How to be content at home, Part five

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Are you still having bouts of panic, kids? I get it. I’m not having panic, but I did wake up the other night with some heart-pounding anxiety. My dream was something about hungry bears and tea parties gone wrong. Deep breathing does wonders at such a time.

Nobody can sustain panic without a break for calm. You will make your way to the calm break no matter what you do. Maybe watch a kitten rescue cam for a bit.

Yesterday, while I had Gramma on the phone, she spun into some very disastrous thinking. She has been ill since December and is the epitome of a virus vulnerable person. I could hear her voice rise as she vented about all her worries. After she talked for a while and I agreed that this is scary and that is scary, she calmed down and said she needed to hear some encouragement from me. I scoffed. “You taught me how to be brave, are you kidding me right now?”

That helped. She may be the epitome of vulnerable, but she is also the epitome of savvy survivor.

Every one of us is descended from people who survived so much worse than this. Our bodies have armies of microscopic defenders, and our reflexes keep us looking for safety in the midst of danger. Sure, some ancestors of ours might have been warriors, but more of them were really good at running and hiding from bears and tea parties gone wrong.

It’s fine to be afraid, but also know that you are perfectly capable of handling all of this. Have you ever been truly overwhelmed? Maybe there was a time you were tumbled in the sea. It sucked, but you got out of the tumbly sea and have no obligation to ever think of it again. Sorry I brought it up, but you can handle it because you did handle it.

Have you congratulated a prepper lately? I lived with a prepper for a little while, back when the preferred term was survivalist rather than prepper. We had food stores to last for years and enough ammunition to be an attractive target for people who were stocking a militia.

I worried about fires and explosions, but I never seriously worried about the end of civilization. Our full diesel fuel tank might have come in handy for that imaginary invading militia, but they wouldn’t have found any water. If I was seriously worried, I would have filled a tank with water instead of fuel, but I didn’t because I wasn’t.

Now, I must admit, back at the beginning of February, I started hunting for MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) online. They weren’t available for mail order: manufacturer after manufacturer was sold out. Likewise the collapsible water bottles favored by campers and moms with a case of nerves were sold out everywhere I looked.

Nobody I spoke to was worrying about stocking up, so I didn’t mention it. There was no reason to whip up interest in things we couldn’t get anyway. I hoped I was wrong to want emergency stores, and so far I have not felt even a faint wish for MREs. They are really last choice as meals go, unless you want to pretend to be an astronaut at lunch.

Have I wished that I was still living in a compound with all those barrels of freeze-dried victuals? Hell no! I am and will be forever grateful that I escaped to live like a mostly regular mom among the relatively sane folks of Maryland.

You are capable. You can do what you need to do. It’s even simpler when you start off believing in yourself. Mostly regular moms have always handled worse.


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