Monday, March 18, 2013

One More Day


I started out this morning writing a post on my thoughts about our society's fixation with zombie apocalypses and TEOTWAWKI fantasies - specifically, about why we seem to be so fascinated by (and hopeful for...?) the idea that our world will end in one big bang that will destroy 90% of the population and leave the remaining few (and we are all pretty sure that we'll be one of the survivors) struggling just to stay alive.

It didn't flow the way I wanted it to, and so I guess that means I need to think on it some more, but it does strike me as rather funny that, as a society, we seem almost, hopeful, that the end of the world will come ... and soon, because our lives are so wrong-feeling and because we don't why it's wrong or how to make it right, that the only solution to the wrongness is to just wipe the slate clean.

In spite of what we doomers warn and predict, there is not going to be an all-of-a-sudden catastrophic event that happens. Unless there's a war (which there could be), none of us will ever need that fully-stocked bunker, and even if there is a war, most of us still won't need it (although, if you live on the West Coast, you might want to start digging). Our society is not going to cease to exist overnight.

Which means that, if our lives suck, hoping for some change won't make it better, except in our heads. A better solution would be to make changes, but most of us can't/won't do that, because then, we'd be forced to address what's really wrong - our society is flawed, and the only way to change it, really change it, is for everyone to just step away from the machine.

It is a gorgeous, blue-skied day here in Maine. The forecast is predicting snow. I don't mind the snow. In fact, I've been hoping all winter for a huge, mid-week snowstorm that shuts everything down for a couple of days - essentially, giving us all a snow day. It's not happened, and given the fact that I live in Maine, where dealing with lots of snow is just part of living in Maine, it's not likely to happen. Even the snowstorm that dumped three feet of snow on us did little more than slow things down for a half of a day (meaning we drove slower than normal).

I woke up this morning, though, and I looked outside at the beautiful day, and I walked outside to get some wood for my stove to heat up my house, and I felt the cold nibble a little on my bare skin, and heard the birds cheeping and twittering in the trees, and saw the irises poking up from the dirt, and I thought, how thankful I am for this day. This one day.

I think our society is pretty screwed up, and I'm just as guilty as the next person of fantasizing about the TEOTWAWKI reset, but more and more I think I probably shouldn't waste so much energy planning for that kind of what-if. Maybe, instead of worrying so much about how to survive some fictitious possibility, I should remember to just be thankful for the one more day.


  1. I think this is so true! I feel like for a lot of people (me included!), they feel like the individual changes they make don't amount to much. But, if something big happened, we would all band together and make it work. A lot of it is wishful thinking of course, but it is still interesting to think about what could possibly happen.

    Mainly, I think we are just too lazy to make the types of decisions that need to be made. Kicking it down the road is so much easier than facing reality. So maybe a minor issue could help to kick everyone in the ass and get people moving! Although, I guess we have had several hurricanes, ice storms, earthquakes and tornados, but that only works for a little while, and in specific areas. So maybe we do need something catastrophic for it to really make a difference.

  2. excellent!

    New follower from the Shoestring Manor.

  3. Amen. "Be here now", does have a lot of advantages. If you mostly focus on fear and worry, what's the point? Just step out of the mainstream and enjoy your day. Life's too short...

  4. I do agree with you. I think all that is going to happen to our society for a long time is that we will all get significantly poorer, and our infrastructure and safety net programs will be steadily eroded as our governments run out of money. TEOTWAWKI is likely to look like having our elderly parents live with us, and being really grateful for our vegie gardens and the years we spent learning how to cook, knit, mend everything and build our own stuff.. and all of that is quite fun, and makes today significant and special, and encourages us to live differently enough that we don't have time to be restless and unhappy, because we're too busy planting tomatoes and making them into salsa..

  5. Hi, reading your post was like a lightbulb moment. I'd never really thought it through properly before and, as I was reading, your words just made perfect sense and although none of us really know what the future holds I AM grateful for today too!

  6. The thing about zombie apocalypse tales is that they all us to face our fears of catastrophe and TEOTWAWKI in a fantastic, even heroic way. Fighting the evil dead has a gritty grandeur that coping with failing infrastructure and the brother-in-law on the couch doesn't--and besides, we know those zombies aren't really coming and BIL might be moving in any day, so it's delicious imaginary terror.

    But I agree...while planning and reskilling is important, it's even more important to enjoy the now. It's sunny, I have plenty of firewood, I'm eating oatmeal with last summer's dried peaches, and my world still has the option for coffee and hot showers (and the Internet). I will enjoy these things today!

  7. Excellent! I so agree!


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