Apocalyptic Homesteading (Day 428)
Apocalyptic Homesteading Day 428!
Chilly weather, Too much thinking, A writing milestone, Getting cagier & Food production daydreams!
I am unsure of the exact time that I woke up this morning but it was not all that long after the sun had come up over the horizon. Somehow I managed to squeeze in a nap late yesterday afternoon and then fall asleep rather early last night so that was nice. If I could just get back into doing that every day I would be stoked. Anyway, since the weather was bitter cold and windy I was once again cooped up all day.
Between the sleep cycle, the food scenario, the financial scenario and the overall stress I have had a heck of a time trying to maintain my morale and hold onto a good attitude. Knowing that a lot of other folks are going through the same kind of thing does not help because I spend way too much time trying to bend my intellect (or what passes for one) towards assessing the problems and finding solutions. All of which just amounts to further compounding the stress and unfortunately it also perpetuates the cycle that I find myself in.
A big part of all that jazz has to do with not getting outdoors enough and thus not working on stuff. Like I have said before though, doing a bunch of physically demanding stuff on a low calorie and often non-nutritious diet is a different kind of recipe for disaster. It also requires a bit more willpower than I am able to muster of late given my low morale. Thankfully I have avoided getting depressed but at this point I think that 'depression' would be a self-indulgent luxury used only to escape dealing with life as it actually is and failing to do my best to overcome the challenges instead of succumbing to the pressure of them.
When it comes right down to it, its been a rough winter mentally and the weather going to crap just as I was beginning to break out of my little rut has tossed me a bit of a setback. If I was slightly more masochistic I would undoubtedly be out in the weather working anyway but I know that punishing myself like that would just make things worse no matter how productive I was along the way. I keep telling myself to just hang in there and although I am not making progress... just do not under any circumstances slide further backwards. All of which is 'easier said than done' but that is the best that I can come up with.
Well, that kind of sucked to spell out but per usual I just let the words come to mind and clack away on the keyboard as fast as I can which is pretty slow and downright tedious. You would think that after all the typing that I have done I would get super fast at it but whoa even after the last several years (which has involved lots of typing) I have only noticed the tiniest increase in speed. For whatever reason its always a frigging painstaking process.
There has been several times now that I have wanted to ditch the whole endeavor and go back to writing in longhand or cursive on paper just because of the speed factor. It is not that I want to 'hurry up' and get it done... its that the thoughts come a heck of a lot faster than what I can type them out at but with actual pen and paper I can almost keep up! The only downside to that though is that there is very little chance that I will then type it out later let alone share whatever has been written.
Writing is a horrible vice to start with but I feel pretty good about it as long as I do something with it. In that regard the whole 'sharing my life' experiment has yielded a lot of positive results as far as my sense of mental well-being goes. It also shifts the content of what is written in a different direction (than if I was just writing for myself) but that is not a topic I want to get into at the moment.
Anyway, I never mentioned it but three days ago was my fourth consecutive year of sharing my life and ever since then I keep thinking about how its not much of a milestone and asking myself what the heck kind of mental corner have I painted myself into with sharing stuff with others. Honestly I am a heck of a lot more cagey than I once was and although that is not necessarily a bad thing I have to acknowledge how that is influencing my thinking. The caginess has assuredly gotten worse since things have begun to unravel in this country but that has a lot more to do with operations security than with anything else.
In other words there is just no avoiding the 'caginess' and I have been rolling with it the best that I can without it turning into some kind of extreme paranoia. Sure being a little paranoid helps to remain alert to the immediate environment and to be aware of hazardous or dangerous potentialities in general but it has its beneficial limits. Basically, I have been doing my best to stay within said limits. Mainly what concerns me of late is the desperation and uncertainty folks are already facing could get a whole lot worse and since there are already all the signs (which historically occur) as a civilization fails... its just hard to ignore it all and disregard my paranoia entirely.
I damn sure do not romanticize the horrific times we are in nor those that might come and watching all these folks arming themselves and stockpiling stuff and generally behaving like something they saw in a movie or television show is about to happen... makes me wonder what kind of future they think is coming let alone what kind of future they want to create. They are not planning on things like cholera outbreaks, massive explosions in rodent populations due to trash not being disposed of properly, limited medical facilities let alone people to operate them and a ton of other things that are more or less the fallout of a functioning society slipping into dysfunction. Its all kind of indicative to the flawed way of thinking that is all too commonplace where ignorance is praised and dishonesty is rewarded and I keep telling myself that I dare not lose sight of that if I want to make it through it all.
In short, folks are going to get squirrely and the only thing that I can do is to try to insulate my life from it to the best of my abilities. Not being one of the folks foolish enough to think that I can 'live off the land' and feed myself, four dogs and four chickens... I tend to approach the problem more pragmatically. Which means I look at bolstering the wildlife, planting as much food stuff as I can, making sure the existing food producing trees and plants get what they need and familiarizing myself with what is growing during what time of year.
Aside from all that (which still at maximum return would not be enough) I try to envision things that I could do to produce food that I do not do now like utilizing a greenhouse or getting more chickens. Since food production (in one form or another) would be a full time job I try to do some mental exercises along the lines of how would I deal with pests, where would the water come from and probably most importantly where would I store the food given that I actually produce enough of it. Thinking all that stuff through makes it no less daunting but it does help me with weighing whether it is feasible (or not) and gauging what it would require of me to make it happen. Given the significance of food for survival just doing the thought experiments sure helps me not feel overly anxious about it all.
Alright, I have meandered all over the place with this entry and am just going to wind it down by saying that if you find yourself overwhelmed by everything going on in the world... just take a step back, look around yourself and ask that age old question: Is everything fine? If it is you are doing good and if it is not then all you (or any of us) can do is our best to somehow make it better. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.