Wednesday, June 14, 2017

getting tired

note: DT of OK, thanks for the care package-awesome! 
note: SF of TX, sorry, the PO returned the CD.  I'm mailing it again today ( they didn't like the metal clasp on the envelop ).
Is it possible to get tired of prepping?  I’d like to thank the minion who gave me this idea, inadvertently, while commenting on their two decade journey out of the debt serf paradigm.  The comment left no doubt that one can get burned out, but I think ( without knowing any details ) that what one gets tired of is other people hashing on your buzz you get from prepping.  We’ll get to that, because I think the real answer is that it is impossible to burn out prepping.  Yes, if all you do is just stockpile crap and keep going back over your stockpile and running it through your fingers and furtively glance over your shoulder defensively and mutter “my pretty, oh my pretty!” then yes that crap can get as boring as a Matchbox car or stamp collection.  But if you prep as a lifestyle then, no, it doesn’t grow wearisome.  You know the saying, and I hope you live by it, that life is a journey and not a destination.  You should never reach an end, but always be exploring.  No one can ever be truly self-sufficient and so that journey should take up the rest of your life.


And why would you set a goal for yourself that could never be realized?  Because life is dull and painful and pointless enough, so at least you can try to salvage some of it.  Think about it. The first third of your life is as a child, and while it is great being a kid because you learn by playing, it is also little more than one endless classroom ( and, unfortunately, given modern realities, not a very focused or profitable classroom at that ) and almost nothing is under your control so you are either learning the wrong things after your so-called Basic Training or you are under no ability to focus on the things you do want to learn ( and, on top of that, being hidden from reality you don’t even know what you have as options ).  That portion of your life pretty much blows from the personal ambition standpoint.  Then, you need to start all over again learning, either through OJT or even more school, and while thankfully that doesn’t last all that long then you lose focus by needing to procreate.  By the time your spawn finish up soiling their diapers your life is nearly half over ( I’m assuming in light of our medical industry condition and obvious soon to be condition you don’t realistically expect to survive too much past 60 years old ).  It would be more depressing except that at that age you don’t have clue one you just wasted most of your life.


By the time you realize the gal you bumped uglies with to reproduce is a skeevy whore, she’s taken all your future earnings and left you.  NOW you’re finally waking up and realizing you have about twenty years left and you’d better stop dicking around and get your head out of your butt.  By this time things have definitely gotten interesting.  You must quickly learn to live on an extreme budget and you’ve started to feel the effects of youthful wastefulness, the health draining effects of stress and the need to get ready for old age.  You are prepping for your current economic collapse, prepping for the apocalypse and prepping for retirement and ill health.  Who has time to get bored?  But these are just the trigger effects.  They start you on your journey.  What you hopefully learn once embarked is that life takes on meaning when you have worthwhile goals.  A stack of crap in the basement isn’t why you prep.  You are doing so to get that wonderful feeling of being more independent, and feeling secure, and learning how to be more than a mere consumer.


Our society is concerned with consumption, and really no more than that.  We consume as children, going through disposable diapers as toddlers.  Consume the items we view in our morning cartoons.  Consume school supplies ( as we consume the propaganda de jour ) and on the weekends consume to be rewarded for consuming for school.  We continue to consume education until we are deemed adequately lettered so as to be in charge of our slice of consumerism ( what job does a lowly military grunt perform?  Consuming Mass Quantities.  We all work overseeing the consumption of oil, essentially ).  We consume mates to create more consuming units, wasting the maximum amount of consumables to keep ourselves and others in jobs.  It is all rather sad and dull.  Anything you can do to somewhat to a degree divorce yourself from the current paradigm is far more rewarding as a life goal.


So don’t focus merely on consumables for prepping.   Being less dependent on consumption is the direction you should predominantly follow.  That is something that should last you decades as a purposeful endeavor.  A life journey.  Just because you buy tools for prepping isn’t the important aspect, if those tools allow you to consume less and produce more.  Reloading ammo, for instance, is all about stocking consumables, but at least it is a step towards consuming less and being less dependent.  But how about following the next step?  Flintlock rifles and making your own black powder?  Not everyone’s cup of tea, but an example of always reaching further to consume less and less and being less dependent on the system that we consented to enslaving us for the benefits but which has now turned against us and will get worse.  Oil Age economics was about consumption, all you are doing is returning to the historical norm of household production and lack of trade.  And, yes, capitalism was all about trade, so think carefully about blindly following its religiously dogmatic dictates going forward.


“The Revolution Eats Its Young” referred to the communist revolutions which inevitably saw the early founder/rebels being killed in the power struggles consolidation phase.  But this also applies to the economic revolutions, the last one being the Petroleum Economy.  It is the same as “being thrown under the bus” but before long after buses fail to run it will lose its frame of reverence.  There will always be revolutions, however, and they will also destroy the status quo and the revolutionaries in the end.  Plus, it’s just the cooler quote.  In case you kind of just woke up from a long nap, the last economic crash was the end of the middle class.  The mass consumers were eaten by the bankers.  Not because they lost all the equity in their homes-that was just the indicator-but because they lost their jobs.  Without which it is a bit hard to consume.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  There aren’t masses of former workers in lines for soap.  It isn’t that kind of unemployment.  It’s the jobs and durations thereof that changed to eliminate the ability to consume.


The world changed a decade ago, and now your only task is to work for the bankers.  In classical fashion, they kept taking more and more until they needed more than there was ( interesting how all the doomer porn of yore focused on our federal government doing this rather than the banking class.  One could be forgiven thinking socialism is a propaganda weapon used against us ) available.  You are still consuming, after a fashion, but it is on the downside of the bell curve.  It is over.  So start living your life like it is.  THAT is the prepping allure.  Not just security of consumables but the security of moving away from the consumer society ( says the guy who asks you to pay him to consume his writing ).  And perhaps that is one of the reasons prepping is given such a hard time?  I’m probably reaching a bit here, but perhaps there is something about your consumption that pisses off other consumers? 


Most folks have a hard enough time getting enough resources to live that mythical middle class lifestyle they were promised.  They get resentful of others that can still do so, and doubly so if they have EXTRA left over.  What is prepping but leftover resources?  They can barely make rent while you have enough left over to buy guns and ammo.  Now, we all know you don’t have extra, and might even have less, but the PERCEPTION is what matters here and your family who knows about your preps is under the perception that you must have extra if you can prep.  They don’t see you giving up cable channels or eating out or going out to the movies.  They are complete consumers so they just assume you consume just like them, that no rational person lives otherwise except to consume on a whim.  Hell, I run into this all the time.  My folks making 500% more than I, when I still had a real job, aghast and dismayed at how I refused to consume all of life’s normal items.  Like health insurance and cars, extra heat.  Consuming was so normal to them, they couldn’t see alternatives.  And on top of that, they always assumed I had the disposable income since I never consumed.


The NOL’s family is similar.  She doesn’t consume, so she must have extra for all of their needs.  She has rental income coming in so she must be rich ( not thinking of the decades of work that it took to transform fixer-uppers to apartments, nor factoring in the everyday cost equation.  Hell, property tax alone on one $700 a month apartment is about $100.  The amortized cost of the central heating unit being replaced about  matches that, and those are just two expenses out of many ).  I can live on $200 a month so any extra is just gravy, right?  Of course, every extra amount is squirreled away for future income reduction, but somehow in a consumer society savings is not recognized.  You can consume credit, but God forbid you save.  I wonder if that is why you only get a free checking account when you have $1500 daily balance-how many folks have that?  1 in 100?  Not that they don’t make even more from your savings compared to the monthly fee, of course.


From roughly 1978 when I was introduced to survivalism, to 1988, I merely read up on the subject.  88 to 98 I went whole hog into prepping stockpiles.  ‘98 to ‘08 I invested in the tools I needed to go off grid.  ‘08 to ‘15 I lived off grid and learned how to live on even less money than I had been after the divorce and taxes took 75% of my income.  ‘15 to ‘17 I saved money and today I’m working for myself and spending almost nothing, consuming food and that is about it.  I’ve never gotten tired of prepping because it has always improved my life.  Because I was always consuming far more knowledge than consumables.  I was consuming the tools to consume less.  Now I’m back into my ‘78-’88 phase of research only.  But I’m still not bored.  I’ve slowed my pace, and have finally after almost thirty years learned to relax, stop, and smell the roses.  But you can’t get bored if you are always learning, even if most of your life goals have been achieved.  And if research gets boring, I just go to something hands-on. 


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  1. I'm just guessing, cause I have no way of knowing directly other than observing others at a distance, but preppring in urbania of suburbania must be difficult because of the access to everything all the time.

    What do I mean by that?

    Well, for us, moving to the sticks, far removed from most civilization, prepping to one degree or another cannot be avoided. We learned things along the way.

    It's an hour drive to anything, so with gas prices fluctuating and all the stuff that goes with owning vehicles we keep our trips sparse. We have lists that are constantly maintained and we buy a lot of things to hold us til the next trip. We have almost a years worth of everything and two years worth of somethings, and we keep adding to the supply, rotating and using as we go.

    Our lifestyle made a big change right from the beginning out of necessity and continues to evolve as we learn new things and try different things.

    People are reluctant to change unless they have to so people with access to everything instantly are only going to prep on the ephemeral things, stuff that is fun. Why would anyone go through the time, trouble and expense to have a years worth of food on hand when there are 8 grocery stores within 15 minutes of them? Same with medical stuff, medical facilities are everywhere in civilization.

    The best way to lose weight is to not buy the stuff that adds weight and the best way to prep is put yourself in a position where you have no choice. Hardly anyone is willing to do either one of those things. So civilization will continue to be populated by grossly obese blobs with a weeks worth of Little Debbie's snack cakes and a 96 pack of fructose laden sugar waters on hand, waiting for the culling that is imminent.

    1. Damn good point. I might steal that one. You only prep when you have to, not when you know you'll need to.

    2. That really is a good point. We had food storage before we moved out here. (We lived in a mid sized town.) But living out in the boonies almost an hour from town, we really are stocked up.

      Idaho Homesteader

  2. Actually that whole survivalism thing is a state of mind. Some of it is rationalizing for stuff you would have bought anyway or things you wanted to do.

    If I really wanted to survive the upcoming five years then each week I would buy double as much stuff as I would normally, for five years. Nobody does that.

    As a survivalist, I do stockpile the occasional cans on sale and other such stuff. The behaviour is not the same and the result is not the same.

    I kinda keeps you on your toes but you get complacent here too. If you preparing for the apocalypse next week the stress would make you crazy.

    Perhaps in the end it's all about maintaining sanity, about all else, because man lacks fur and claws, his only advantage over nature and other men is his brain.