You would think that for someone who lives a rural life, shops once a month, and is the wifeofaprepper I would be better at this. February was a very disjointed kind of month for me. A month spent searching. Searching for just what I am not entirely sure. As you can probably tell though after three years of this life style I am having some ambivalence and am currently at a loss for the cause of the feelings of unsettled doubt and discontent I find myself in. I do know that a large part of it is about reconciling what my life is about at the moment. I liked parts of my life before we moved into this life style and I like parts of my life now. I do not really want to mesh the two. I am however having trouble defining what a self sufficient life is and what self sufficiency is to me. I am uncertain how I can integrate it with my own personality and disabilities, my family and my life in a better manner. At least in a manner that is more consistent than it presently is.
Perhaps it is merely my own naturally given short comings. I have narrowed it down to what I believe to be the most basic root causes. Organization, knowledge and patience.
At first I thought maybe all this is simply the result of a lack of clearly defined goals. It certainly is not a lack of goals in general. We have goals, a lot of goals, in fact perhaps too many. They fall mostly into the category I describe as the "I wants". It’s called that because the discussion usually starts out with...you guessed it...I want. I want to do this or I'd like to have that or we should try this or that. These 'things' hang around and haunt us with pesky details never getting past the "I want" stage. I had to ask myself why that is. It is partly because we never clearly define them as a goal. We never give it a priority. We never give it a deadline or decide when we should do it by. We never list out what we need, when or how to get it or how we are going to go about completing it. That is poor organization. Unfortunately I seem to have it in droves lately.
Then I thought perhaps it is the huge lack of consumerism that we've embraced stringently for the last three years begging for the instant gratification of vacations and shopping trips. Being short on funds we have cut out every extra just to stay on top of our bills. This shows. The lack of a feeling of reward has started to wear on morale. It’s true that all work and worry and no fun creates its own problems as we are in some ways showing signs of depression. I know this will be greatly eased with the coming of spring and the planting season so perhaps it is merely a side effect of winter. A seasonal disorder caused by a lack of playing in the dirt? However it also shows when we discuss projects...somehow it always seems to come up as a limiting factor. It doesn't have to be and we need to work on that area. We need to be more creative and do more problem solving instead of looking for the easiest or even most practical solution. It can be hard not to have that quick and easy way of doing things when you are accustomed to it. That's where patience comes in and I have always lacked sufficient amounts of patience.
All of this of course affects our ability to be self motivated. Self motivation is essential to self sufficiency. The desire or will to have an effect on your own well being day in and day out used to be a normal part of life. As we've become disconnected from the natural world it has become foreign to us. It is now something we entrust to others. We trust food companies to feed us good foods. Clothing manufacturers to provide for our protection from the elements. On and on we've given up control of our basic needs. This is not all bad mind you...a plumber, an engineer, or a mechanic are all needed and provide necessary services....it is not a bad thing to hire someone with greater skills and knowledge than yourself! It is a bad thing to become so apathetic that you make no effort in providing for yourself. Of course some folks consider that drive through the fast food window to be enough effort after a day spent in their box being told what to do. The problem with a wholly self sufficient life is that there is no one else to tell you what to do or when you should do it.
That leaves me with the question of what do I do with all this now? What do I do with this SELF knowledge? That's when it hit me...knowledge is a part of the problem as well as the solution. As a unit our family is very knowledgeable but also very divided in that knowledge. We tend to have our own separate projects and while they contribute to our self sufficiency on a whole they aren't contributing to our well being or sense of fulfillment on the whole. This happens in part because we have very different individual interests and follow them. I am pretty sure that is actually what is bugging me lately. Our interests, chores, and projects keep us busy so while we spend a lot of time together we are not really interacting with one another. This is normal for most families but self sufficiency is certainly contributing to a different pattern of activity. We all have different types of knowledge that we can share and that will help us to adapt to this pattern. Perhaps it will even help us with our organization, patience, and motivation in the future.
Over the course of the next few blogs I will address each one of these topics separately. I plan to begin with Organization, move on to Patience, self motivation, and finally knowledge. Please feel free to comment on anything you would like to see included.
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.