“Sorry I missed breakfast Saturday, guys,” I said as I slid onto the old couch in Duane’s basement. “I was a little under the weather. So, how are you doing today, Duane?”
“Holding on,” Duane sighed. “The changes we’ve made and the ones we’re going to make are making my head spin.”
“You’re feeling stressed?” asked Survival Sam.
“You could say that,” said Duane. “The changes never stop. You know, home schooling Bryce and Jenny, making room in the budget for storage food and camping supplies. It takes some serious adjusting.”
“You’re preparing in leisure now so you won’t have to in haste,” Sam said.
“Is there any way of getting things back to normal?” asked Duane.
“You’re developing a new normal,” said Sam. “There’s really no going back. If you tried, you’d never be happy with the knowledge you have now. Get used to the idea that things will never be quite the same again.”
Duane shifted uncomfortably. “I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Family and friends think we’re nuts. It isn’t easy breaking away from the pack, so to speak.”
“Doing nothing and accepting the status quo is definitely not the right thing in these days of uncertainty,” said Sam. “What you’re experiencing is normal. It’s OK to grieve over what you believe is lost. Our country isn’t what we thought it was. The world isn’t the place we might wish it to be. It’s occasion for a mix of sadness and fear.”
“That sounds bleak,” I said.
“Perhaps,” Sam said, “but not hopeless. The thing to do is to keep moving forward. Nevertheless, the stress can be great at times. That’s why I said some time back that it’s good to take a survival break now and then. Watch old movies. Read a book you’ll enjoy. Go on a picnic or camping trip with the family. Get refreshed mentally and physically.”
“Meanwhile,” said Duane, “keep planning and preparing for survival, right?”
“Right,” Sam replied. “Bolster your courage. Years ago I heard courage defined as fear faced with resolution. Reinforce your resolve now while you can. It will be too late when those U.N. troops start rolling down the streets in your neighborhood. While everyone is losing their cool, you’ll keep yours. Your family will thank you for that.”