What’s the likelihood that I will be able to live into my 80’s with the increasing number of disasters?

It seems there is a new disaster every week that is topping all previous records and it is getting me kind of freaked out. I’m only 18 and am wondering what’s the chance that I will be able to live well into my 80’s and die of natural causes. I haven’t been around too long, but from what I have seen, these man made and natural disasters are ramping up in frequency and intensity. 

We have:

  • Global warming
  • Pollution
  • Over population leading to less resources
  • Food and water scarcity
  • War
  • Civil unrest
  • Pandemics
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Drought
  • and lots more

Things just don’t seem to be on a positive trend and I’m wondering if I will ever get to my 80’s or if I do will it just be pure survival and a struggle the whole time?

From you older generations, did you share similar viewpoints about the situation you and the world was in when you were my age? Am I over reacting? 

Sorry to be the gloomy one over here, but it is something I’ve been struggling with lately. From what I have learned so far, it seems that being prepared will help increase my chances of survival and make life more enjoyable. So I am glad that I found this way of life.



  • Comments (30)

    • 5

      Good evening Pizza Ninja / Tim,

      I’m a member of an older generation (“Baby Boomers”, created after the official end of WWII).

      No, when I was 18, the big event was to register for the draft. Vietnam didn’t mushroom until a couple of years later. When President JFK was assassinated, some of us considered it somewhat of a routine matter. 

      Making it into the 80s involves other matters that are not external to oneself – like wars, climate change, etc. Good diet and exercise and knowing how to minimize stress are keys to getting older.

      Yes, indeed, being prepared – and working on upgrades, changed plans, related – keeps one both physically and mentally healthy. We’ve had Civil War veterans who entered the 20th century.

      Consider this to ponder: Does it matter if having a short lifespan if this time helped oneself ?  Conversely, a long lifespan and living through miserable events eg money also “tight” because of too much $ going into cars, housing, the dining out trade …… what’s the result ?!

      Work on preparedness and there can be existential pleasures arriving. The destitute party-goers will beg for a couple of slices of pizza.

      I am now in the mood for …………..

      • 2

        You make some good points that the most likely way to get into my 80’s is by diet, limiting stress, and exercise. The world can be doing just fine but if I’m stressed out, don’t ever exercise and am fat, then I shouldn’t be planning on making it very long anyways.


    • 5

      Hi Tim,

      When I was 18, around 1975 there was lots of stuff going on. I had luckily missed out on the end of the Vietnam war yet I was steeped in it, raised on it, still it was better than Duck and Cover drills in elementary school. The environmental movement began with smog alerts, burning rivers, The Population Bomb, Rachel Carson and Club of Rome, it is hard to understand today the way we were trashing the environment back then, it was gruesome. Politically there had been literally thousands of bombings in the US the previous few years, actual riots and burning cities, Presidents and leaders assassinated —along with college kids. AIDS, KKK, SLA, SDS, just a full boat of crazy.

      Whew, enough of that. Still it wasn’t ration coupons and a world war, or global depression, or the “Spanish” flu or actual civil war so there is that.

      I guess suffice to say that every generation has their crosses to bear, to borrow a line. Granted, we have raided the resource base to a great extent, copper concentrations in what is left of ore is below one half of one percent, and old fashioned conventional oil (think of a big gusher) are a thing of the past. But on the bright side, Rystad, a petroleum consultancy, recently analyzed the remaining technically recoverable oil reserves and found there isn’t enough available to reach the IPCCs 1.8º warming limit… maybe cold comfort in that—literally.

      Again when I was 18-ish I thought there were two possible paths, either,
      get as much school and specialized knowledge as possible so to make as much money as possible in order to be able to higher everything done that I would never have time to learn, or,
      Learn how to do as many things as I could so I wouldn’t need to earn as much.

      Long story longer, I was successful, I don’t earn much!
      But I know how to do a lot of stuff, today I was drawing plans and cutting plywood for kitchen cabinets, yesterday I finished the PEX manifolds for the new kitchen plumbing, the day before I connected the wiring at the panel for the new kitchen outlets. Between rounds on that project I do graphic design for various medical and entertainment outfits.

      I’m trying to get across that being self-sufficient to some extent is it’s own reward, After all the lists are made, and gizmos forgotten in the back of the closet, self-sufficiency is really what being prepared is about.

      No matter how crazy things seem today, the sun will come up again tomorrow. Just do what you can, learn to be as prepared as you can, for as many things to happen as you can, including nothing much.

      Have fun!

      • 2

        I appreciate your insight and wisdom. It seems that what I’m currently seeing on the news is just as you say it, my generation’s cross to bear. We each have varying trials and tribulations that we must overcome and endure just as previous generations have in their time and future generations will.


    • 4

      No apologies needed bud! I think this whole preparedness crowd thinks of this kind of stuff a lot!

      I’m in my late 20s, so don’t have perspective that older folks can give, but I have started to think about how climate apocalypse affects my long term strategy for life. For example, how important is having a lot of money saved versus having a lot of survival supplies & training? I haven’t yet come up with a satisfactory answer for this, but I have started to shift my practices in the direction of “investing in preparedness”, so like a big number in a financial account is less important than skills (e.g. auto & home maintenance, first aid, SAR) and owning a home (so I can’t have the rents raised, and I can do stuff like solar and raise livestock if I want) and having a fully stocked GB, etc.

      Thank you for taking the time to write up this post!

      • 3

        I’ve been thinking about this even more now that I have a child to raise. I used to be a professor and we discussed this often, too. 

        Invest in skills over things. You would be surprised to find how mobile humanity has been during the course of our entire existence until a few hundred years ago. Mobility will be key in the migratory future we all face. 

        Best thing is to learn how to do a job/career remotely. If you can take your job with you where ever you may need to flee, then you have an uninterrupted income stream (provided you don’t lose your job). Find a field you can work in remotely. Points for entrepreneurship that requires online sales (items held off site at a 3rd location) for passive income. And any other forms of passive income (returns on investments). Let me know if you need more brainstorming on this subject – I work remotely now after leaving academia.

        Also, keep up job skills that you can trade in lieu of a remote position or complementing one. For instance, being a contractor, plumber, fix solar panels, etc. So, if the internet goes down temporarily or permanently, you can still “make a living.” 

        One thing is for certain: the global GDP with contract dramatically and permanently. Money can become devalued over night (Germany WWI, Venezuela, Lebanon, etc.) or you may be forced to flee and leave everything behind – whether you want to or not.

        Better inflation bet for the future: invest in real estate in potential climate havens rather than the coasts, SE or the Midwest. Who cares how much gold you have if you can’t access it where it’s held because the vault is closed permanently? 

      • 1

        I’d love to pick your brain about more passive income streams that you are aware of that a college student might be able to participate in.

        What are your thoughts on overcoming over night devaluation of currency besides real estate?


      • 2

        Hi Tim,

        I want to preface all of this by saying that I am not a financial advisor (not worth hiring) or a fiduciary (worth hiring). If you look into the FIRE community, which is a type of financial planning movement (like Money Moustache), you’ll find a lot of information there on both passive income streams and investing. Remember that no one has all the answers, not even the Fed or the World Bank. That said, you can get passive income from investments, products you sell, etc. 

        You’re never too young to invest. College students can do so with even just $20-50 a month. Vanguard makes it nice and easy to do so. Don’t expect huge returns, nothing is a quick fix. At your age, invest and don’t touch except to recalibrate your investments as necessary. For instance, don’t put everything in stocks or crypto. Putting all of your eggs in one basket makes it more likely that you could lose everything. Diversifying is best: bonds, previous metals, etc. 

        This particular market cycle is unlike any other in recorded global history. Currently, i-bonds are performing better at about a 9% return (limited at 10k) and hard assets (real estate, metals, energy, food companies, grain, water, etc.). Besides real estate, there’s also jewelry (diamonds, etc.), art, collectibles, etc. that you can invest in and can be considered hard assets. That said, actual food is great to buy and store provided you have the room and won’t be mobile anytime soon. For example, I starting upping our storage of grain, pasta and bread (in the freezer) since things have risen 30%+. I freeze bottles of OJ because my family consumes it on occasion and it’s almost $8 with citrus collapsing. 

        In college, creating passive income is a major challenge – unless you can create a small side business that you run and which requires you hire people. I had a cleaning side hustle in college with some girlfriends, and I received a 10% cut of every place they cleaned since I provided the client and vacuum cleaner. I always had girls work in pairs because it can be scary being young, female and entering people’s homes alone without knowing who you’ll find there. 

        Investing and entrepreneurship will help support passive income streams, but I recommend researching here deeply before putting your eggs anywhere. At your age, passive income streams are more limited until you gain some skills or larger piles of cash to invest. 

        Hope this helps some. 

      • 1

        Thank you! You have given me some things to research and look into. 

        That side job you did with your friends in college sounds like a smart idea. 


    • 5

      I am 70, born in 1951.  By the time I was 16, I knew absolutely that I didn’t want to bring kids into this decaying world.  I never did.  Nobody’s mentioned the coming ice age that was being forecast in the 70s.  As children we practiced air raid drills.  Nuclear war overshadowed everything. There were violent race riots.  Gas rationing in 1973.  A ten year drought in Oregon that nobody seems to remember in this current one. 

      My dad was born in 1920 into impoverished Arkansas.  His coal miner father died when Dad was 15, so he hit the rails, working at CCC camps and eventually ended up picking strawberries in Oregon, when he was convinced to join the navy.  He served on submarines through WWII, Korea and the Bay of Pigs. Talk about a young lad with a bleak future.  He was hale and hearty until age 82, when leukemia took him.

      We are over-exposed to cliches like “historic”, “unprecedented”, and “due to climate change”. Jeez, they’ll tell us that Oregonians now use more air conditioning than heating “due to climate change” when in fact the power company was making a HUGE push for everyone to get heat pumps a few decades ago.  Air conditioning simply became accessible. All the wildfires are blamed on climate change when in fact, Mother Nature is scouring out millions of acres of beetle killed timber – the direct result of bad forest management.

      I am not saying things aren’t a mess, but they always have been. 

      My advice would be to seek out “the other side of the story” when the deliberately dismal mainstream news attempts to crush your optimism for the future.  Get a balanced understanding of the issues we face. Losing hope is what will send you to an early grave.

      God bless you, young human. YOU are the future.  Don’t let anybody take that away from you.

      • 4

        Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. Staying outside of the sensationalism of the media can help me stay grounded and more resilient to the worry and stress that they try and drum up.

        Analyzing the past and unpeeling the layer that people are agreeing with (like you say where people claim it’s climate change but might in fact be bad forest management) will help me to see that things aren’t as bad as I am making it out to be. I still am going to try and be prepared, but don’t necessarily need to stress about whats going on around me. I appreciate what you have taught me today and helping me change my point of view.


    • 4

      Your  likelihood of living into your 80’s depends most directly upon your lifestyle choices.  Challenging times have always been with us – in my life, WWII, Korean “police action”  A bomb, very uncivil unrest, drought, floods, and we had no internet!!

      I am 84 and very thankful. Relax, buckle down, solve life’s eternal problems, and your chances are good.  Just one bit of advice – choose as your profession something that is of genuine interest to you; worry less about the financial prospects

    • 3

      A humorous aside: its getting harder to contribute with so many people offering up great advice!  not a bad problem to have, I suppose.

      From the halfway point in life, the best I can suggest is this:  Consider what is important to you, and be aware that what is important to you, even some of your values, may change over time.

      You could set yourself to live to 80 and die of natural causes, but you also might change your mind in ten years.  Maybe you want to die a hero saving others, maybe you want to die happily with a smile on your face reflecting on a life well lived, regardless of how old you are.  Maybe you’re just scared silly of something like dementia/alzheimer’s, cancer, or heart disease (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm).

      Just be open to the fact that what you think and value now might change, or at least evolve, and try not to box yourself into a corner, try to keep as many options, as many doors open for as long as you can.

      And yes, this can apply to prepping, though is more general life advice.  Putting down a down payment on a remote property you think will keep you safe but you’ll have a hard time selling if you need money to live in a nursing home?  might think twice about that.  ditto if you can’t get to a hospital, or even a dentist, in a reasonable amount of time.  Spending a couple hundred dollars on portable equipment you can use in your dorm, an apartment, a house, or in the woods?  gives you lots of options without taking too many off the table.

      • 5

        Another point.  medical technology is far better today than in the past.  I am a case in point.  Eleven years ago, my aortic heart valve was replaced, the finding of a routine physical.  The problem was the valve I was born with was a two flap valve, rather than the standard three.  i later learned that without the op, I would have perished from congestive heart failure in about two years.

        Who knows what doctors will be doing in thirty or forty years?  Not that our medical system is perfect, far from it, but it does accomplish a lot.

        My procedure involved open heart (and chest) surgery, but now they do the same replacement through your femoral vein – much less invasive.

        Just do your part and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.  Looking back, I am very glad I have been physically active all my life – it is really paying off now…..

    • 5

      Hi, Tim. Welcome to the world of adulthood and sane prepping. When I was your age, I was discouraged by the prospect of working 45 or more years before I could have flexibility and freedom to enjoy myself. A key to greater peace of mind was trying to find ways to enjoy myself (in healthy ways, not addiction, for example) every day, every week, every month. Then whenever I happened to die, I would have enjoyed myself.

      Your generation does facing daunting problems. You’ve received lots of excellent perspectives here. I might add to do some basic reading on human development so you have a sense of the developmental challenges/opportunities of each stage of life. It may help normalize whatever you’re going through at any point in time. I would also counsel to prioritize mental health / emotional health / spiritual health because that tends to help people weather storms more effectively. Earlier generations didn’t tend to do that, and lots of people suffered and suffer when they wouldn’t necessarily have to.

      Preparedness is its own reward, and it reinforces a sense of agency. Having a sense of agency is very good. However, it’s not the only thing that matters in life. Empathy, compassion, curiosity about others, wanting to make a contribution, things like that also matter.

      As others have said, good health habits will help you live into your 80’s, knock wood and having good genetics. 

      Warm regards to you!

    • 3

      I thin every generation has its ‘disasters’.  Note when the news reports these events most of them say ‘we haven’t had something this bad since…’.  That means someone else had it worse.

      My parents grew up during the depression.  That has to be the most devastating even in US history behind the Civil War.  Yes, the pandemic has been bad, but people are not starving to death.  Think about the events that cause the dinosaur extinction and the black plague. 

      I think living into you 80’s has more to do with your genes and your lifestyle than any external forces.  Be prepared, but don’t be consumed by it.

    • 2
    • 2

      What’s the likelihood that I will be able to live into my 80’s with the increasing number of disasters?

      It seems there is a new disaster every week that is topping all previous records and it is getting me kind of freaked out.

      Believe it or not, I started writing a response to this a couple days ago. At first, I started with something light like, “That’s a good question. I’m sure some brilliant statistician could figure a ballpark age for you. For others, there’s https://www.death-clock.org/”.

      Then, I thought I’d spice things up with a reminder that, for the first time in a century, life expectancy has dropped a few years.

      After that, I started from the perspective of the species overall, facing existential chaos with a smidge of dad-jokery, “Well, maybe it’s time cats had a turn as the apex species. Maybe there will be hovercars and robot butlers after all!”

      From there I went all introspective and recounted all the hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, droughts, landslides, outbreaks, famines, wars, and nuclear threats I’ve seen over the course of my life thus far. Then I tried to assure you that although these thing are bound to happen, you do (technically) get the information faster in our hyperconnected world, so perhaps it’s also a matter of drinking too frequently from the firehose.

      But, here’s where I’ve settled:

      Although the likelihood of your personal survival is increased by taking precautions where you can, making your own health and safety a priority; and although you prepare to the best of your ability, by the means available to you, for whatever events or contingencies await you in your future, you simply cannot cheat death forever.

      For the moment, I’ve landed on the “Well, that’s the human condition for ya!” -response.

      So, there you are all of 18 and the world feels like it’s having the epic fucking meltdown to end all epic fucking meltdowns. There’s the natural world doing what it kinda sorta normally does but because mankind has the power to change things and doesn’t take shit seriously, things are seemingly spiralling. Volcanoes! Polar icemelt! Flooding! Wildfires! Drought! Fresh water scarcity! The list goes on and on and on… And don’t think I’m mocking. Not in the least. Hell, I’m right there with you. These things are ALL concerning as hell. Question is, what do you deal with first, right?

      I mean, there’s all that in addition to all the typical (and maybe atypical!) stresses faced by someone of your youth.

      I’m surprised there’s any sanity left in any of us at this point.

      Yeah, politically, things have ended up in the shitter; the collective pandemic response from our fellow human beings has been less than inspiring (not to mention less hopeful for our species); and the global climate outlook is turning out to be more of an actual nightmare than the monster we once imagined lurking under our beds.

      One day, you will die. From whence you came, you’ll return. Either all of this turned out to be a dress rehearsal for some baller afterlife party or there will simply be the same oblivion that existed before your birth. Ashes to ashes and all that.

      Until then, we have no choice but to accept the pain and suffering (and the joy, awe, and happiness) that is the result of our existence. We must face whatever comes our way, whether getting laid off from a job, getting sick, burying a loved one, or surviving a trip to a watering hold because people might just start shooting it out over fresh water some day.

      I don’t know about you, but I spent some small portion of my life with the hope that some death-suspending technology would arrive just in time to spare me my own death. I chalk that up to one too many sci-fi movies. So, let’s be really real. It’s not going to happen anytime soon. And even if it did, you and me, we’re not the sort that could afford it. 

      I realize all of this is sounding all maudlin, too nihilistic, or that all of this is just too futile, I need to also tell you this: It’s not futility if you try. It’s not nihilism to understand your mortality and work against it at every opportunity.

      You’ll make it as long as you are able to, as much as you’re capable of preparing. I’ll make it as long as I am able, as much as I’m capable of preparing.

      For as long as we keep our health, our whits, our flexibility, our adaptability; for as long as we avail ourselves to understanding things seem beyond our reach; for as much as we can prepare for the threats to our safety by nature and our fellow humans, we should live to a ripe old age of… something.

      Don’t just sit there enumerating the chaos and kicking at dust. That’s wasting your time and energy.

      Embrace the suck.

      Prepare for it.

      And when it comes, face it.

      Act like your life depends on it.

    • 2

      I agree that all generations have their issues to face, and mine has been less than others. I was 18 in 1984. The US wasn’t in an overt war activity and the economy was up (and consumerist). This was the era of latchkey kids and increasing divorce rates (I was an oddity with parents married to each other). Since then I’ve seen both a .com boom and large recessions (2008). I’ve also seen basically no increase in the average personal purchasing power across all of that time period: Wage increases have not outpaced inflation on average. And in certain areas of the country, the cost of living (especially real estate) has abounded – exponentially in the pandemic times. In general, I’ve observed that lessons from earlier generations and events are rarely learned and thus get repeated – compare the 2020 pandemic to the 1918 pandemic.   And no generation seems to consider long term consequences of their actions: fiscally, environmentally, etc. My generation was the one to learn about superfund sites, and now we know of the plastic pollution even in the most remote depths of our oceans from those same times. So basically, humans are self-focused and short-sighted. But also, we are creative, industrious, resilient and can overcome all sorts of challenges together when necessary which is how each generation overcame their own issues and prospered. Yours will too. Especially since you’re asking about it. I wasn’t listening to my elders at 18 and certainly not seeking advice from them (but then again, we’re not your parents 🙂 ).  You go, Pizza Ninja!

      And to live to 80 in a way you’d prefer to do so, it’s about health as has been mentioned by others as well.  Good self care daily rituals are the best method for the long haul. Some you may have already like oral hygiene every night/morning – brushing with an extra-soft toothbrush (yes really – keep those gums!), flossing.  Other areas I wish I had addressed earlier or am glad I did:  daily sunscreen, better posture (my PT says that upper back mobility is the fountain of youth), less sugar and more water consumption, good nutrition/gut biome support, consistent exercise, stress management (meditation, prayer, journaling, defining my own success), time management/planning/productivity, social connections/community (like this one).  

      I like some advice I got long ago:  There’s no worse investment than uncomfortable underwear and no better one than improved health.  

    • 2

      Hey Tim, I am on the younger end of the spectrum, being in my late 30s.  We face a ton of challenges that you enumerated well, but remember we currently have the best tools ever to deal with many of them.  For example the technologies that went into the vaccine development and testing weren’t really viable even a decade ago.  Not only the vaccine itself, but the AI/ML techniques used to design the trials that allowed things to proceed rapidly.  We also have amazing abilities to utilize AI/ML in design of efficient power generation systems that we alone can’t come up with.  We as a society just need to start picking off problems, but also be ready for a rough road along the way to fixing things.  It is really the human factor right now that seems the most unpredictable and dangerous to me.  

      Stay healthy, learn, contribute to solving some major problem, and find something that you enjoy that you can make a regular part of your life right now.  

    • 3

      Somebody shared a bit of encouraging wisdom with me the other day, and I wanted to share it with you too:

      You are the direct descendent of people who lived through wars, diseases, famines, environmental disasters, political upheavals and all manner of other hardships. If your ancestors hadn’t survived all of these things, you wouldn’t be alive today. You are a descendent of survivors.

      Your heritage is full of people who worked hard, made wise decisions, trusted in their faith and got through the toughest of times – and all those good genes got passed down to you. So it’s in your very DNA to be strong, to adapt and to persevere even when the going gets really tough.

      You have the ability to live, love and manage through whatever hard times the future has in store for you. Generations of your family before you proved that they could do it, and you can too.

      – WS

      • 1

        What an incredibly uplifting pep talk. I am a survivor, because those before me were as well. We are the product of all the generations before us and it is also up to us to carry that on to the future.

      • 1


    • 2

      Well Tim, you’ve received lots of good advice on here, and I think my favorite was Watermelon Samurai’s, you are already the product of survivors. I’ve had my struggles with worries, and have benefited from having practical plans to work towards.

      I think it’s important to note that the entire news cycle keeps moving along on fear, and while fear can be both energizing and motivating, it’s not healthy or productive to spend too much time or thought energy on that; there are better uses for your youthful energy right now.

      I’m in my 50’s & raised my 2 sons to be productive, healthy members of society. We prepped, camped, hunted, gardened, homeschooled, etc., and I told them over & over they could study any career they wanted as long as it paid a “living wage.” My hubby & I didn’t do that planning & we had real struggles making our living doing what paid the bills instead of what we really would have enjoyed & been good at (while it paid the bills.)

      The fact is, at your age, you should be actively, thoughtfully setting the foundation of your future, wherever it’s going to take you, that’s the big prep for you for now. Concentrate your efforts & social contacts on planning your life, step by step in the here & now, for a long productive future. Cultivate positive, forward thinking friendships with like minded but optimistic people who want to improve the things they have some control over, like (useful, employable) education or other job training.  

      If you can take some aptitude tests for different fields it can make a big difference in your planning. Ask helpful family & friends what they think you’ll be good at, then study up to see if it pays the bills & is likely not to be done by a robot in future. Prepping for life includes what you’re gonna do with all those years between now & your 80’s or ?? The world will likely keep rocking on, and prepping is a useful sideline to your real life. I consider it a fun & practical hobby, but your real life is happening right now. 

      To loosely quote some ancient wisdom: the seeds you plant now & cultivate will come up & produce a crop, choose good seed! Don’t let all the doomsayers rob you of today’s joy & anticipation of your future life. After all, none of them have a crystal ball either. 😉

    • 3

      Best advice I can give is to look after yourself, eat well but maintain a healthy weight, keep both your mind and body as active as possible.

      If you live your life being the best man that you possibly can be then you will have nothing to regret, whether you live a long life or a short one it will have been a good life well lived. Obsessing about how long you’ll live is pointless, better to get on with living life.

      Many preppers get themselves tied up in knots over this, they’re so anxious about the future that they forget to live fully in the now, they fail to engage with the people around them and spiral inwards into more extreme behaviour. It’s one of the reasons that the press like to portray us as crazy and on the fringe of society.

    • 2

      I’m only in my early 30s, but my parents taught me that one of the biggest, most important skills that you can have is a cultivating a positive attitude, even when everything feels it is going sideways. Josh Centers wrote a blog post about the stoic perspective a while ago and I encourage you to read (or reread) it.

      Here’s an example: I used to live in a two-family (outside of St. Louis, they are often called duplexes). I had an elderly neighbor who lived above me. She was always complaining about being old. (Her joints hurt, she couldn’t do as much as she used to, etc) My mother came to visit me. She encountered my neighbor and the neighbor started on her litany of complaints about being old. My mom asked her how old she was. The neighbor was almost a decade younger than my mom but thought my mom was younger than her!

      Why the difference? Potentially there were some lifestyle choice differences: at the time, my mom was walking several miles a day with three large dogs and gardening and herding her chickens through the yard daily. My neighbor had one small dog she barely walked and a couple raised beds in the backyard. But more than anything it was attitude. My mom knows she’s getting older and it is slowing her down some, which she finds frustrating to an extent, but she’s not going to whine about it and let those negative thoughts fuel her. Instead she focuses on what she can do. She’s given up a lot of sewing because she can’t see as well anymore. In lieu of sewing, she’s building my daughter a scrapbook of memories, collecting pictures and stories, snatches of song, and thoughts from my daughter’s grandparents on both sides, her aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.

      The quick lesson is that there will always be negatives. There will always be events that don’t turn out the way you hope. But approaching life with a positive “party on” attitude will get you further (and apparently keep you looking younger) than dwelling on what you can’t change.

      I also love the comment by Watermelon Samurai about being the descendant of survivors already. I think that thought has a lot of hope to it.

    • 3

      Hey, Pizza-Ninja Tim,

      The future will be what it will be. Thrive now. Practice doing things that will make your life – and especially the lives of others – better in the moment. If you are wise about thriving now, you’ll build skills that may be really helpful in the future.

      For example:

      If you like to eat well, do so! Maybe that’s learning delicious ways to prepare fresh vegetables. Maybe that’s getting a few of those veggies from pots on your balcony. Nourish yourself and those around you with healthy food.

      Do fun things to get your exercise. Maybe you want to learn to swim. Take lessons and learn to play in the water. You’ll enjoy life now, and have a skill that might help if things go wrong. Physical strength and endurance will help you to take care of the ones you love if need be.

      Indulge your curiosity. Try your hand at different skills. Ever build a rocket stove? It’s great fun, especially with friends. Rocket stoves aren’t your thing? Find something completely out of character and give it a try. Canning peaches, fishing with your bare hands, navigating by the stars, you get the idea.

      A good life isn’t measured by how long it is. It is measured by experiences, learning, loving, helping, contributing . . .

      Have a great journey!

      • 1

        I will have a great journey! Thank you for your advice, I really like “The future will be what it will be” and that is true. The world will change and be what it will be and I’ll change and grow as I continue and fingers crossed that I will be able to handle whatever life throws at me at various points in my journey.