Control

We all do things that help us feel in control of our lives. Some are tiny habits we may not even be aware of. One of the ways I feel in control is having plans in place. When I was little, these plans consisted of ways I would keep my younger siblings safe. I’ve mentioned this before in other blog posts.

When I was nine years old I had a plan in place to protect the siblings from the birds, for example. I would cram us into this tiny half-bathroom we had because there were no windows. I could put rolled up towels at the base of the door so nothing could come underneath. We’d have a toilet and water from the sink. We’d be safe.

Nine years old.

I had plans for what I would do when volcanoes erupted in my back yard, when dinosaurs came up over the horizon, when the atom bomb fell, and if a day came when mom and dad never came home.

These days my plans are a little more realistic. I’ve finally reached the age where I’m pretty sure dinosaurs aren’t going to come back and eat us.

This need to have plans in place slides over into a need to have a full pantry, like I’ve also mentioned here before. I need to feel stocked up.

Social media over the past few years has become difficult for me. It seems like there is so much hatred out there, and like people have been given a free pass to say whatever they want behind the computer screen.

To save my sanity, I started filling my social media with posts from groups I joined. I am a member now in groups about birds and rocks and foraging and canning and earthquakes and crocheting and…you get the idea.

I joined a group about stocking up and that one has turned out to be a mistake.

First, there’s a fine line between being prepared and being paranoid. Between being stocked up and being a hoarder.

Second, there’s a moral debate between how much one stocks up. Do you plan on feeding just your family, or do you hope to be able to help your community?

Third, there is a level of paranoia (unless you’re a serious pepper and then it’s not paranoia at all). Some people post photos of their lovely pantries and others will jump on them for using their real name, showing everyone what they have, and even listing the areas they live, saying that they make themselves targets for when the shit hits the fan.

And fourth, I realized this group starts me spiraling out of control. I see what others are doing to be prepared and that low-level panic deep inside begins to stir.

Flour! Oh my god, I only have one bag. These people are buying cans of grain to make their own flower, or growing grains, because when it gets bad, how will you bake bread when your single bag of flour runs out? I NEED cans of grains!

Medical supplies, five-gallon buckets of dehydrated meals, how to dig out a root cellar to keep things cold when there’s no refrigeration, salt and alcohol to barter with…

All these posts make me feel woefully unprepared, at risk, scared, and worried.

Here’s the thing. In reality, we’re fine. My brain knows that. We’re fine.

But that little child afraid of dinosaurs is down there frantic because there is no plan.

So what is my plan?

I’m quitting that stocking up group.

I’ve learned it’s not a match for me because instead of giving me great ideas, it’s giving me nightmares.

I’m going to qualify that statement though. One of the siblings I protected from erupting volcanoes is also in the same group. I told her she has to be my spy. I want her to pass on to me the good ideas. That way I can still benefit from the group without having nightmares.

Otherwise my poor husband is going to have to start digging out that root cellar.

10 thoughts on “Control

  1. I agree with you on the “being prepared” group; I think the survivalists go waaay too far with being prepared, and home invasion paranoia if ever a catastrophe strikes. End of world rhetoric is contagious and dangerous. There are some social media sites that I think should not exist….Just my opinion, of course. I enjoy your pragmatic, thoughtful blog.

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    • ‘Contagious and dangerous’ – so very true. Obviously I believe in being prepared but within reason and common sense. Or so I like to tell myself, until that rhetoric starts eating away at my underlying fears. I have to remind myself to keep healthy boundaries, and build walls against those fears as needed when the contagious words start eating at their foundations. As a P.S., my husband read the blog and said our water table is too high for underground root cellars so I guess he’s off the hook for digging.

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  2. LOL, yeah social media is getting really bad, more and more. I also recently joined a group, that I left pretty quickly because it was mainly just bashing other people and worst case scenarios. But I guess its as with the news, good news dont sell… 😦
    Also, there is a lot of that end of the world being prepared for the apocalypse kind of people in America 😉 But then, maybe Europe has way less hurricanes and earthquakes and fires… and more social safety nets 😉

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    • That’s a very interesting point you bring up. It would be fascinating to see international customs for being prepared, not just for natural disasters but others as well. We should talk more! What would you do for power outages? Okay, maybe I need to interview you for a follow-up blog post…

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  3. Funny how when I grow tired of social media, and it’s quite often, that I fall off completely and just happily live my life. Then, it’s like I remember oh yeah I have a business and I have to have a presence so it’s back to it, begrudgingly. I’ve noticed that I really don’t miss it at all. Too bad blogging isn’t as popular as it used to be, I do like it much better. Again though, I forget to post… happily unaware of the time that’s passed. I don’t blame you for getting out of that group, anything that’s supposed to be enjoyable but brings nightmares is no fun. Oh and the nasty comments, ugh. Trolls. It’s like the same thing that happens when people are behind the wheel and there’s road rage, they view themselves and the other driver as the vehicle and not a vulnerable breakable human.

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    • I have my first book event tomorrow – after more than a year. I am so looking forward to being out there with friends but at the same time there’s a sense of uncomfortable, hesitation, nervousness. Caution, most likely. As my husband said, he’s not sure he’s ready for the world to go back to ‘normal’.

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      • I hope your book event went well! I was just listening to a podcast talking about the world opening up and being excited but realizing that I’m totally not prepared to deal with people again! Lol

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  4. So, do you mean serious preppers when you wrote peppers?? I do like the term “hey you! you are a serious pepper” lol also my husband is into that. I am not. Though I understand a person should be prepared. But I do not feel like we should fear the world is ending, at any moment. I do not even like listening to the news. Oi. It is too much for my unprepared, sensitive, soul.

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    • Oh my god, I SO love typos! Seriously. They almost always make me laugh. I saw that after posting and thought about pulling the post to edit it but then decided to see who might notice it. And hopefully find it as funny as I did. So congratulations on a great eye! I understand the need to step away from news, etc. to protect our souls. It’s wise of you to recognize that.

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