique and would make me needed and vital should something occur that would require that skill set. It’s like being the keeper of knowledge, Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider style.

But alas, I need to stay focused on my top 3 priorities. Many preps are for complete independence from the system, or for total collapse; for instance, making my own fuel. But what about starting my garden, where does it land on the list of priorities? It isn’t going to do much for cutting the grocery expense, but it has a lot more value (utility) in helping me achieve my number one priority – health. So it is important to ask: How much will an endeavor I want to undertake help in achieving my goals vs. the effort and input required to accomplish it? How much value will it provide? Should it be a higher or lower priority than some less exciting goal like getting my resume updated? I can only make these decisions for my own situation, everyone is going to have a different priority/pressing need.

My three main goals that I have identified are: Health, Cash Flow, and Storm Preparedness. Beyond that each of these can be broken into subcategories. Health can be broken down into Nutrition, Exercise, mental health, Dr checkups, and procedures; cash flow can be reduce expenses and increase cash flow (which can be further broken down into multiple revenue streams, overtime, new job, etc); and storm preparedness can be broken down into first aid kit, tornado plan and supplies, loss of electricity.

Some preps have “crossover” value, meaning they can provide resilience for multiple scenarios or they meet multiple goals. The first aid kit is a perfect example. So is a garden. As mentioned above, it can provide quality food as well as exercise, it can reduce the grocery expense, it can feed the family in times of crisis. In fact, Jack Spirko at TSP said something profound along those very lines in his podcast from 12/21/11: “If you can not feed yourself, you do not have liberty.” Think about it, if someone else feeds you, or you depend on someone else in order to provide food for you and your family, you are their servant. You cannot do things they disapprove of or they will take away your ability to survive. That is not liberty and that is not freedom; that is slavery (bondage).

With all that in mind, I have started exercising and am starting a garden. Here is what I am starting with:

Back and Side Fence

Black Berry Bush

Not much to get excited about, I know.  But that’s rather the point.  It is the journey of a thousand miles, but I am undaunted.

RESILIENCY = CONTINGENCY PLANNING

Be prepared. I may have said this before but it bears repeating: I am more of a resilientist than a true prepper or survivalist. However there is a lot of crossover, so much so that at times it is hard to tell the difference. I think my distinction between them lies in the purpose or approach of each. A prepper is planning for disaster(s) that they feel are eminent, whereas a resilientist is looking at having more liberty and freedom in their life whether a crisis occurs or not; and a survivalist is prepping for the worst possible scenario to happen. Another difference between a prepper and a resilientist is this: a resilientist is trying to develop personal liberty with a community mindset, whereas a prepper has more of a soloist mindset.

There is a great sense of security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared for various hardships even if it is highly unlikely that you will ever need those preparations.  But there are some scenarios that aren’t terribly unlikely, like tornadoes, hurricanes, and ice storms.  They happen to someone on a yearly basis, could your family survive it?  The loss of a loved one is almost never a national or international disaster, but to the family it happens to, this event can be defined as a disaster or crisis because it could be devastating on a personal level. Could your family survive it?  Something as routine as a job loss can be a crisis or disaster to some families. This is where thinking outside the box – seeing things from different perspectives – comes into play.  Some of the steps taken in becoming resilient will help you survive these seemingly mundane “disasters”. Though unsexy and unsensational, they are the most likely types of crisis to occur.

So here’s a good way to start that can help you to show your wife that this is actually a good thing you are doing. Go to the dollar store and buy some $1 toilet paper, $1 toothpaste, and any other $1 household consumable and stash them somewhere that you can use as a storage place for all things like this – but don’t let her know you’ve done it and stash it someplace she won’t find it! Then one evening when y’all are out of toilet paper and she is hating the thought of having to go to the store to get some more, come to the rescue by retrieving your stash of tp. Be sure you do this without her seeing where your stash place is! Let her know you picked some things up to keep around for storm preparedness. After a few times she will start to see the benefit of having household items stockpiled.

BEING AN EMPLOYEE

Jack Spirko made the following statement on “5 minutes with Jack” that I agree with wholeheartedly: “I do not believe that being an employee is a natural state for a human being to be in.” I would modify that to say it’s not for “all” human beings. Some excel in that state. He also noted that “Basically you give your time to someone that tells you how to spend it”, and that I am “fighting a war for [my] individuality and freedom”; “Society is set up where work is one of the few available options.” How motivating is that? I am fighting a war for my liberty. Here is the link, I would highly recommend listening to it: http://www.jackspirko.com/episode-94-being-and-employee-is-not-a-natural-state-for-human-being

The revolution is about thinking for yourself and not being so dependent anymore. It is about living the life envisioned by the founding fathers in the country they founded.
It is about Liberty.

Thinking for yourself is the new revolution; it’s no longer about a direct revolution. I am not meant to work a 9-5 job. I can feel it in my bones; I can feel it in my soul. Every time I say that I feel like a caged bird, that is what I’m talking about. I AM FIGHTING A WAR FOR MY LIBERTY.

There is someone where I work who is elderly and in poor health. This person seems to try to trip people up from time to time, is bitter, and always seems to intentionally make things more complicated (time consuming) than they have to be. In my spirit this morning I felt compassion and an understanding for this behavior. This person will not work again if she finds herself unemployed, so she is trying to make herself seem vital to the job. The point of the story is: I must put myself in a position to not have to contend with that scenario, with that feeling of desperation and knowing that I really have no other options. That is the importance of self sufficiency.

Imagine never being trapped in a cube – and commuting an hour each day to be there – ever again!

Not everyone has the support, resources, time, etc. that others do for achieving their personal liberty. Many will look at the pictures on the web of preppers showing “what I am doing in my life” and feel overwhelmed. They may feel like “what’s the point, it takes more than I have to give to do that”, or “man I wish…”, etc. I want to show that even little bitty baby steps are better than nothing, and some people really do start that way. And it may take a long time, but so what?

ACTION

  • Listened to an awesome 5 minutes with Jack episode – 6 TIMES!
  • Sent an email to Chuck from lifegroup. This is a step toward liberty because I am investing in Social capital.
  • I’ve been collecting coffee grounds for composting so I can turn my dirt into soil.
  • Sunday I put a 2×6 in my back yard to mark off a spot that I will plant some onions and then cover with my compost. I’ll post a pic later.

RESILIENCE IS A PILLAR OF LIBERTY

Resilience is a pillar of Liberty. If I land a job that allows me the flexibility to be more involved with my family (a core value of mine), does that mean I have achieved Liberty? If I look back at the definition of liberty that I posted – liberty implies the power to choose among alternatives rather than merely being unrestrained -I would say I have not. Perhaps I have achieved freedom, (freedom implies an absence of restraint or compulsion), but do I really have the power to choose among other alternatives, or am I still at the whim of the current company I work for – merely a slave to a more comfortable grind? If I am truly resilient – able to feed and take care of my family come what may – then I truly have liberty.

Having time for the most important things in my life is my prime motivator. It is what got me started down the path to resilience in the first place. I feel as if my life is passing me by while I am toiling away in my cube doing something that doesn’t improve the planet or make a difference in people’s lives, and I’m doing it for a company that does not value or care about its workers and is not sensitive to the needs of family life. I’m a paper pusher that they will bleed dry and then cast aside without a second thought.

“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having not time. It is, on the contrary, born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else – we are the busiest people in the world.” Eric Hoffer

SUCCESS?

SUCCESS: The progressive realization of worthwhile goals – "48 Days to the Work You Love" – Dan Miller

I ran across the following journal entry I had made back in November, and it seemed very congruent with where I am mentally right now:

    I am reading the book "48 Days to the Work You Love", and it talks about 7 areas of life that should be considered when evaluating "success": Financial, Physical, Personal Development, Family, Spiritual, Social, Career. Not all success is financial despite what our society crams down our throat. Many who have achieved financial success have sacrificed their health and family in its pursuit, and are not happy. In my mind they have wasted their life, or at least wasted the time in which they have focused on nothing but financial success. What good is it? It is a means to an end, a tool and nothing more.