Lessons Learned

It’s a bad time to be a human, no?

I used to tell everyone that when I came back for my next life I was going to be a lion. Still a fearless female, raising the kids and doing all the hunting, but a lion nonetheless. Beautiful and majestic and fierce, with a good dose of lying around outside in the sun mixed in. Still sounds glorious, to be honest.

In my early twenties, I worked with someone whose mother was a psychic. Her mother believed that there were different worlds, and you kept coming back to them, depending on what you still had to learn. Different levels, like the worst video game ever. You don’t know what your objective is but you just have to keep going and keep learning and hope you make it out.

This information caused me to, every time something in life was terrible, ask myself, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

I wanted to learn, because I damn sure did not want to go through it again!

So now I find myself asking, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

I got my affairs in order. And by that I mean I put all the important documents and phone numbers in one place, and wrote a note detailing my wishes. Yes, I know, it’s not legal but it’s going to have to do. Family, please respect my wishes. I’m putting it in the library of Congress for you.

What I didn’t do, was what I thought would do, in the event I found out I was dying. I imagined myself always writing beautiful letters that my loved ones could read and know how much they meant to me, how blessed my life was because of them.

(SNIFF)

I can’t do it. I mean I could, but it would reduce me to a slobbering, sobbing pile of misery on the floor. The fact of the matter is, crying about it is something that I’ve been holding back, because I’m afraid if I give into it I’ll never stop. It’s the reason I can’t write the letters. It’s the reason even the happy, heartwarming stories of humanity are almost too much for me. I’m this close to being that pile in the floor, and right now I think I need to be a lion.

I brought my daughter some groceries yesterday. Basics I could spare from our cupboards like butter and eggs and milk and a few dry goods. She is a young kid, 22, working full time (well, until now, Dentist offices are closed) and going to school, and she lives from check to check. She couldn’t have stocked up if she wanted to, and now she can’t find what she needs because the shelves are bare.

If you have it, now’s the time to share it.

Did you ever read The Grapes of Wrath?

Well, I did. Twice. Once when I was forced to in high school and later in my life, when I was wiser and older and had a more objective brain.

The horror of being a mother during a crisis that puts your family in danger. It’s almost more than I can bear, honestly.

I couldn’t hug her, or kiss her or tell her that everything is going to be ok, that I’ll do whatever I can to make sure she’s ok. (Oh shit, damn tears!)

I don’t even like hugs the majority of the time but yesterday I missed them. Another lesson learned, I suppose.

I went a little prepper this week. I couldn’t help it. The question is out there- WHAT IF?

And I have a family. As Gram would say, “You can’t stick your head in the sand like an ostrich.”

So I ordered a “Survival Garden” pack of seeds, some portable water filters and iodine tablets, and a solar light. In MN we don’t plant until Mothers Day or later, so I figure by then I’ll have a good idea how big my garden should be.

Is it crazy? This is what I ask myself daily. (And answer myself, surely everyone is doing that these days, right?) Maybe? But what if it’s not?

I am also currently planning for alternative heating. In MN, the cold will kill you. It won’t do any good not to starve to death and then freeze to death instead.

I know, I know, now I’m getting a little out of hand. We’ll be fine. It’ll all be fine. (Gulp)

The truth is, the “being prepared just in case” is what’s holding me together. It gives me a purpose, and frankly, makes me feel a little less anxiety. I understand the stocking up. I understand the feeling of needing to provide for your family.

Lions, as you probably know, live in prides. The pride is primarily comprised of females. Mothers, sisters, daughters. The females communally provide for the cubs, who are often all born around the same time. While they will give priority to their own offspring (much like the deer in my backyard) they will care for the others. Even a nursing mother will nurse other cubs, if she has it she shares it.

In this way, Lions are different from other pack animals. Wolves, for example, typically do not let the subordinate wolves breed. Lions are more like sister-wives. (I know, ew)

I had a talk with myself, early on, when I had toilet paper and my friend, who has nine people in her house, wasn’t able to find any. Who would have ever thought that toilet paper would be a moral dilemma? Do I keep my toilet paper, knowing I might not get more, or do I share it with people who need it?

I decided I would share. That I don’t just care about my family, I care about other families as well. How can I sit by and not help?

I’m trying my best to be less wolf, more lion. And by lion I mean, LIONESS.

RAWR.

Stay safe,

Nic

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