The Responsible Survivialist


Breathing Room
March 24, 2010, 11:24 am
Filed under: Being Responsible

One of the fundamental principles of Responsible Survivalism is to understand and recognize that there ARE limits to things.

Those imposed on us by outside forces and those we impose ourselves. Just as the finite nature of our planet’s resources will soon limit what we can and can not do, the limits we place upon ourselves define the boundaries of our Life. We may not recognize the edges but they are there and we crowd them at our peril.

This post is not so much about when we press against our limits, as it is about knowing when to step back from them and seek instead some breathing room.

Limits have more effect on our Lives than just preventing actions. They bring with them stress.

The military knows this, that’s why soldiers and units who are in the front lines, who see combat, take as much time to rest and refit as they do. If I remember correctly, a 6 month tour in combat will often mean 18 months in the rear recovering from the stress of battle.

You and me, we don’t often have the luxury of such an R&R.

I returned from California in 2005 where I had moved to for work a decade before, because my Father’s Alzheimer’s had progressed into its final stages. I wanted to be there while he could still remember who I was.

Over the next three years, as his disease got progressively worse and worse, and the support of the System and our Family got stretched thinner and thinner, the stress grew and grew, until we almost snapped.

When he died on May 16th, 2009, a collective sigh of relief went through my Family. They won’t admit it, but we had reached a breaking point that nearly destroyed us. His death gave us breathing room.

Maybe you are in a similar situation. Maybe you aren’t but still sometimes feel the stress of day to day is piling up. Something that is happening to more and more these days, what with the way the economy is going. Juggling bills and worrying whether you will have a job next week.

Do you feel your own breaking point growing near?

In a world obsessed with growth and making the big bucks, we often forget to give ourselves a break from all of that sometimes. We do a service to ourselves, our friends and families if we strive not for continuous growth but seek sometimes instead for some breathing room.

Being able to just get under the covers on a rainy day, with a hot cup of coffee and a new unread book, AND the time to be lazy, how often do we say to ourselves we will do that? How often do we really carry through?

Working that extra day, taking that offered overtime, does put more money in our pockets but if you are going to go out and spend it on that big screen TV or tickets to some sports event, then why take the extra work? You might find that those 8 or 10 hours is better spent connecting with your family, or working to better your community.

When I was just a boy, my parents would send my sister and I down to out grandparent’s home in Wagoner, Oklahoma for a month in the Summer. It’s a small farm and ranch town about 40 miles north of Muskogee, in the northeast of Oklahoma. I learned a lot of important lessons in that town, though it wasn’t until I was grown that I understood I had learned them.

And though my grandfather worked hard, he always seemed to make time to just sit on that back porch and rock, watching the sun go down. Usually just whittling on a twig he’d gotten from I don’t know where. For an over active 10 year old, sitting there was torture.

Now for someone many years past that youth, I see that the act of just sitting mattered the most. Breathing room, is important. And we all need to reconnect with that simple fact.

Make time today to just, sit and enjoy the simple things in Life.

Rob Dietz over at Steady State has some additional thoughts on this, well worth the read.

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