The tsunami of climate change, financial collapse, energy depletion.

I have had to limit my reading of blogs that deal with even the positive aspects of the above — living more lightly on the earth, becoming more self sufficient, preparing for hard times, etc.

I simply get too depressed, and can’t seem to function. At times it seems as though I’m watching an accident and I can’t move fast enough, yell loudly or quickly enough, to stop it. All the while I know somebody’s going to get really really hurt.

I feel as though I can’t plant enough produce, can’t buy and plant enough trees, can’t move fast enough in my yard to be prepared, either.

I have to remind myself hourly at times, that I can only do what I can do. I can only organize my time better, I can only spend less time reading this $h!t, I can only harvest at the rate the plants produce, I can only put up so much in preserves for the winter, I can only buy so much bulk. I can only help people who want the help, I can only explain it to people who want to listen.

Sharon Astyk calls it living in two worlds…I don’t feel like I live in two worlds exactly. I feel like I go to work and that’s my pretend life, so that I can come home and live my real life. I work so I can prepare better, so I can get all our crap paid off and have to ultimately work less. In the meantime, I get simply and chronically exhausted.

I spent the ‘fat’ years of our country’s economy living in poverty, working two jobs. Now that the country’s in dire straits, I am — for the moment — doing alright, able to work and to pay my bills and to prepare for the future. It seems so strange to be finally doing slightly better than treading water when the rest of the country is drowning.

And still they don’t understand why, still they think it will be better soon.

8 responses

  1. Hey, I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now, thanks for posting. This one caught my attention, as I know of a online group of arizona people that express the same ideas.
    The site is here: AZ Homegrown Solutions. Maybe you’ve been there already.

    It seems to me that with all these crises converging, and just the way the world seems to be going in general a great rise in community among people is coming. Which excites me! take care
    alex, Boulder, CO

  2. Hey, thanks for the link! I’ll have to sign up. Positive, forward thinking people who live nearby are always a happy thing.

  3. Hi, Susan,

    I have been following your blog for awhile, and I really enjoy reading about all that you do at home. As for worrying about what might happen, well, I learned a long time ago (as in the days we had to “duck and cover” under our desks if a bomb dropped, circa early 1960’s?) that it does no good to worry, because what we are worrying about may never happen, and if it does, we will have plenty of time to feel bad afterward. Still, it’s good to prepare as much as possible for what might happen, but as you say, all you can do is all you can do.

    On the other hand (we have five fingers, joke, hahaha), seriously, on the other hand, I believe that our thoughts become our reality. If so many people are thinking doomsday constantly, then it just may come to be. But if so many more people are thinking the worst won’t happen, then that may become the reality. Therefore, I strive to think positively, and try to avoid those who are negative.

    Keep up what you are doing, and please keep sharing what you are doing and learning. I for one love reading it

    Blessed be,

    Julia in Camp Verde

  4. Hi, Susan! I’ve been reading your blog off and on for a few weeks now.
    I came across it on Sharon Astyk’s blog.

    I can understand the feeling of two worlds and also talking to others about the whole thing. Everything seems pretty threatening these days so I think that’s why some people can’t listen to more threatening issues.
    I h ave some people I can talk to about it like those I know online.

    Taking some action helps when I’m feeling helpless. That usually translate into trying more bread baking!

    Peace to you and all,

  5. I feel similar most days. Like you, I lived in poverty during the “good years” and am just now living a higher means of life. I have not felt the hardships (yet-knock on wood).

    I find myself taking news fasts at times because it overwhelms and depresses me.

    You said all of this so well!

  6. oops, I meant to say that I now live better financially, but I have found myself feeling much more anxious and worried about financial matters than in the lean years. A product of all this unknown we face I would guess.

  7. I can *absolutely* relate to the exhaustion and fret, which are ultimately linked I fear. What I, and it sounds like you, are doing is going through each day completely committed to two or more “lives” – driven to succeed or at least preform adequately in both, where much of our culture is incapable of sufficiently managing in one. I have attempted this year to focus primarily on reassessing what skills I need next – I can now farm, preserve, and build much of what I may need. With the immediate needs more under control, ongoing efforts will be in more strategic goals such as building sustainable soil fertility post oil, debt elimination, and community building.

    One of the toughest lessons to learn is that to be truly Sustainable and a resource to others, you have to take a lesson form the airlines and “put your own mask on first”. Burnout is the enemy – this is will be a Long Descent and we have time for planful action. If its a short descent, well – lets not think about that.

    Chin up Susan, we’re in this together, and we’re in it for the Long Haul.


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