Putting it plainly, we take advice best from people/experiences we relate to.
We like to blame teenagers for being the biggest example of this, but we are all guilty of it. Teens don’t love taking advice from their old, out-of-touch parents. They will however, take advice from their peers quite readily, or those who they’ve decided they can relate to. “Mom just doesn’t get it, but so and so does.” Mom could have the exact same advice as so and so, but it just doesn’t hit home when the listener feels like they can’t relate to the advice giver.
I’m pretty guilty of this. ‘Sure my neighbor is really good at such-and-such because she’s got this going for her that I don’t.’ ‘She’s got it together, but she’s a stay at home mom, I work….’ Excuses, excuses. And it gets worse. I’ve done it to myself so badly that I have a confession to make:
I HAVE BEEN A MOM FOR 10 YEARS AND I HAVEN’T PREPARED MY FAMILY FOR THE FUTURE.
I chalk it up to several reasons. Tons of moving, business start ups/self-employed, affording a growing family…. etc. etc. More excuses, I know.
Every dang time I felt called to repentance, I’d promise myself “I’m going to get my family prepared, for real this time.” So I’d log on to the computer and start searching. Several hours later, several pages ripped out of my notebook full of lists, and I’m E.X.A.U.S.T.E.D. I walk away feeling a myriad of emotions: 1. Guilt that I’ve been so lazy and irresponsible to not have already been working on this. 2. OVERLOADED. My therapy friends call this “Flooded.” That’s exactly how I feel. I go to bed and can’t sleep. I’m now thinking of all of the things I have to do RIGHT NOW and how much money it will take that I needed to come up with YESTERDAY and how in the world I am going to fit all of this insane amount of work, time and energy to do this when I can hardly get dinner on the table, let alone take a shower. My mind races. If you’re a mom who cares about what it takes to be a mom, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. (And this is usually when our sleepy husbands roll over and say “Why aren’t you asleep? What’s wrong?” and we have to bite our tongues until they bleed to stop the outpouring of things racing through our brains from escaping our lips. “Now is not the time to lay it all out on my half-dead husband”, we tell ourselves. #amIright?!)
I’ve gone to meetings, classes, seminars, workshops, read books, and surfed the web all in an effort to GET PREPARED. But what ends up happening? I GET OVERWHELMED. I justify away my lack of follow-through with something like “I’m lost. These ladies are WAYYYYYYYY into all this and I’m wayyyyyyy not. I’d love to get prepared, but I don’t want to turn into that crazy person who forgets that the present is still a gift we need to open instead of always spending our days prepping for the future.” Not to mention, I literally get lost. Have you experienced that? It’s as if these preppers are speaking a different language and they either have forgotten what it’s like to be a novice, or they just assume everybody already knows this stuff, so they go full in to prepper talk and leave the rest of us who don’t speak the language in the dust.
I can’t be alone feeling this way. Prepper things- books, classes, websites, etc. don’t seem to be geared to help people like me get inspired to join their ranks. I leave feeling like I’ll never have enough time, money, or motivation to be where they are. In summary, I just can’t relate to these people so I don’t apply their excellent advice.
That’s where I come in.
I realized that it would be much more beneficial for me to follow a person who I can relate to, doing what I’m trying to do. I realized, I could be that person.
This realization didn’t come easily or well accepted, and certainly not anticipated. It started here: I found myself on a thursday evening sitting in a city counsel room, for the first 3 hour class, of a 6 week course. HOW DID I GET HERE? WHY AM I HERE? WHAT ARE WE EVEN DOING? It was a CERT class provided for free by my hometown city. If you’re way beyond where I was, you already know what this is. But I didn’t. I saw a flyer on our neighborhood FB page talking about things like “Learn what to do in the event of all kinds of natural and manmade disasters. Learn how to help your family and yourself. It’s free, come join us.” Address, date, and time. So I went. Ha. I had no clue what this program was. Ok fellow prepping greenies- CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. It’s a nationwide program, divided down to states and then to individual cities to carry out, where local residents are trained in the basics of emergency preparedness and organization skills to come together as a team to help ourselves and our neighbors– our communities, have semblance of order accessing and caring for our greatest needs while we all wait for however many hours or days until help arrives. It’s a really brilliant program and so comforting to know it’s there (I didn’t) for times of need. ANYWAY, I found myself at the start of this course, not knowing AT ALL what this even was, (quickly noticing I was likely the youngest person in the room), staring at a 3inch binder filled with a gigantic packet, and the instructor starts with a question: “What’s your name and why did you want to get involved in joining this team?” AGH! Panic! Team? Huh? Crap, what am I going to say that’s not going to make me look like the little girl in this room pretending to play grown up? I’m not sure what I mumbled. After introductions, she continues. “I want you to know that you are each here for a reason. I believe that each of you has things you can offer to strengthen our community. I thank you for making the time to be here. We cannot run these programs without your willingness and sacrifice. Knowledge is power, and is KEY to surviving any disaster ahead. It would be my dream to have every resident CERT certified.” Ok, full disclosure, I laughed in my head. She’ll NEVER get anywhere even close to that dream, has she seen the size of this packet or thought for a minute how many residents are young mothers like me?, I thought. After I laughed at her lofty, unrealistic dream, the ideas started coming. I began to think maybe I was there for a reason, maybe there was something I could do to help her spread this knowledge to others and in turn, help strengthen my community. Now of course, I still had no clue what this course even was, but I knew even then, that there had to be a way I could translate these weeks and hours and hundreds of pages of information into a simplified, condensed, easy to swallow pill that I could share on my blog or to groups of people to pass on the best of what we learned to help empower them to handle emergencies better for themselves and their neighbors. **I will be doing that during this project, so look for my future blogs/vlogs on the crowning jewels from CERT education.
Back to the point. I started having too many moments of realizing that it was time, like for real, to get with the [preparedness] picture. Knowing me, I know that I have lots of good ideas and good intentions, but even more half-done projects. I always need others with me to stay motived.
I decided that my ideal resource was waiting for me to create.
So here I am. A preparedness novice with a great big goal to get my family prepared on my extremely limited budget during my busy, working mom life, and take you along with me if you feel like you can relate to my frustrations of getting prepared.
Without further adieu, I introduce to you:
Look for this fancy logo designed by my friend, the talented Matt Beynon, as your sign to join in the preparedness project.
Ok, I’ll stop you right there. I know what some of you are thinking right now. “Why would I follow this random lady’s blog posts on getting prepared when she’s not the expert by any means?” Here’s the answer:
MY GOAL IS TO REPRESENT YOU.
These posts won’t be for everybody. My own sweet sister won’t likely be following this project because she enjoys hours of research, weighing pros and cons, testing options, etc. I don’t. I want somebody like me, in my similar situation, to do it for me- figure it all out and give me the simplified break down of what I need to do, step by step, what I need to buy (remember, based on a budget I can relate to), and how to learn about all of this stuff in ways I can actually understand and apply in my life. If you are like me, you’ll appreciate this project, I can guarantee it.
I wrote a list of what gets in the way of getting prepared. Whether you’re religious or not, being prepared for the future is not only a good idea, it’s essential to our roles as adults/parents/citizens. Who are we to play Russian roulette? Irresponsible, that’s who.
We know it’s important to get prepared. We don’t mostly because of these main 4 reasons:
1. OVERWHELMED: (I assume one of the biggest hurdles) Too much info, too much pressure to find the right things, too many things to buy, too many different catastrophes/disasters with too many different rules for each: Earthquakes, EMPs (Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, I didn’t), Terrorist strike, Fires, Floods, Tornados/hurricanes, etc. Overwhelmed yet?
2. MONEY: Getting prepared is expensive! Why? Because life is expensive! Now you are supposed to afford the day-t0-day at the same time you are stocking up for future days. Also, it’s seemingly endless. Theres always something else you “need” and something better than what was there before.
3. TIME: It takes tons of effort to do the research on what you need, evaluate your needs, comparison between products, etc. You can spend a whole day trying to decide WHICH water filter to purchase. Do you pick based on price? Do you pick based on quality? Do you pick on best reviewed for customer satisfaction? If you’re like me, you will want to pick on all 3, but you’ll quickly find out that its difficult to satisfy all qualifiers. See? Time, time, time to research and evaluate. Then time, time, time to go gather it all (over the millions of trips because you can’t afford to buy it all at once), then time organize a system of rotation/tracking of inventory/expirations, time to learn how to actually use what you bought and stored…. Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Who’s got this kind of time these days????
4. NAIVETY: The ridiculous belief that bad/hard things won’t happen to us. Self-righteousness can also play a role- the notion that because of faith and commitment to service, we will be protected and provided for. Reliance on others is also a form of naivety. Do you really want to risk one of your children dying because you either couldn’t access your mother-in-law’s storage, or she ran out when she was plumaged, or hers was destroyed in whatever disaster…? Do you think you’ll be pleased with yourself when you answer your starving child’s pleadings with “Sorry hun, I wish I could care for you, but grandma’s storage is gone.” L.A.M.E. And guess what, that was me. “My mom and mother in law have tons of storage and they live close by here.” Cool? NO. What are YOU doing to prepare YOUR family? If you can’t answer in a way that doesn’t induce guilt and excuses, then you need to be here joining this project as badly as I do.
MY HOPE IS THAT THROUGH THIS PROJECT, I CAN BE YOU. I HOPE TO ELIMINATE OR LIGHTEN THE BURDEN OF AT LEAST SOME OF THESE HURDLES TO GETTING PREPARED.
I was extremely humbled and empowered by this quote, so it is my mission statement for this project:
“START BY DOING WHAT IS NECESSARY. DO WHAT IS POSSIBLE, THEN SUDDENLY YOU’LL BE DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE.”