Realization that mortality is ever closer comes to those who are fortunate enough to age. When we were younger we knew one day we would die, but as with many things, that was off in some distant future. Aging is another stage of life with many opportunities to learn, just learn different things than we did in our younger years.
Life has gotten more serious. Things that once seemed so important, things that needed to be done ‘like this’ or like I wanted them to be, now seem so trivial. What was once worth arguing over, now is inconsequential. I often think, why was it such a big deal when I was younger? I wish I had learned this earlier in life.
A few months after Frank’s bypass surgery he was walking in the yard, doing some normal something, I don’t remember what. All of a sudden my breath caught in my throat and I thought, “He didn’t die!” I could have just stood there and cried. Maybe sometimes it takes a serious shaking of our world to get us to see what is most important in life. Frank and I had many very serious conversations after we realized the only restorative choice he had was a bypass. He needed to know that I would be okay if I were left here alone. They were very difficult conversations, but left us both with a peace in knowing where we stood and plans were in place for “what if”.
Then my Mom’s dementia progressed to the point that she obviously was in need of serious care for her welfare and safety. It was very difficult to come to the realization that my siblings did not see the needs she had until she finally insisted that death would be better than the options they offered. She had stated these things many times with me, but I was just the girl and exaggerating things. Mom was okay. Even though she was have major delusions, obsessions, paranoia and health issues. She was okay. She wanted to continue living alone and that was fine according to my siblings.
So following on the heels of contemplating Frank’s mortality and my mother’s mental incompetence, Life Got Much More Serious. Add to that our continued aging process.
The reason I list these specific experiences in our lives is only to make a point that if the SHTF today, tomorrow, next week or next year, the seriousness of life will make these few occurrences pale in comparison. If we were starving and having to defend ourselves and our food supply on a daily basis, how could that even compare to our ‘normal’ experiences of life? Let’s face it, as people age, they have more health issues. It’s a fact of life. But as Frank and I say regularly, “I’m not dead yet.” With that philosophy and outlook, we have a lot left to do and offer, a lot of life left to live.
We talk about quality vs. quantity. This can be applied to so many things. Take life, the actual breath in your body. Neither of us care to remain on this earth if we are not functional. This may upset some of you, but fortunately at this time, we have a choice. Frank and I agree that if we have a serious health issue that will incapacitate us to the point that we are not functional, and the only health treatments out there will only prolong life for a short time at the cost of our mobility, cognitive abilities, etc., then we will forgo the offered treatments. Quality of life over quantity of life.
Again, apply that to an SHTF situation. There won’t be extensive medical treatments, no surgeries unless you are in a very unique situation. Health and medical attention will be provided by those around you or your own knowledge and abilities. Are you ready for that? Mentally? Do you have supplies that can be utilized for some health needs? Do you know how to use them? What are you going to do when you run out?
Life is more serious. We are focusing in on the essentials whether it is in our garden, in what we store, in how we manage our daily chores or in how we
communicate with others. We are downsizing and becoming much more focused. Frank’s response to a comment yesterday said we don’t talk about the conditions of the world, our country, the economy or the need to prepare anymore. We don’t. There have been many that think we’re the tin foil hat wearing nut jobs. Some want to know where our bunker is. There have been those that literally laughed in our faces. There have been those that said they were coming to live with us, to which we promptly responded – no you’re not, we’re not going to feed you. Most just look at you and politely nod their heads, but you can tell that they don’t agree and think we’re just plain weird. As a consequence, we don’t talk about preparing or SHTF or a collapse much anymore.
We have been preparing to live, depending solely upon ourselves, for most of our married life. Almost 40 years. We rejoice that the electricity is still on and we hope to have air conditioning through
another hot Oklahoma summer. But if it’s not and we have to adjust, we have tried to train ourselves to deal with that reality. Our bones are older and creak a little more. We may move a little slower and accomplish less in a day than we did a decade or two ago, but our minds are sharper, and we have learned so many more things. If the collapse had happened a decade ago, there are untold amounts of knowledge and experience we wouldn’t have had access to that we now do.
Life is more serious. It would appear inevitable that we have strife, conflict or outright war coming here in our country, in our neighborhoods throughout the land. Many, many sources indicate the economy is on the brink. We saw an
article a few days ago indicating a housing collapse is now occurring or on the precipice in 40 major cities around the country. 2008 anyone? You don’t even hear about it because of all of the lies, innuendoes and major contention in Washington. We have no national government, we have warring factions spending our tax dollars to attack and ‘investigate’ each other. What about the country? What about The People they were elected to serve? That is a joke. There is no functional government anymore, looking out for the welfare of our country. There is only a slow motion collapse into anarchy in the once hallowed halls of congress and our nation’s capital. Where can that lead? What kind of example are they setting? No wonder there is more contention, hatred and violence on every street corner in America.
Enjoy every day, for it is a gift. Live your life in gratitude of your daily gifts. Work hard, for nothing is more satisfying than the results of your own two hands or applying your mind to something. Relish the sunshine on your face and the love and admiration of your family. Earn and maintain the reputation of being an honest person of high moral character and integrity. In the end, what really matters? The only thing you will leave behind is your legacy, good, bad or otherwise.
Relish the joy and freedoms of your life everyday because if Life Is More Serious now, just wait until that day arrives that we are no longer falling off the cliff as a civilization, but we hit bottom with a resounding crash.
Until next time – Fern