Several years ago my mother and brother got back from grocery shopping. The car was packed full of items to bring in. Back and forth and back and forth they went from the car to the kitchen bringing in all of their goods. When they were all finished, my mother plopped herself on the couch, committed to not move another muscle. In an intentional melodramatic voice she then asked my brother if he would be willing to carry her into her room so she could go to bed. My brother responded, “Ok, Mom. But I’ll have to make two trips.” (Mom suddenly had a burst of energy as she chased my brother around the house in an attempt to give him a good swat.)
Have you ever had one of those moments in which you were so wiped out that you didn’t even want to get up to go to the bathroom?
You know, you’re trying to figure out how someone else can possibly go for you instead of you having to get up enough gumption to go for yourself. I know I have, although I’ve never been successful in getting someone to go to the bathroom for me. :-)
Physical Taxing Activities
Seriously though, we all have “wiped out days” in spite of the many conveniences we presently enjoy. Air conditioning, potable water with the twist of a knob, light with the flip of a switch, the ability to cover 3,000 miles of travel in only a day, a full meal with nothing more than uttering the desire for such or pushing a button, and the ability to take children all over the neighborhood without any other effort other than feeding the car. Even that which we do to earn a living has been made less arduous and less taxing mentally with all of the modern conveniences. And yet we still have days, even weeks and months, that drain us of excitement, energy, and life—all the while we wonder where all of the time, the money, and the energy went.
My point? It’s a concern actually—a concern that most of us are unaware and thus unprepared, of the physical toll which our life requires of us now and surely will in the midst of a crisis. We focus too much on time management instead of physical energy management. One of these we actually have control over; while the boundaries of the other will forever remain unchanged in spite of creative negotiations. If we aren’t aware of physical energy management now, then it will be a very stressful reality check—even life threatening—when we are surrounded by circumstances that require much more of us physically.
Think about it. In terms of preparedness, some people have informed me that if there is ever a disaster they will travel to their parents’ house to have access to supplies. Um, if you don’t get much further than the microwave when you’re hungry today, then it’s not likely that you will make it all the way to your parent’s house on foot. And besides, that particular plan could be an impossible one if a serious physical injury develops. Some people “prepare” for an interruption of their water by laying claim to use the lake that’s about a mile away from their house. Again, um…that shortsighted “plan” will require constant walking, lifting, bending, and would be a total waste of your physical energy—and that’s assuming that the water is safe to drink and clear of any other dangers such as those of the two-legged or four legged kind. Just as concerning to me is the person who looks at their back yard and says that their way of preparing for any alternative fuel needs will be accomplished by using the tall trees in back yard. Even with a functioning chain saw, this is an enormous waste of physical energy and it’s a huge gamble as well. The gamble that the trees will still stand, that the weather conditions will be suitable to obtain dry fire wood, and that the trees will be enough fuel regardless the length of the calamity. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that others may become seriously desperate in such a situation and may decide to lay claim to your highly visible trees for their fuel needs.
In all that you do to prepare for tougher times, be sure that you are wise in your plans to exert physical energy. Keep in mind the realistic “what ifs” that can compromise your intended use of physical energy as well. For example, what if there is suddenly a financial collapse and your retirement account is barely suitable to purchase a loaf of bread? What if traveling to and from your job costs more than you could ever possibly bring home in compensation due to skyrocketing fuel costs? What if you can’t trust the water coming from your faucet or local municipality and your only way of obtaining it is through your own preparedness efforts? Ok, now let’s add another layer of complexity to this. What if any of these scenarios occur but you also have the added inconvenience of an illness such as strep throat, mononucleosis, advanced stages of cancer, or a debilitating injury to a vital limb? Now how smart does the idea of “the plan of chopping wood” for fuel sound? I’m thinking that if you have a temperature of 103 and can’t easily get medical care, the decision to plan on chopping wood or hiking two miles to get water will seem quite foolish and shortsighted. Such a decision could actually mean the difference between survival and death.
In spite of the reality of illness and injury affecting our lives everyday, we tend to forget such a possibility in our preparedness efforts as well. For some reason we picture ourselves roughing our way through trials with all of our health about us, sometimes even with superhuman health that has no historical evidence of existing in our lives. In fact, the likelihood that our health will be compromised goes up substantially in the midst of chaos or any type of disaster. So, making decisions now that will purposefully require a great deal of physical energy later is anything but wise. Every decision of preparedness that we make now should be done so with the perspective that the conservation of physical energy is our first priority. So prepare with water on hand that doesn’t require extensive physical energy to use. Have easy recipes of comfort and nutrition to rebuild your physical strength without draining you. Instead of planning on walking everywhere should the need arise, prepare now with a bicycle along with proper repair tools and supplies.
I have always believed that knowledge is useless unless it’s applied to our lives. Applied knowledge then becomes wisdom. Let us not have a false sense of security in simply knowing how to chop wood, make a fire with nothing but stones and a stick or finding water in the middle of the desert. Instead, let us exercise wisdom which dictates that we only have to use such knowledge in the midst of circumstances that may be contrary to what we have prepared.
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