You know what a curve ball is, right? In baseball, the term curveball is used to describe a pitch of the ball that is thrown with spin so that its path curves as it approaches the batter. In other words, it is a ball that is unexpected and when it arrives, it takes you by surprise.
Alas, in life, curve balls come out of nowhere all of the time. Something unexpected happens that throws you off your game. In the survival and prepping world, this could be a flood, a storm, a power outage or something more esoteric such as the loss of one’s job, ill health, or even financial collapse. When this happens, we suffer fear, disappointment, vulnerability, and a loss of control. In general, life sucks.
So what can you do? I know that I am the first to always remind you to go with the flow, to buck up and to move forward. I am always coaching you to not let the woes of life and the world render you incapable of action. On the other hand, when sucky things happen, the aftermath can be devastating to morale and to physical well being.
Couple the stress of prepping with life’s daily set backs, and you have a recipe for a train wreck. Or do you?
Sucky Things Happen
I first wrote about life’s little (and not so little) curve balls in 2012. At the time, over a two week period I had been slammed with a number of calamities and, to be honest, it sucked.
- I zoomed out of the house for an overnight trip and left the freezer door open. Not even a whole house generator can remedy that. An entire freezer full of food gone.
- I had to have my second root canal in less than two months. No insurance for that, just a major hit to the bank account.
- A young family member of a dear friend suffered a medical calamity with recovery long and arduous at best.
- My kitchen faucet literally fell apart and I had no kitchen water for a week while waiting for a plumber and parts. (Good thing my Berkey was on hand for drinking water.)
More recently, the curve balls have had to do with eye surgery (one eye good, the other less so), and the stress of selling my home then having the buyers back out.
Now don’t get me wrong. I list these not to start a pity party but only to point out that in the normal course of living life, curve balls can and do happen. They happen all of the time for better or for worse. They happen under very ordinary circumstances to very ordinary people.
Seven Ways to Recover from Life’s Little Curve Balls
1. Call a friend. Have a nice little chat – not about your woes and certainly not a pity party. Instead, talk about the movies, your favorite foods, gossip, anything. Enjoy your friendship and take a break from whatever it is that troubles you.
2. Get dressed up and look your best. Pick out a nice outfit and wear it. It makes no matter that no one is going to see you. Wear make-up if that is your thing (ladies) and cologne (both men and ladies). Look terrific when you peek in the mirror and your day will seem better.
3. Take you dog for a walk or hike. Rain or shine, take a walk with your dog or other pet. Some good, old-fashioned fresh air will put a revitalized spring in your step. Plus, the antics of our four-legged friends will most assuredly make you want to smile.
4. Eat some comfort food. Strange as it sounds, my favorite comfort food is a baked potato or two or three. So whatever floats your boat, have some. Make a meal out of chocolate cake if that is what it takes. You are your own judge and jury and sometimes you need to cut yourself a bit of slack in the healthy food department.
5. Get out the adult coloring books and go at it. I have been known to cue up music or an audiobook then color for hours. As someone who was born with a missing artistic gene, I derive great pride in my creations and find peace and relaxation in the process. There really is something to it which is why I mention adult coloring so often.
6. Take a bubble bath. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil plus some Epsom salts then fill the tub. Put on some soothing music or close the door and bask in the quiet. It is just my opinion but these days the simple pleasure of taking a bubble bath is being lost in the shuffle of our connected lives. Note: bubble baths are for real men too, not just the ladies.
7. Get over it. Okay – this is the hard one. But stuff happens. It will always happen. Once you have gone through steps 1 to 6, you will be in the right frame of mind to say “S*it happens so get over it”. Slap yourself in the forehead as the light bulb goes off and move on.
The Final Word
When hit with daily nuisances and woes, I tend to sit down and gather my wits as a coping mechanism. And sometimes I cry. But when all is said and done, I take it all in stride and prevail. The next day I get up, wash my face, put shoes on, and start the day anew. I become a soldier marching down my own path with my head held high and a goal and purpose. Preparing, and being a prepper, has taught me that life goes on and that worse things can happen.
The next time a curve ball is headed your way and you and you say “now what?”, why not pull out this list and act on it? With a wee bit of fortitude and luck, your outlook will improve just like mine does.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Note: This article updates and adds new material to an article first posted in June 2012.
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Bargain Bin: I frequently emphasis the importance of “Comfort” when it comes to survival. Whereas being truly comfortable during and following a disruptive event is an oxymoron, here are items that I feel will contribute to our comfort, for better or for worse. For more ideas this guide on how to hunker down.
Let’s start with something we can use to brew coffee and move on from there.
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator: Here is a link to my own percolator. It makes great coffee. I also own this manual coffee grinder and starting using it a couple of weeks ago when my electric grinder went T.U.:
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill. Note that whole beans store well when sealed in a Mason Jar (see How to Use a FoodSaver for Vacuum Canning).
Lodge Logic Cast Iron Pre-Seasoned Drop Biscuit Pan: Biscuits with jam are one of my favorite comfort foods. This is the pan I purchased for biscuit making and to me, it was worth the cost.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Having adequate light when the grid is down is another key to comfort. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price.
Coleman Mini Lantern: You already know that I have a think about flashlights but this is a slightly different take on portable lighting. It is 7.5 inches tall lantern and weighs just seven ounces, including batteries. And boy does it give off light. Inexpensive plus, it is a genuine Coleman.
Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater: Off course you are going to need a heat-source. With the Mr. Buddy heater, you can use propane indoors safely. It features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home. To learn more about propane, read the series Propane for Preppers.
Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bare none. Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people. This is worth the splurge.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness kit.
Coloring Books for Grown-Ups : This is the latest addition to my list of comfort items. I hope you don’t think I am being silly because there really is something quite relaxing about coloring books. Don’t forget the crayons or Colored Pencils. Curious about my favorite? As of this moment, it is the Summer Nights Coloring Book.