As preppers we all like planning, after all it is the whole point of prepping. But, our planning tends to go much further. We plan what to do on vacation. We plan where we are going. We plan who we will be going with us. We even have a backup plan for our plans. And if the 3rd plan fails, some of us go beyond that and have a 4th plan, don’t we?
Here is my confession:
This is something that I have been thinking very deeply about for the past few days. My life has been no more than a succession of underachieved and troublesome plans. I am not whining, life is what it is. I am truly pleased to have had the small bits of happiness that warm my memories: unplanned cats, unexpected travel opportunities that turned into awesome mini-vacations, simple pizza dinners with friends that became funny parties.
Did my large “scale” plans work? Yes, they did. Owning my home? Check. Buying a new car? Check. A few items here and there just in case something happened? Check. A good school for the kiddo? Magically a great school was built just a few blocks away and he loved being there. So yes, check. Everything was going more or less according to plan.
I remember sitting one Saturday in our living room as one of our “furry” daughters came to receive her daily quota of cuddling and petting (she used to do that before her mom woke up, the rest of the day ignored me like some useless piece of furniture). I always give thanks during those moments for having everything that I had. Yes, a shadow of fear was always there. Losing those blessings would surely be painful.
Eventually, I would find this out.
However, not everything has been lost forever. I believe these sorts of things were like purifying and renovating. The Bible teaches us with Job’s story that while you may be shaken, squeezed, take a beating, stomped on, crushed, and suffer cruelties, at the end of the day something good will have come from it all. Even if only a reminder that our faith must prevail.
Let’s go back to my living room.
There I sat, being grateful for everything, feeling the fur baby’s claws through my gym pants as she purred, thinking what my next moves should be. And, making plans: start my home-based business, which I am sure would have been successful, acquire a good patch of land nearby, upgrade the SUV to a fully equipped diesel van.
The van was to be the bug-out vehicle we could use to get us to the cottage or the new patch of land. We would be safe in that van for at least 5 days. The new plot of land would not be a very large one. It would provide us with shelter for one or two nights, have a well and other necessities needed for comfort while on route to our main location. Planning in my mind of how to keep the plot of land hidden and build underground facilities at our cottage was also happening during that time.
Naively, I believed this all could be achieved with a few friends, a cooler full of beer, the BBQ to cook on, and just a little cash. I was wrong.
Destiny would intervene.
Our area is flooded with heavy rains a good part of the year. Plans for the extra plot of land as far as building considerations soon became quite a challenge, engineering-wise. The plans were not discarded entirely, just changed. For now, Mother Nature is doing her thing. What was once clay soil, landfill, and rocks was becoming a wonderful soil layer that is showing signs it is quite fertile for growing.
Hyperinflation had begun to reveal it’s ugly face to me as I sat in my dark living room, looking at the almost empty kitchen pantry, wondering how this had all happened so fast. It was much too fast. There was no way it could have happened naturally. This was indeed a man-made disaster. After thinking about it all, I finally admitted to myself there was no way to prepare against what had happened.
The blessings of being a prepper.
Not being one to like labels, I had not yet begun to identify as a prepper. I never liked labels in the first place and felt that others would judge me and be disrespectful. The truth is, we are all judgmental at times, it is human nature. I had some preps stashed away and knew that I could be easily targeted as a “hoarder”, especially if I had labeled myself a prepper. Under the communist regime at that time every valuable thing I had would have been seized by thugs and I would have been publicly shamed and thrown in prison, where I would have had my life threatened daily by the “uniforms”.
“Cottager” is a term that suits me well if the need for labels should arrive. A resilient man, living alone with a bunch of cats, surrounded by a 3-meter tall hedge, writing about what needs to be done to achieve a more efficient, healthy, peaceful, and rewarding lifestyle.
And there I go, making plans again. Pay no attention, please.
Planning is good, but be ready to make changes.
Latin America is not as into planning as in other latitudes. The reason is simple: our weather is fair, mostly, and we don’t need to stick to a firewood-making plan to be warm in the winter, for example. We tend to be the kings of improvisation. Sometimes with laughable results, yes, I admit it.
What I intend to say here is, plans are not always going to develop the way they are supposed to. People get sick, accidents happen, couples break up and the girl takes the cat with her, which is awful (I’d rather prefer her taking the TV), small-scale natural disasters can happen too, and a huge variety of things can happen that will make our plans go to heck. Just like my plan to start building up my cottage.
Lack of resources, the family situation I have been going through (thanks to my poor partner choice) and having bugged-out to the wrong place have delayed these plans in a way that will affect us for the next 10 years or more. Now the ONLY one in my rather small family with the wish to prepare that cottage is me. My ex, who used to be like Sarah Connor is now more like the Legally Blond character, minus the degree, the money, and the dog. She claims my kiddo’s opinion on all this means nothing. My plans, which were once OUR plans, have gone to waste as she prefers to live the “glamorous” life.
This is not to place the blame on my ex. I do acknowledge my mistakes and have been trying hard to make changes. It is a very painful process. I regret so much…I can never say that enough.
My message to my readers: If you consider yourself a prepper, be prepared to see your plans go to heck.
Be prepared to comfort your loved ones when faced with loss.
Be prepared for the day you end up in a dark room, with an empty pantry, asking yourself, “What the heck happened?”
If you are lucky, you will a fur baby purring in your lap and sharpening her claws on your gym pants while you are doing it.
Thank you for reading. I hope to provide happier news in the future!
Stay tuned, Jose.
Editor’s Note: Jose’s not alone here. We’ve all had times when our plans went terribly wrong. I’ll never forget when we got stranded up on the mountain where we lived by mudslides and a road collapse. We were perfectly content, we had supplies, our property wasn’t in danger. Everything was great…until I got bitten by a black widow spider and had a horrible reaction.
What are some times when your own best-laid plans went awry? Share them in the comments below.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151