Surviving Change

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Author of Lifestyles of the Flat Broke and Resilient and Be Ready for Anything

A lot of people have preparedness and survival plans based on certain factors remaining the same. Maybe they’re convinced their income will remain the same, and they’ll get to stay in their home, their car will keep running, they’ll be able to afford to keep buying food to stash away, everyone will stay happily married, nobody will die…the list is endless. But the most certain thing in life is the uncertain: change.

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it should have reinforced how quickly things can change and how much resiliency matters. Perhaps nothing at all changed for you, but you’ve most certainly noticed others who have faced overwhelming changes. Loss of income, loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, loss of buying power, loss of social interaction, loss of physical possessions as the bills can no longer be paid.

Your ability to deal with these changes will be the difference between success and failure.

I’m not in a unique position. I have faced more than one loss this year that has been devastating. So not only am I dealing with change, but I’m also dealing with grief over losing people I love. As well, one of my kids is locked down in Canada, and we haven’t been able to see each other for over a year.

And that’s just the personal stuff. My business is a target because many of us have unpopular opinions, and we share the unvarnished truth as we see it. Seven people are dependent on this website for income, and I’m determined to persevere. We have been threatened with loss of income and although we’re still doing okay, it will almost certainly happen in the future.

But here’s the thing. We aren’t rolling over and giving up. We’re increasing our sources of revenue with our bookstore and our digital courses. We have a Patreon account. We know that enough people believe in us that we can make the essential changes to stay in business. We are working on even more things to diversify our income to cover our operating expenses and pay our writers.

There are days when I want to curl up under the covers with my dogs and say, “I just want things to be EASY for once.” There are days when I don’t want to turn on the computer or look at my bank balance or do anything serious or strenuous. But I keep going. I’ve been through more challenging times than this, much harder times, and survived and even went on to thrive.

It’s important to grieve when things change.

This could be considered a prepping post or just a plain old ordinary life post. Change will hit you and hit you hard, if not now, at some point in your life. Sometimes you’ll see it coming like a storm on the distant horizon. Sometimes it will smash into you out of the blue, and you’ll be blindsided.

But it’s inevitable.

Some might say it’s important to just keep going, and it is. But I think it’s also important to take the time to grieve. If you put off grief until “a more convenient time”, it will cause you many more problems down the road. Accept the pain and know that it is a natural, normal part of change and life. Be patient with your emotions because they may be quite volatile for a while.

Loss doesn’t just mean that a loved one has died. Maybe he or she is no longer in your life for some reason. Perhaps you’re missing the family get-togethers that have been lifelong traditions, or your former home, or your lifestyle, or your travel plans, or your milestones like graduations and weddings.

Your loss may seem insignificant to others, but that doesn’t make it insignificant to you. You’re allowed to grieve and be sad and not feel guilty about it because someone else’s loss was ‘worse.’ Loss is loss is loss and it hurts.

Don’t wallow in it forever. I set myself a time limit to really FEEL the loss, journal about it, spend time alone in nature, or whatever. And then I move on. That doesn’t mean I’m not still sad – I’m still heartbroken about some losses. But they’ve been mourned, and I can feel the occasional wave of sadness and still keep going.

And then, get your ass in gear.

So you’ve accepted the loss, as terrible as it was. Now it’s time to remember who the heck you are. You are the person who has dealt with every single bad hand life has thrown you, and you will deal with this one too. You have to just keep going even though everything feels like it’s crashing around you. You don’t want Toby’s Nan to wallop you upside the head to slap you out of it.

Handle your business—brainstorm plans. Get out your notebook or planning app and write down your problems. Organize them by levels of urgency and deadlines.

Then go into more detail. What are possible solutions? Will these solutions take time, money, the cooperation of others? Which things can you do easily and get out of the way?

Break it down into small manageable steps. You may have dozens of those steps, but what is that quote? “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

What you cannot do is wait around to be rescued. Especially right now, there are so many people in need, so many who are hurting, you’ll be at the end of a very long line. You have to be the hero of your own story. Whether that means working 18 hours a day at two different full-time jobs to make money to get yourself a place to live, whether it means moving in with family members, whether it means sacrificing possessions and living a simpler life.

You can do this. You can do difficult things. You just have to accept that change has occurred and make a plan to move forward.

Accept the change.

Okay. So the change, whatever it is, has occurred. You’ve grieved. You’ve taken the appropriate actions. You’re now in a whole new mental space. You have to shift your mindset from being in grief mode, fight-or-flight mode, or struggle-to-survive mode. This is the point at which you should finally be able to relax a little.

Sometimes this can be the hardest part. I know it is for me. I’m a fighter by nature, and it’s difficult for me to reach the point where I give in and say, “Okay, I’ve done everything I can. I cannot control this. This is my current circumstance.” It’s hard for me to accept that a person is gone, that a home is gone, that I lost a friend, or that a business idea didn’t succeed. I just want to keep on working at it until I make things go my way.

You may be the same. Fighting can become habitual. Being in that survival frame of mind can become your go-to. This isn’t healthy. You can’t run on adrenaline and force of will forever.

6 healthy ways to handle change

Now is the time you have to learn to accept the change and find peace in it. I wish I could tell you I’ve found some magical way to do this, but a few things that help me are:

  • Gratitude: I have a roof over my head. It may not be a fancy roof or as nice as my former roof, but it’s a roof nonetheless. I have food in my cupboards. I have my dogs, family, and friends.
  • Find something new to love: There’s always going to be some wonderful little gift of nature in your new setting, whether that’s a trickling stream, a wooded path, or even a dandelion poking up through a crack in the sidewalk to remind you we can bloom anywhere if we have enough will to do it.
  • Do things that aid in your peace of mind: Maybe it’s taking a walk or working out at the gym. Perhaps it’s sitting on the beach watching the waves. It could be looking for rocks of a certain type in the creek. Some people find peace in needlecraft or woodcraft or creating something. Don’t just sit there and stare at Netflix eating unhealthy food. That is NOT going to make you feel better.
  • Eat as well as you can. When money is tight it can be hard to eat healthfully. But eat things that are as healthy as your budget allows, and nourish yourself with the effort of home-cooked food. Don’t resort to the temporary comfort of a junk food binge. It will not make you feel better in the long run.
  • Let people love you. When you are reeling from a dramatic change it’s easy to feel like a burden on others. You don’t want to bring them down so you don’t tell them how bad things are. You don’t want to sound like a whiner. You don’t want to admit what went wrong – perhaps you’re embarrassed. People who really love you don’t care about any of that. They care about you. They want to support you. But they can’t if you won’t let them. If you’ve sort of vanished off the face of the earth for a while, dealing with your crisis, it can seem insurmountable to start that first conversation again. But if you do, you will be rewarded with exactly what you need: love, acceptance, and warmth. Just say, “Hey, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been going through some stuff. I’m sorry for not being available. How are you?” and your loved ones will probably take it from there. And if the response is less than warm? Maybe they’re not your people.
  • Be active. Avoid the urge to sit in front of the television or laptop, or to sleep all day. Get up and get moving. Being outside is particularly good for you. Vitamin D from the sun and connecting with nature can be incredibly healing. Whatever you do, get moving.

Things have changed and you must adapt. Keeping yourself mentally healthy, physically healthy, and accepting support from others will help.

Change will make you or break you.

I have had changes in my life that broke me temporarily. We all do. It’s what you do to put yourself back together that matters. It’s how you keep going, how you progress anyway, how you find a new path when your old path is no more, that matters.

Change is not easy. It often hurts. One of my favorite violence dynamics philosophers wrote,

“Why is a caterpillar wrapped in silk while it changes into a butterfly? So the other caterpillars can’t hear the screams. Change hurts.”

― Rory Miller

Life is everchanging but currently even more so than usual. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but lately, many of the changes we have experienced have been bad. I don’t foresee things getting easier soon. That isn’t meant to discourage you. It’s meant to encourage you to build up your mental reserves and prepare for what’s coming. Let it make you stronger.

How do you handle change?

Have you faced difficult changes over the past year? Do you have tips for those who are undergoing changes in circumstances or losses? Let’s talk about change in the comments.

Surviving Change
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Hi Daisy! Yes it is vital to train our minds to learn to deal with the losses that are coming this decade no matter how devastating it becomes. My wife, our 2 daughters, and I had to deal with the loss of our 17 year old son due to suicide in 2010. That one event woke us up to how suddenly our lives could change as we learned to deal collectively with much loss yet stay focused on helping one another through the trial. I offer up my website for those readers of yours seeking the deeper reasons why this decade is going to be hell on earth for those not spiritually prepared to handle it: https://sumofthyword.com/

  • Daisy, your message is needed more than ever. I warned of this, starting many years ago, in the eighties, as I saw the slow but sure government edicts, affecting our freedom. I predicted that this year, things would get steadily worse. Things will never return to ‘normal’. As our rights are being taken from us, here in Canada, and around the world, we need to find new ways to live; more like survive.. Billions will die from starvation, disease, the ‘vaxx’, and natural disasters. May you and those that read your posts, edure. Blessings.

    • are you joking ? canada? you folks need a revolution and Independence! stay clear of all central powers or parties or you get demonrats like biden and killery!

    • Thank you! I lived in Canada for years and it’s a beautiful country. I have family still there who I miss desperately. It doesn’t look like things are easing up there any time soon.

  • Great article Daisy!

    Most of my life, I have been on the move, changing jobs, or differing roles in the same industry. I see change as an opportunity. In most cases.
    Granted there can be very bad changes that, as broadsides you when you least expect it.
    Had that with a unexpected medical cost a few years ago. Solution, got a PT job to pay it off. Sure, had to give up weekends with family, and did not get home till after 8pm. But it was not all bad. Good co-workers (the GM was a world class jerk), most of the customers were nice.
    Otherwise, Improvise! Adapt! Overcome!

    • I totally agree on looking at it as an opportunity whenever possible. It can force us to grow.

  • dude, its call payback for a fake church baby murder and sodomite marriage! repent Jesus will clean house if the nation repents of this wickedness?

  • Daisy- this article put me in a very reflective mindset. Over the last year, I’ve had to adjust to working from home and while some might find the idea desirable, it’s been a challenge. I value a strict separation between work and life, and taking emails at my kitchen table was too much interference. We were able to set aside a space in our home for my office, and it has helped immensely. We’ve also been tracking food prices and other product shortages- it does make one nervous, but there have been so many good ideas that I’ve found on this site, that the feelings of uncertainty have been minimized. We restructured our gardens into tire/raised beds, put up grow walls, and I made DIY ollas to help with water conservation. I’ve invested in more perennial plants and we’ve traded with neighbors for wild leeks to transplant. I also stopped vanity shopping- and even sold most of my jewelry! Where was I going to wear it anyway? I stuck with my annual closet purge and have not bought any new pieces- again, I have no office to go to, so why waste the money? I will admit that I’ve taken those funds and split them between our preps and doing projects on the house. If I’m home most of the time, I want this place to be as perfect for my partner and I as possible!

    I’ve been blessed that my job is a necessary one that pays well, so we did not have the financial impact that others experienced. We’ve been able to pay off debt and to keep our expenses low (with the exception of the lawnmower I had to buy yesterday), and have been rewarded with a stronger relationship, good communication and more time with nature. My humming birds have returned and our Orioles have also come back. I never realized how much I enjoyed watching the birds and how much I was missing with going to an office every day. That has opened my eyes and I can now embrace this new structure of work happening at home.

    Thank you for continuing to put out content that aids in thought and evaluation of oneself and ones’ surroundings!

  • Good thoughts I went thru some changes when my house burnt to the ground about five years ago. I prayed a lot it helped. I still miss the house but I think I have learned to live with it

    • A house fire is definitely a life changer. Been through one myself a few years back. You see what you’re made of when you have nothing left. You also find out who your friends and family really. And that happened in good/easy times.
      Hard times are coming. Like Selco has said, be ready to let it all go to save your life and your loved ones. The stuff is not worth it!!
      P.S. Daisy: that quote from Rory Miller really got to me. So true. Very powerful. Thanks for sharing!

  • I agree that one must take time to grieve or deal with the emotions of change or loss.
    Right now, we have the luxury of having the time to do that.

    However if SHTF happens, you can not afford much time to grieve, maybe only for a few minutes, but quickly you must push on. You may have to deal with it in full, but later on.

    Part of being prepped for SHTF is to realize that you will lose people. Expect it.
    I know it may sound hard or cruel, but your survival may not allow you time to grieve, right then.

    Many times this happens in emergencies, people check out of reality when they lose someone close to them. Which can prevent them from saving themselves from disaster.

    Life is full of change, you need to embrace it, even when it is unwanted or catastrophic in nature.
    This will shorten your grieving period.
    Your life and those who are still alive may depend upon how you handle this and how quickly you can move on to dealing with the things at hand. The will to live and survive is the difference in whether people survive in an emergency, crises or SHTF.

    The biggest key to survival is your mental state and your mental conditioning. Second to that, is the mental state and conditioning of those who are with you during SHTF.

    You can have all the preps in the world, but if you can’t handle stress or loss, you probably won’t survive. You will become depressed and fail to do what is necessary or start making mistakes and it will cost you your life or some one else’s life.

    So one of the most important preps is Mental conditioning. Followed closely by Survival knowledge and Physical conditioning. Then come physical things (preps).
    All to often People put them in reverse order, by starting out with Preps.

    • “Part of being prepped for SHTF is to realize that you will lose people”

      people never seem to prep others for the loss of themselves. just mentioning that possibility makes lots of people really angry.

      • This is so true! As I age and mention to family that I will not be here one day, they ask me to “stop talking like that”. But it is important to prepare ourselves for loss. I try to reassure them that it is a normal part of living. Something we should be talking about. Hard? Yes. Essential? Yes. I’m glad I am loved, but I am not immortal.

  • Obedience to YESHUA is the only way to make it through what’s coming… Any on here being surprised by these events needs to study scripture more then ever… It’s all been foretold, and is happening in real time now… Like it or not this is judgement upon the US, so the church needs to quit hitting the spiritual snooze button and get busy doing the KING’S work…

    • “Obedience to YESHUA is the only way to make it through what’s coming”

      … dunno. the old testament by and large makes it clear that if you do the right thing you’ll be healthy and well-off and live a long life (“no harm befalls the righteous”), but the new testament by and large makes it clear that if you do the right thing you’ll suffer for it (“take up your cross and follow me”). is your goal to “make it through what’s coming”?

  • Very informative and a good post.

    We are in our late 70s, have a limited income, and do not have land available.
    We do what we can and pray, pray for our family, and pray for others.
    I am the caregiver for my wife and we have reconciled ourselves to what may come
    and look forward to being with the Lord.
    Best to you and your loved ones in Christ, Daniel and Donna

  • I felt every word in this article. Solid advice and very personal and heart-touching writing. I will print and save it in a folder for rereading. Thank you for your hard work to bring this piece of wisdom to us (your readers). And please, excuse my writing. English is not my first language.

  • LIfe is full change. Gains and losses. Births and deaths. Friends who add to your life. Some stay in your life, and some pass through. Years of work then years of retirement. You out live spouses, siblings, children, friends, relatives, and even your enemies. Your savings can run out. Or you may have been so poor you didn’t save so as you age or the economy sours and you suffer. The storms of life come. You go on.
    Enjoy the good times and save for the hard times. Everything can be gone but you calm yourself so you can think and go on.
    In my parent’s and grandparent’s time they lived from harvest to harvest. It is still wisdom.
    April and May 2020 I was sick with covid 19. I was left too weak to lift a gallon of milk. I couldn’t drive to town for months. I lost nearly 50 lb and after the fever was gone my hair was falling out. My husband has Alzheimers and I’m his only caretaker. I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy.
    For most of the past 13 months we lived off of stored up supplies. I’d canned ground beef, a large ham in pint jars, most of a big turkey in pint jars, foraged greens, odds and ends of vegetables and many quarts of bone broth. I had dry pinto beans and white rice. I had a 5 gallon container of assorted other beans and legumes and a 5 gallon container of assorted styles of pasta. I’d purchased 3 cases of chili con Carne and 3 cases of pasta sauce. On the shelves were some assorted vegetables, a dozen cans of cream of chicken soup, 8 large cans of crushed tomatoes, and a few cans of fruit. 4 very large packs of TP, lots of herbs and spices, 3, 4 lb bags of sugar, 10 lb of salt, several cans of coffee, and a 25 lb bag of all purpose flour. That took us through most of a year with some left over. I grew some sprouts and wheat grass. I had grain and feeds enough for the chickens, ducks, and rabbits for 8 months. The wheat I’d purchased for the ducks in 50 lb bags. We used from the wheat and a 50lb bag of rolled rye that the critters didn’t like. We still have food left. I made simple tasty meals.
    Now I’m rebuilding stock and growing the bigger garden plus adding berries and fruit trees for the future. I would have liked more fruit. Husband is now in diapers so that goes on the list to buy extras to set back. Even for just two people it takes a lot to go from year to year. I’ve found some freeze dried veggies in #10 cans on sale. Usually they are priced too high for us but they are made to last for years so they are an investment.
    Prices go up and up, so todays price may seem like a bargain in the future. I found another big ham being marked down as it neared it’s sell by date. We will use some now and I’ll cut it up to can in pint jars.
    Walmart has a display of pint jars on a pallet. I aim to buy a dozen as often as I can. I have 9 dozen pints and 4 dozen quarts to be filled this year. Its just planting time now. A while till harvest, so it’s still planning and gathering supplies time. Every season has its tasks. I’m even rebuilding simple over the counter meds stock of the few things we used. When it’s canning time there will be some very busy days. But after that we will be getting in better shape to go a long while without getting out much.
    We lost our best friend 6 months ago. Almost young enough to be my son he treated me like a mother. He caught covid 19 and was gone in 3 weeks. When I was sick he took over caring for my critters. When I was too sick to cook he brought my husband sub sandwhiches to eat on all day. He brought cases of bottled water because he knew I could not get a glass of water and my husband could refigerate a few each evening and get us each a bottle now and then through the day. When I was finally able to eat a little he drove to a deli on a nearby reservation to pick up hot pre-made lunches. One lunch lasted me 2 days nibbling on the items. But I was eating again. Before the fever broke I hadn’t eaten a bite in at least 10 days. For the next 4 months it was all I couId do to eat 1 to 1 1/2 cups of food in a day. I was still loosing a lot of weight. He was the one who maintained the vehicles or did the heavy work for me. We miss him a lot. I do what I can to help his widow and the three little grandchildren she’s raising. In turn she’s picking up things for us in the city when shes there. Today it’s 100 lbs of rabbit pellets and 200 lbs of cracked corn. I helped with gas money. She had to go anyway. I appreciate her saving me the trip.
    A new litter of rabbits is due in 10 days. One broody hen hatched out 9 chicks. It’s spring! I bought 6 young ducks last Fall. Dogs killed 2. This week we got our first duck egg.
    You take life as it comes. You figure out how to keep going and hope you’re prepared for what comes.
    Enjoy the blessings and good times. Try not to dwell on the losses.
    I read about other peoples preps and find reminders I need sometimes.

    • I miscarried two loved and much wanted babies but I was blessed with 3 sons and daughter who are grown and productive adults. I’m now a great grandma. My parents are gone. My brother died two years ago. I’ve out lived 2 husbands and #3 has Alzheimers and I’m his caretaker. I lost everything I owned 3 times. Yes a house fire was one of those events. You wonder how you will go on but you do. I fought my way back from a TBI from a car wreck when I was 21. I had to carry a notebook everywhere as I had little short term memory for over 2 years.
      I can not focus on those times. They aren’t totally forgotten but I prefere to think about the good times and there have been many. I am an artist so I look for beauty constantly. I’m thrilled with every seed that sprouts green. The 7 kinds of humming birds that come in spring and raise families in my ancient apricot tree are wonderful to watch. I’m learning to build a new solar array to replace my oId one that was destroyed by a storm 16 months ago.
      I’m 74. I still love learning. I’m at peace in a garden or when I’m painting. I’ve pastored for most of the past 48 years. Faith plays a big part in how I handle life. Prayer and Bible reading have brought instructions, peace, and helped me not focus so much on my troubles.
      I look for new things to grow, new skills to learn, or take joy in nature.
      I do my best to be knowledgeable and prepared for the things I can prepare for.
      I enjoy the articles here and the comments that it brings.

      • Thank you for your inspirational comments, it’s given me a sense of peace as storms arise. I’m glad that I have two caged birds that chirp and sing and bring happiness to my place as the sun comes up each day. I’m constantly surprised and pleased at how kind people can be, and I bless them back with a kind remark and a silent prayer.

  • “We are working on even more things to diversify our income to cover our operating expenses and pay our writers”

    lots of talk about major inflation on the way – wages of course will not rise appreciably. any plans to deal with that?

    • We’re just doing the best we can, like everyone else. Our goals are to keep all our website information free for all to read and pay writers and other staff as fairly as possible.

      The support of all of you who just come here and read an article helps us meet those goals.

  • You have given some great words of advise. Often people do not look at the psychological aspect of change but it is a very important part of navigating through change.

  • Thanks Daisy absolutely perfect timing, I’m helping a friend through some major life changes . For me I needed to read this too. Tobys grandma reminded me of my nan, best women ever ! I love your blog , I hadn’t been reading it too much as for some reason your articles kept getting spammed.

  • clergylady,
    I am both stunned and amazed by your post. I was going to put a post on here about getting covid last year (relatively minor) and losing my best friend to a massive heart attack, but after reading your trials and challenges….I got absolutely nothing. Just speechless. I hope you know how inspirational you are and a source of strength. May God bless and keep you in the palm of His hand.

  • Thanks to Daisy for this honest and courageous post and to all those who have shared their experience of adversity and how they face it and overcome it. This is exactly why I come back over and over to the Organic Prepper.

    In my own life, my motto is “Just….Keep…..Going!” Sometimes this is easier said than done. I lost my beloved partner, Peter, to cancer after a year-long illness about 5 and a half years ago. My whole world changed. Suddenly I was alone and facing the toughest time of my life without the love of my life and best friend, the person who had been my rock for 15 years.

    Just as Daisy had written, I did allow myself the time to cry and grieve that loss. However, even all this time later, I can see that a great deal of the meaning and enjoyment in my life came from the simple companionship and loving support we offered each other. I still just….keep….going, nurturing my friendships (new and old), and valuing my family connections.

    I try to find meaning in my mission to write about sustainable living and share my homesteading knowledge with others. I enjoy a good cup of freshly ground coffee each morning gazing out at the beautiful nature on my half acre and then just keep going. Wishing everyone all the best on their own journeys!

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