Yesterday was a full day, and I was also very tired, so I gave myself permission to not blog. Right on schedule, apparently–I heard a statistic this morning that January 12 is the day that most New Year’s resolutions die. Not that I’d made a NYR to blog every day–that was just a goal for this month, to get me back in the habit. And since the purpose was to build a blogging habit, and here I am, picking back up today, it’s all fine. Anyway, carrying on…
The weather turned sunny and warmish yesterday, so we headed outside and into the woods. We hiked to the bottom of the big hill on top of which our house sits, and then back up again, which was quite a workout, and it turns out I needed that as much as I needed the sunshine and time in the woods. I was wheezing a little by the time we made it back to the top, which shows how quickly I’ve gotten out of shape after only two weeks of neglecting my daily walk. At any rate, that little outing was as good for my body as it was for my mind and soul.
With the rest of my day, I finished the big article I’d started on Monday. The thing that took me so long with it was coming up with a thousand words to say on the topic. I tend to write with brevity, which can be a good thing with fiction, but it’s not helpful when I have a minimum word count, especially when that minimum is a thousand words on a topic that can be covered in only 500. After padding the article with as much tangentially-related info as I could come up with, I was still falling short, so it was time to haul out the adverbs. Want to know how to prevent bloat in deep-chested dogs? Ask me, because I’m an expert on it now. Or you can just wait for my unusually verbose, adverb-laden article to come out in a few months.
(But seriously, if you have a deep-chested dog, look into that whole preventing bloat thing, because that’s a serious and potentially deadly problem, and we’ve had quite enough of dogs dying around here, thank you and good day.)
Moving on to something that’s been on my mind lately: after a few years of flirting with homesteading, we’re really wanting to give it a go this year. January is a tough month, because there’s not really much you can do, although we’re doing the things when we can. It’s tempting to get frustrated and worried, because in light of current events, there’s this sense of urgency that everybody’s feeling to get started, and even if you’ve already gotten a good start, it’s easy to feel like you’re behind.
This is not helped by influencers in the homesteading and prepping community, particularly on YouTube, who basically come right out and say that we’re all going to die if we’re not already fully established farmers and field medicine experts and expert marksmen with fully stocked larders who are also experts at canning food and baking bread. I get where they’re coming from — the proverbial S has already HTF, and it’s past time to prep for it. They want to motivate people to get serious and get started. But a lot of times the result of this messaging is that if you’re not moving to the country or starting a prepper commune or growing substantial crops or raising your own livestock and producing your own dairy products or filling your entire basement with canned and dry goods and etc., then it’s hopeless, so why even start?
So I want to encourage you that it’s not hopeless. Should you be prepping for hard times ahead? I believe that would be prudent. Do you have to make prepping and homesteading your life and pour your entire life savings into it? Nah, child. Do you have to get out of the city and do whatever it takes to move to the country? I don’t think that’s a bad idea if you actually can, but it’s just not feasible for everybody, and that doesn’t mean you’re doomed.
A few years ago when I figured out that I can’t do everything and trying to was making me exhausted and sad, I developed a philosophy: do what you can and trust God for the rest. I think that applies here as well. Nobody can do all the things, but everybody can do some of the things. I believe that prepping for hard times — be it illness or job loss, natural disasters, bad weather, a cyber attack on the grid, the government turning on its own citizens, whatever — is wise and responsible and also a Biblical concept. I think doing nothing and hoping to get by on the kindness of strangers or the provision of the government is misguided at best and irresponsible at worst. But I also know that God is my provider and protector. He set things up so that we participate in that provision as much as we’re able, but we don’t have to fear when we lose the ability or our contributions fall short. He’s not going to let us starve to death because our attempts at growing and preserving our own food were insufficient for the challenges we’re facing.
Do what you can and trust God for the rest. Don’t let the influencer scare tactics scare you right out of even getting started. Start with the basics you need to live — clean water, food, and a way to cook said food and stay warm if you lose power. Mary’s Nest is a great YouTube channel for this — she has a very encouraging, very soothing, and very doable playlist of videos showing you how to get started stocking your prepper pantry on a small budget.
It’s another warmish day, so I’m hoping to get outside some more this afternoon, and also to make some substantial progress on Revolution 2.
Any good prepping or homesteading resources to add? Tips for getting started? Drop them in the comments — or just leave a note to say hi and tell me how you’re doing.