March 12, 2014

Fun: It’s Not the F-Word

The state of the world is dire.  Our economy is collapsing, the government urinates all over the Constitution, and the United Nations is using Agenda 21 to advance their goal of taking over every natural resource on the planet, including personal property.

Given the situation, the outlook is grim.

But still, I sit down with my family every day and do something fun. Sometimes we watch a free movie on Amazon Prime. Sometimes we play boardgames. (I smoke my kids at Scrabble – booyah!) Sometimes we read aloud. We hike, we go to museums, we go out to dinner, and we go on all-day-long road trips.

Does this mean that I need to give up my “prepper card”?  Does it mean that my commitment to preparedness is any less diligent than those who grimly ignore all things related to popular culture?

I believe that there are different routes to the same destination.

Prepping can be an exercise of optimism

The route I choose is the road of optimism.  Smiling, laughing, playing, using my imagination – all of those things keep me happy and focused.  We all have to make our own choices about how we live our lives, and I don’t want to look back and wish that I had spent more time living and less time just plodding along, waiting for a disaster. Every person needs time to “switch off” and there are many different ways to do that.

To be entertained and to take a break in a long day of hard work can mean the difference between proceeding to the next day with optimism and enthusiasm, and dragging yourself out of bed to trudge forth through another day filled with duty, hard work, and focus, until you go to sleep, then get up to do it all again.  While this may work for some people, it doesn’t work for many others.

My goals for survival are not limited to just continuing to breathe air, scavenge for food, and figure out the enemy’s next move.  I want to have the perspective to still find joy in that first crocus poking its head through the snow or to wonder how the sunsets over the mountains can be progressively more vibrant every single day.  I want to watch the baby lambs hop around on their spindly wobbly legs and coo at the sweetness of it. I want to laugh when I watch chickens run because that is the funniest thing you can ever see on a farm – it cracks me up every single time, the way they pull their legs up and put their necks into it.

To be able to have that perspective, I need to take a break from the seriousness I involve myself in all day, every day. To approach problems anew, sometimes I need to let them go and throw myself into something else for a while. I, like many people cannot thrive in a constant state of high alert.

I want to sit down at night with my family and just relax.  I don’t want to spend every moment thinking about the possibility of China invading or launching an EMP strike over Kansas. I don’t want to be constantly thinking about what I’ll do if my homestead gets SWAT-teamed over the organic compost pile. I don’t spend all of my spare moments planning a nuke-proof bunker or drawing up designs for an ark to launch into the sea if a pole shift occurs.

Of course, this being said, it’s hard to shut off that mentality. We’re not passively laying there in a Beta state, dazedly absorbing commercials. We’re generally doing other things while watching the show, like sewing, doodling, or doing a craft. We pick movies apart and analyze them.  We’ve found this to be an interesting and entertaining way to use our critical thinking skills, and I’m always impressed at what a good tool this can be when my kids come up with an angle that had never even occurred to me.

I recently wrote an article about some survival “what not to do” tips that I compiled during the last season of The Walking Dead. Not only were there some comments that seemed a little over-the-top-critical on the article itself, but I also received some angry emails from readers who were unhappy with my topic.  They seemed to feel that my “admission” that I watch a popular show somehow discredited all of the other information provided on this website.  They were offended by this one article that compared some pop culture to survival situations, despite the fact that they were not compelled to comment on the more than 400 other articles on the website that have no mention of television programs. Somehow, my mention of watching a specific show (one that is fairly popular with some of the preparedness set) seemed to summon up images that I sit here typing out articles while watching the Oprah channel and eating Cheetos.

What I like to do for fun

Well, here’s my response. I’m not always 100% serious. I do other things besides working in the garden, writing articles, and canning food. Sometimes I do stuff for absolutely no other reason more compelling than “because it’s fun.”

I, Daisy Luther, do solemnly confess the following:

  • I watch not only The Walking Dead, but also Game of Thrones.
  • In fact, I watch an hour of entertainment several nights a week.
  • I also read fiction, and my favorite authors are Dean Koontz, George R. R. Martin, and Stephen King.
  • One of my favorite “gun” guys watches NASCAR.
  • The most intense survivalist I know is a major gamer. Oh, and he also watches The Walking Dead. And to put the icing on the cake, we often discuss it over coffee the next day.
  • One of my daughters makes money as an artist. Yep, she draws pictures.
  • An amazing preparedness writer I know builds remote-controlled toy airplanes.
  • Both of my children are bookworms and read for several hours a day, just for fun.
  • I’ve been known to get together with a girlfriend and pursue frivolous activities like scrapbooking or jewelry making.
  • Another preparedness writer friend is a gourmet cook who can make anything from a pot of beans to fancy French food I can’t even pronounce.
  • I like doing crossword puzzles.
  • An intense alternative journalist I know makes the most stunning and intricate mosaics I’ve ever seen.
  • Sometimes, I eat cheeseburgers. From a restaurant.
  • I don’t just plant vegetables. Sometimes I plant flowers that are strictly ornamental. I do this for no other reasons more serious than (1) because I like the smell and (2) because they’re pretty.
  • We occasionally go see a movie at the theater. (But not often, because I’m cheap.)

Does any of this mean that we aren’t serious about preparedness? No. It means that we value having a little bit of balance in our lives. I strongly believe that if your hobby doesn’t negatively impact your budget or use up hours that should be spent preparing, that a little bit of downtime is beneficial. It can help you to maintain your motivation through the long haul and in no way does it take away from what you’ve accomplished during your working hours. I don’t personally like NASCAR, spectator sports, or video games, but I don’t judge people who do. It’s simply a matter of having your priorities in order.

“Fun” isn’t the “f-word”.

What about the rest of you? Do you have any guilty secrets? Any of your own confessions about how you spend your spare time? Do you feel that these moments out of your day help or hinder your commitment to preparedness? And for those of you who take the opposite view, please share your reasons too.

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats.   She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.  Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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