A Novel Post

This post needs no introduction. If you’re not aware of what is going on in our world then you’re either practicing the gold standard of social distancing, you’ve been living under a rock or you’re in complete denial. All are acceptable at this point. In all seriousness, I’m writing this knowing full well that all of you are experiencing your own emotions, difficulties and setbacks. If you’re like me, you’ve found comfort in memes, (specifically, andy beshear memes for social distancing teens, not the corona w/ lyme or toilet paper ones). You also may be out of work or working from home, homeschooling kids, rationing your food supply and any number of things that have you thinking that homesteaders and survivalists may have been onto something with their “prepping”.

And you’re not wrong.

If you’re not a self-proclaimed prepper, survivalist, homesteader, conspiracy theorist or any other number of titles that fall into this category, NEVER FEAR! Neither am I, apparently.

I thought I was prepared for the kids being at home, for making meals out of nothing, for teaching in new and creative ways. I thought we had sufficient preps in place for having a life sustaining garden, for surviving a shut down, for any number of challenges that have been brought our way and the many more that are yet to come. I was sorely mistaken.

What I have found is that I am painfully out of touch with my kids studies. I know how to do and make lots of essential things in theory. I know next to nothing about history, geography and math. I’m not great at disciplining myself when it comes to staying off the internet and reading a book instead. I don’t have an alternative power source, I don’t have any viable livestock and I don’t have a stockpile of food, medicine, water, etc.

So, where am I going with all this?

While I’d love to give you a neat little bullet point list of tips of the trade, I’ve pretty much destroyed all credibility when it comes to me being an expert. What I’d like to offer instead is hope. I hope that, like me, you’ll take a hard look at where your weaknesses are and take this time to right them. Before the world came to a pause for this invisible assailant, we were all bumbling along in our own ways; complacent and divided, listening to talking heads, trying to find an escape, lusting after the latest thing-a-ma-bob that might make our existence seem a little easier or even more purposeful.

We ALL have an opportunity right now to ground ourselves again through a series of simple questions:

What did you panic buy?

Frozen and non-perishable food. Not crazy amounts but definitely another 2 weeks worth for our family of 5.

What do you wish you had bought instead?

Nothing. I bought so I could quarantine at home as long as possible to protect Granny. I wish I had saved my money and allowed us to deplete more of our stores before buying more. We have plenty of food, just not the comfort foods and snacks we always want. And that’s a good thing. Learning to sustain ourselves without convenient options all the time is an important lesson in homesteading. If anything, I would’ve used that saved money now and bought the things I needed to do some much needed ‘round the house repairs, acrylic paint for the kids and another bag of dog food.

What are you finding a renewed gratitude for?

That my kids have a voracious appetite for nature and trivia. They love board games, they love being outside all day long, rain or shine, and they love competition.

Also, the fact that I made a choice a few years ago to never go back to a 9-5, I stuck by my Granny and I only took jobs out of necessity and enjoyment to supplement my family. That intentional decision landed me in a job at our local gym with my best friend as my boss and, while we’re mandated to be closed presently, I know I’ll have a job to go back to.

Where do you have control?

In a time when so many people are afraid to go to work and afraid not to go to work, I get to stay home and not disappoint Andy. I also have control over the information that comes into my environment. Watching constant news is not good for my mental health but going outside and playing with my kids is (for the most part). I get to choose how I treat myself. I can control what and how much I eat, how much I move, read, love and care for myself.

Where are you woefully ignorant?

4th grade math and American history. In a week, I’ve learned how to screen share, use Google classroom, cast videos to TV, make bread without yeast, but 4th grade math and American history are sadly my downfall.

What have your friends and/ or family taught you?

Kindness, communication and community. I realized what a strong support system I have and that many of my friends are in fact not put off when I ask for help. I realized that it’s so important to talk to people on the phone or through video rather than text. I’ve watched my community rally around small business owners. It’s really been a beautiful thing to watch despite this global pandemic.

What can you do to help?

We’ve all heard the suggestions on TV: donate extra masks or PPE, don’t buy more than you need, stay home, practice social distancing. One that I have clung to is mask making. I have a ton of material and a sewing machine. I’d like to keep my sewing skills sharp while helping the essential employees in this crisis – health care workers.

What other questions would you ask me or yourself?

I’d love to hear from you! I hope you’ll respond in the comments and we can all open up a dialogue that is a positive and hopeful. <3

Peace, Love and Cheesecake!!!

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