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How are you doing? Times are stressful, keep an eye on how you are handling things

How are you doing? No seriously… think about it. Take a moment of reflection of how you are feeling. Put things on scale of 1-10 if that will help you. Think about the various areas of your life, finances, physical fitness, job, family life, hobbies, etc… Are you living balanced or is one area out of wack? It’s important to be in tune with your body and mind, we often get so busy and overwhelmed that the ship might be sinking underneath us (our mental or physical health), but we are so focused on the horizon.

I’ve been struggling lately with everything just being so expensive and there isn’t really any end in sight. It’s making it even harder to save money for the future and my “fun money” for hobbies and recreation is smaller than ever. So I guess my main worry is the economy. 

We are all strangers here, feel free to open up and vent to others here on how you are doing. I’m at least here to listen to you if you need it.

Being prepared brings comfort and reassurance. Guess I just need to prepare more. If I had lots of gas and food stored, I might not be as worried about all the rising costs of everything, 

Looking back on old forum posts I came across this one with some good advice: Philosophies for good mental health

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  • Comments (13)

    • 6

      I’ve been thinking about your post Alisa. Economics is on everyone’s mind right now. It’s like a toothache, it’s hard to get away from. My tendency is to think less about the price right now and concentrate on the availability of an item in the future. ie: we spent a stupid amount setting up some backyard chickens, much more than we’d spend over their lifetimes on eggs, but the point is not saving money in this case, but having fresh protein at all. Money and no eggs is the bigger problem.

      I generally stay fairly calm in the moment and do my “breaking down” to whatever extent, later. Or as I show above, do things rather than navel-gaze, LOL. I’m typical old school male so not a lot of emoting in any case.

      Like the chooks, my outlet is prepping. Considering bad scenarios and their solutions as a hobby is advantageous when, say, a global pandemic occurs. Having thought about such impossible events beforehand, at least the effects are not a total surprise, even if my hoard is not completely up to the task.

      We were living near ground zero in Washington state at the start of CoVid. I found that hunkering down with preps was a surprisingly simple exercise. I had considered such things many times especially after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks and of course history. The fact that whatever plan I might have had was incomplete or erroneous was not as important as the very fact I had a plan. If you have a plan, it can always be adjusted to fit the situation. If there is no plan, no forethought, then it is no surprise to me that many people simply rejected the very idea of a pandemic. Bad as it is/was however, it is not as bad as the slate-wiper I might have imagined. The disease portion at least. 

      The effect of the pandemic on a society already at odds with itself is a different story and has been quite surprising and not a little distressing. How does one prep for the end of democracy? Civil insurrection? Authoritarianism? Theocracy?

      I’ve arranged my life to have as little stress as possible— perhaps for the very reason that I don’t have much outlet my machismo is comfortable with, LOL. Even though I may have strong opinions on various topics, I avoid dwelling on the things I can’t change. But between for-profit hate mongering, the politics of division and the increasing prevalence of guns out everywhere I think society is in a precarious spot. That’s a stress I don’t have a means to cope with.

      The current mood is such that I’m increasingly distrustful of people in general. I don’t want to live in an armed camp. In Missouri and an increasing number of states there is zero limit to guns in the streets. Louisiana, Alabama, Miss. & MO have some of the most lax regulations re: guns and not surprisingly they are also the states with the highest murder rates.

      I’m getting a little political here. Sad to say, murder is a partisan topic. Edit at will.

      That’s how I’m doing.  

      ;^)

      • 3

        The “for-profit hate mongering” really struck me & resonated.  I find myself hitting the news feed more & more, but I think it just stresses me out even more.   I’m going to try & cut back on that.   Set a timer & just be done so I don’t keep going down the rabbit hole…see if that helps.  I’ve always prided myself on keeping up with current events & explaining things to co-workers.  However, now I’m semi-retired & I think that I need to recalibrate what is important.   I’m so thankful for this site & the folks on it that help to keep me grounded.

        Good luck to everyone!

    • 4

      TBH, I’ve been struggling. It has just been draining to try and keep up with how much of our lives are constantly changing and the constant bombardment of bad news. I try and prioritize my mental health by taking breaks throughout the day and going to therapy and it has been helping.

      • 3

        I hope you can find peace through realizing that most of that “bombardment of bad news” is blown out of proportion to get views and are things that either doesn’t affect us or are out of our hands. It’s important not to stress over the things we can’t control and prepare the best we can to be resilient against the things we can control.

        But you are not alone and so many people are dealing with similar situations like you Jose.

        We all will get through this as individuals and as a society. Stay in there friend! ❤️

      • 2

        Thank you Molly. Something that strangely brought me comfort the other day was seeing that Sri Lanka’s economy has collapsed. [https://finance.yahoo.com/news/sri-lanka-economy-collapsed-prime-110908748.html]

        I can’t imagine how horrible that must be for the people who live there, but it does make me think that I don’t have it as bad as them. 

        The article says: “We are now facing a far more serious situation beyond mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity and food,” . Hope all goes well for them and they can get out of this situation.

    • 7

      What I actually started out to say above, before I went off on such a tangent, is the current situation is why I prep.

      I’m not going to wind up afoot in Death Valley—zero chance. Nor am I going to be rough camping in the woods eating grubs and battling zombies, most likely I’ll not wind up in a hurricane or tornado or house fire or “Falling Down” either.

      What I will certainty deal with is a global pandemic, jiggered-up economy, energy crunch, exploding prices, potential world war, supply line issues if not outright shortages, ominous political shenanigans and increasingly homicidal neighbors.

      In other words, bugging out only helps if there is someplace better to go. There is no shopping list for the current scenario. And a fish hook in a mint can just won’t do.

      I really like this site for it’s low key demeanor and practical advice. Unfortunately, backpack reviews aren’t really relevant. So for Alisa and Jose and any of you who realize the emergency is now and you can’t run away, all I can say is work to get resilient, get local, grow food, reduce power, stock your pantry—not for armageddon, just for next week.

      Ear to the ground, nose to the grindstone, thumb in the wind and CYA!

      • 3

        My fish hook in a mint can isn’t going to get me through this!? There goes my SHTF strategy!!!

        Sound words of wisdom Pops, do what you can now to be resilient and tomorrow do a little bit more.

    • 6

      I’m struggling. In October of last year, our house was hit by a tornado, causing enough damage we couldn’t stay. We had to put our belongings in storage (thankfully we didn’t lose a lot inside our house, just everything in my son’s room and some in the kitchen/living room) and ended up moving to a small one bedroom, one bath cabin at a church camp. I was so thankful we had a place to go. They said we could stay until mid-May, but we kind of chuckled because, of course, we would be back home before then. The contractor that our insurance recommended said he could start right away while other contractors told us they wouldn’t be able to start until Spring. He started alright – the upstairs of our split level house has been gutted since December and is still that way. The contractor is a huge liar but since he had already been paid we couldn’t get out of working with him. Next check we get will NOT be going to him – we will take care of it with the contractor that is actually doing the work. Work has FINALLY begun within the last month – we have trusses installed and most of the outside work done. That said, in mid-May my husband repaired the plumbing upstairs (that was broken during tear out) and made the electric safe (damage from the tornado) so that we could move into the basement portion of our house. Again, very small and this time no kitchen. We have a grill and a microwave to cook with and wash bottles in the bathroom. It’s also fun trying to bath a 1 year old in a single stand up shower stall, too, let me tell ya! I worry about the economy and the price/availability of things we need, however, we have ZERO room to store much of anything right now. I also worry about the stuff we have in the rented storage container since it’s been sitting in 100 degree temps now, I’m sure some of it is going to be ruined. My vehicle was totaled by the tornado, so we have taken on an unplanned car payment, thus making it harder financially to stock up on food. My husband is looking to trade his truck in on something that we would be able to get rid of. (We live far from my family so my vehicle is the travel-long-distance vehicle, if that makes sense, we can just jump in it and go and not worry much about it not making it there.)  We did plant a small garden, but with our situation, I’m not sure how much I will be able to preserve. We have an Amish store nearby, along with a weekly farmer’s market, so I’m hoping to be able to stock up from them whenever our house is finished. On top of all the economy/food/house anxiety, my father passed away in January and my mother isn’t doing the best but she keeps it to herself and isn’t even considering moving closer to me or my brother – I am 9 hours away and he is 4-5. All this along with normal life stress has my anxiety through the roof. Something that I have learned from the tornado is that I want to make my house minimalist as far as things – we had/have so much that we don’t need and doesn’t really serve a purpose. My husband is in the works of making us more of a safe area to go to in case of another bad storm – when the tornado hit and blew the doors open/broke a window, we could feel the air blow underneath us. We’re planning on reinforcing a room and adding a metal door so that we can have a safe space and able to store some of our supplies with us in that room. Funny story – when we were looking to buy a home, I had to have a basement and my husband was not really wanting one because the experience he had with basements was his grandparents that flooded when it rained hard. A derecho went through and he was out working when it hit – he had to get from a shop to a house and it took two men to open the door to the house – there was a portable storage building rolling across the ground along with other debris flying about. Suddenly he was on board for the basement LOL! I’m sorry that I word vomited all over this post but it is nice to get it out. Anyway, we are newish to the prepper world and it is overwhelming, but this website and forum has helped a lot. I have started water canning a few years ago and now I’m looking into a pressure canner. We are hoping to become a bit more self sufficient. I am hoping being less dependent on “the world” it will help with the anxiety about whether or not the food, medicine, etc, is going to be available at the store when we need it.

      • 2

        Wow… just wow! I have some major sympathy for you and your family right now. You’ve had more challenges in the past few months than I’ve had in my entire lifetime. It’s only natural and okay for you to say you are struggling. But for you to be here now casually telling us about it and being on a prepping website to learn how to avoid such situations in the future is truly awe inspiring for me. Sadie, you are a hero to me.

        If this is a touchy subject, please don’t respond and I’ll understand. But I’d like to learn more about that so called contractor that has been a pill for you so I can avoid such a situation in the future. So he said he would be able to get working right away, he gutted the upstairs and has since not done anything else? Has he just ghosted you and won’t communicate or is he just coming up with excuses? Did you sign any contract that says work should be done by a certain time? Are you going to try and sue in small claims court for him being a weasel? Guy sounds like a down right scum bag taking your money, doing half a job, and leaving you guys with half a house.

        Also one more thing, you say that your vehicle was totaled by the tornado and you have an unplanned car payment now. Is that because insurance didn’t cover your car or didn’t cover enough of it?

        I wish your family the best of luck this next year. I have learned many things from your trials and it looks like you have as well.

      • 3

        Thank you for your kind words!! They brought tears to my eyes. I was an emergency dispatcher for almost ten years; towards the beginning of my career, a deputy told me to remember this emergency is not happening to you – you are in a safe building, away from it all. That made it a bit easier to take a breath and do my job – not in a “sucks to be you” sort of way but more of a “I am the one that can get you help” sort of way. That said, I feel like I’m pretty good at disassociating myself to things – not saying it’s healthy, but I can do it well. The tornado hit our home, both our vehicles, and both of our work buildings – it affected every aspect of our lives and there was no “getting away.” It has gotten better since I’ve gotten a different vehicle, and I try to “treat myself” a little more than normal. Who would have thought the majority of our lives are in a straight line?! LOL!

        As far as the contractor goes, he is really a restoration guy. So what happened is the tornado hit on a Sunday night; we called the insurance and they had someone come out to take pictures on Monday. They were not associated with the insurance, just there to verify something really happened. Then that insurance guy pushed it to large claims, so we had to wait a bit. Then, a large claims insurance guy called us and I had to arrange for an engineer and this restoration contractor to meet with us at our house and go over what needed to be repaired. A couple weeks later, the engineering report was done and we were waiting on the restoration guy to turn in his assessment – he was essentially doing the insurance adjustor’s job, no one from the actual insurance has been to my house. The restoration guy brought a construction contractor down to look at our house, and he (restoration guy) told me in my living room that was half packed up and looked like a bomb went off that “I’ve had enough stress, they will take it from here.” So they finished packing (which wasn’t much, but it was nice they moved the furniture and heavy stuff out) and then tore the upstairs down to studs. So all of this took a couple months and finally a check was cut from the insurance. The insurance has to send it to a middle company between them and the restoration guy, and then our mortgage company had to get involved as well, before the check was sent to the restoration guy. It was around Christmas so of course we figured it would be delayed. My husband started calling restoration guy and inquiring where the check was – the insurance cut it weeks ago – and was told the same thing, that it had to go through several steps and each step took a few days. This went on for a while and I got fed up so I called the insurance and started complaining. Our insurance adjustor said the restoration guy was supposed to have funds to start the work and not have to wait for our check. I ended up getting the number to call for our mortgage company and the middle company. The restoration guy NEVER did the paperwork to get it started. So I did it and we finally got the first portion of the payment for over $100k sent to us. They couldn’t send it straight to him because of their policy or whatever. Anyway, STUPID ME just signs the check over to restoration guy so that we can get started. YAY for us! Finally – Tornado was in October and this was March 1. Then, the construction guy quit answering his phone. We really liked the construction guy because he had been straight up with us and had a mutual friend who we would trust with anything. My husband ended up finding out that restoration guy did in fact give construction guy money – but then asked for the majority of it back so he could make payroll. Construction guy pretty much told restoration guy to get lost. So I called the insurance again and threw a fit. The insurance adjustor was mad as well, and ended up putting in complaints and filing stuff against the restoration guy. Suddenly, restoration guy came up with the money to give to construction guy to start. So, of course, the weather put us off for a while, but we finally have the windows and siding done even though there is construction stuff all over our yard it doesn’t look like it was hit by a tornado yesterday. The construction guy ended up telling my husband that restoration guy only gave him so much money and they were needing some more but he couldn’t get ahold of restoration guy. They finally did get in touch, and today is the day we’re going to find out if he gave them the money or not and call the insurance again. Construction guy told my husband that we’re the last job he is working with restoration guy on because this isn’t the first time this has happened, and that we were decent to work with and because our mutual friend. The next check we get, we will not give a penny to restoration guy and we will give it to construction guy as needed. Lesson learned – but in my mind I was thinking we weren’t supposed to get this money to start with.

        As far as my vehicle goes, the damage that was done was all cosmetic besides a broken windshield. The insurance paid me awesome for it – like $2k less than what I paid for it in 2014 – but a vehicle similar to what I bought in 2014, twoish years old and lower miles, is double the price I gave for it in 2014. For me to “buy back” my vehicle would be almost the full amount they were going to give me to total it, since all that HAD to be fixed was the windshield. It was beat up pretty bad, so we opted not to do that. Now is not the time to buy a car, for sure! Which we have the money but just not expecting that extra payment. 

        I know others have it way, way worse than we do. We are lucky we have insurance to cover all this and a place to stay. We’re lucky most of our belongings were fine. Most importantly, we are safe and healthy. I try to keep focused on this, but some times it’s hard when it seems like you can’t win for losing. It will get better. Soon we will be sitting on our back deck eating supper I cooked in my new kitchen. My 13 month old son will have his own room again. We have a vehicle that will last longer than the one I intended to drive until it died. It will get better soon, and this will all be a learning experience. 

      • 2

        It sounds like you shouldn’t have had to be the middleman yourself for coordinating payments. Such a headache! 

        Sure glad you are finally getting some progress on everything though. 

      • 2

        Thank you! 

    • 1

      California is giving out 23 million inflation relief checks up to $1,050. My first thought was “isn’t the printing of stimulus checks one of the reasons we are in this pickle now?” But it looks like the state had a $97 billion budget surplus and they are passing some of that back to the people.

      Hopefully this will help some people out off-set the $6.30+ gallon gas and other rises they are dealing with.

      • 1

        Here in Indiana the state government had a surplus as well (we have a balanced budget statutory requirement – thank goodness).  They handed out $125 earlier this year & another  $150(?) is coming soon to everyone that filed a state tax return for 2021.  It won’t keep the lights on, but hey, ultimately it is OUR money that is being spend on government services.  I will see what sort of draconian abortion laws are passed in the next couple of weeks by the legislature.  Perhaps I will donate my refund to Planned Parenthood in the name of my state legislator!