Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Life?

I have been doing this blog regularly for a few months now and I've tried to sort of maintain what you have come to expect in content from my husband. I try to be consistent and motivate comments and discussion. I give up, truly, it's just not me. I realized it fully when someone said I was Prepper over the holidays and I felt deeply how much I dislike being referred to as a Prepper. I am definitely reluctantly the wife of a Prepper. My problem I think is twofold.

First, we are rebuilding our life at what is "middle age" all over again from the bottom up. In essence we are preparing after the fact with the pitiful little that's left. Unfortunately, we are not alone. The world has shifted dramatically in the last five years. However, in this moment as a couple it appears that we don't have a skill set that applies to either the old world as it passes on or the vague suggestions coming from of a newly emerging one. All we have is a goal to pay the bills, keep plugging away at the learning, help others when we can and going, doing and living the best life we can.

Second, as we approach 2013, it seems like our country is moving into more and more divisions: money, lifestyles, religions, goals. You name it seems to be splitting apart. It doesn't have to be that way. It really doesn't, however, it’s less than likely that we all had a spiritual awakening as the Mayan calendar ended so the future is uncertain. All of us have a great many ifs about how we all will live and what life will be like as we enter into this new year. I'm sure this is nothing new. I'm positive my great grandmother experienced all of what we are going through in her 100+ years of life (of course she had most of the skills we're striving to re-learn so she had about a zillion up on me). She never told me how she managed to handle all the changes though. She did give a hint about what to do when the American dream died though.  She told me about a time during the depression, having nothing, feeding kids, and the deep depression and fear that lead her to start the process of suicide. She said she closed up the house and turned on all the gas. After a bit one of the kids asked her why she was crying and she turned off the gas and opened everything back up because she didn't have an answer. She told me she guessed sometimes you just don't have words and crying is really the right answer then you just get up and keep doing and living the best you can. She always said you should have something extra in case you need it and you should put money away for emergencies because it helps lessen the tears when you have something. She was a tiny little Irish woman who was big on being able to hold your own. I think that's part of the reason why I resist being called a Prepper. I'm just doing what my grandma told me to do! I'm not doing anything extraordinary or irregular.

Let’s face it though when we prepare we are choosing the building blocks for the very bottom, the foundation, of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (food, clothing, shelter, safety) with no idea where the world is going or even what the possibilities are. Can anyone even afford to prep that completely? How do you keep it from being something more like hoarding? You know...oh I might have a use for those papers in an emergency...I better keep them...all of them...each and every last one I ever get....there might not be more! At this time of year, with all the reflection, I find myself asking "What the heck do we prepare for?". Will it be storms, war, the economy, solar flares, failure of government or just simply some other way of life we have yet to experience?  How do I plan and prep for 5 years down the road? We have grown kids, a young one, a grandson and aging parents. Do we plan and prep for more grandkids? Boys or girls and how many? Teenage angst is most definitely a certainty with our minion and I wouldn't even know where to start for elderly parent care. Do we prep for only ourselves or to help others? What about sizes...and weather...would cloth be better than already made clothing? Will the schools fail? Will we need school books and books on many subjects or that are more advanced? Will our youngest even have a college to go to when it’s time for going to college? What will jobs be like? IT, MEDICAL, FARMING....or will they bring back manufacturing? Will we finally live in the world of the future with flying cars, a green world with alternative energies that strives to protect the planet, or a unified earth much like that of Star Trek?

We've lost that hope for the golden future somewhere in all the uncertainty and our daily struggle with our current financial situation. It leads me to great reluctance in the area of 'prepping'. It is hard for me to continue to support it when it is hurtful to our present existence and I see so little reward in it. Learning simplicity, prepping, and the skills and knowledge that we have for home use sometimes seems more forced upon us by necessity rather than to have grown out of our own wants, desires and interests. I aim to try to turn that around in 2013. How we choose to prepare should be about living our daily lives the best we possibly can while making a good foundation for the future no matter what it brings.

(Hubby here ~ The Mrs. gave me the option of deleting the following paragraph or leaving it in. I decided to leave it as it shows some of the doubts that enter in to starting new projects, businesses, or lifestyles. Just so you know, I too have ‘issues’ with being called a prepper. It really is simply a lifestyle choice that I learned as a kid living in upstate NY, where we had regular rolling brown outs and sometimes went up to a week without power and where employment for my parents was sporadic. We had no other choice than to live as what folks today call ‘preppers’.)

It is my belief that MOST of this audience is a few steps ahead of me/us in homesteading skills and this blog is way below a great many of its readers capabilities. I can’t prove those statements are true though as next to no one replies in the comments here. I just want to let you know my husband is the Facebook half and I'm rarely there unless he tells me to go if you are commenting there I may not always see it. He is also basically the webmaster for this blog...I type...he posts. Honestly if there were not a way to see the number of visits to the page I'd think no one saw it. In cyber numbers we aren't even a bit of mist in the air yet alone a drop in the bucket but my Internet savvy leaves something to be desired.

So bear with me as I begin yet again, renewing my commitment to not prepping, I really do dislike the term and all the connotations it carries with it, but to our goals of self sufficiency, learning, and all the small wondrous things I can find in this life. As I surrender to the cycles of time and search for purpose and meaning in a life caught in between two vastly different types of worlds, operating in both, belonging comfortably and completely to neither. I will bid you good tidings and a blessed new year.


As always you can join the Facebook group, like the Facebook community page, and visit the website. All of these are conveniently called “Kaya Self Sufficiency”. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you are getting better at providing as much as you can for yourself and for your family, group, or community.


  1. You sound like I feel. I've been bordering on depression for weeks now because so much in my life is uncertain. My husband and I are trying to plan for retirement in a few years while living in the suburbs of a very large town. We're on an acre of land and have had chickens until recently (and will have again soon)and will be putting in another garden but I do this knowing if life allows we will have to throw it away to move when the time comes. I don't like the term prepper because it makes me feel desperate or maybe extreme is a better term. However, I do like being ahead of the curve in the event of an emergency or bad economy and I like the idea of keeping traditions alive. I'll be liking you on FB but I truly like reading your posts. We can all glean information from each other no matter how much we know or how long we've been doing this.

  2. I don't think that we're preppers at all. I know that I "fit" better with the transition movement. Conserving what we can, relearning old skills (and passing them on), living life downsized by choice or not. Tinkering...making...learning ...and generally trying to keep the chin up and nest where we are.
    I feel that the word transition says it all. We all live in a state of flux these days.

  3. I'm not sure I fit any where but I'm glad I'm not alone in what I've been feeling.