So I admit that I can be a little on the doomside. Although I don't think Mad Max is likely, I have read enough of history to know what happens when resource scarcity and anger collide. A city like Oklahoma City could be a death trap if the trucks stopped coming. I don't have illusions that "they won't let that happen" or that "things like that don't happen in America".
How do I do that? I present my favorite ways of overcoming doomishness.
1. Eyes on the prize.
People working together, instead of in isolation. People eating fresh food, instead of high fructose corn syrup monosodium glutamate transfatty mishmashes. People without deadlines, performance anxiety, yearly reviews. People chatting with their neighbors in the streets and enjoying local wine with their families in the evenings. Even if I never get to see New Zealand, that's a future I can look forward to.
2. Action as antidote.
Sometimes I get the stuffing scared out of me, usually after I've been reading LATOC news page. So what do I do? Buckle down. Now this may be more of a compulsion than anything, but when scared I tend to order wheat berries and go to the liquour store for vodka. My rationale: You can never have too much, because we can always share them with the neighbors.
Taking action helps me feel as if I am keeping the Mad Max visions at bay. I have a 3-5 year plan that includes fruit trees, a hybrid car, much larger veggie garden, chickens, and solar hot water. I may not get to all that, but it's strange how just writing goals down seems to make it happen. And every time I plant a fruit tree, I feel a little better.
3. Media diet.
OK, I know peak oil and climate change are happening. What else do I need to know? Why do I need to habitually read LATOC every day? Well, for one thing it helps me monitor how bad things are getting. And for another I can see how all the predictions are becoming reality. Hey, maybe Peak Oil IS for real! ;)
Sometimes, though, it gets to be too much. I just have to stop. No doom articles. No financial crash monitoring. No thinking about the SHTF and the TEOTWAWKI. Just take a break and read some nice pulpfiction fantasy or veg out watching a movie. Ah, now that I've re-read The Stand, I feel so much better.
4. Talk it out.
I am lucky enough to have an understanding husband, who only occasionally gets PO'd when I pester him to read an article on Sharon's blog or The Automatic Earth. I also have 2 friends who understand Peak Oil and are preparing for TSHTF. Sweet! Someone to talk to and share a reality with. I can tell you, a weight is lifted after I can call my friend Lewru about my strange struggles with wheat berry lids and Diva cups. It's so nice to talk to someone who knows what EROEI is.
5. Get the motor running.
I like to take walks, getting some sunshine and fresh air in the process. Although I may think about peak oil the whole time I am walking, I still get some benefit from my blood pumping and good, deep breathing. Likewise with yoga, getting massage, and working out. I try to do one of these every day. Hey, I'll need to be in shape to outrun the zombies anyway!6. Help someone else.
Most of us are somewhat nervous about our own fate after the peak, but also the fates of so many others who will be taken unaware by the oil shocks, or who will never understand what is happening as the years roll on and the oil decline grinds down our hopes and dreams.
What a relief it is to be able to help someone else prepare. Maybe you are considering starting a Transition Town project, or a community kitchen, or sharing your gardening expertise. Maybe you are helping a friend prepare for peak oil after you scared the heck out of them by telling them about it in the first place. Maybe you are blogging about your experiences as you homestead or go vegetarian or start learning permaculture. Whatever - it should energize you! At least, it does for me.
I am enjoying the Transition Town project, although I feel I am in way, way over my head. I try to keep my hopes high, but my expectations low. I think to myself "If we can reach one person in every neighborhood....If we can get 4 urban gardens started....If we can inspire one minister or city employee to spread the word, then all our work will be worthwhile." We could be saving lives here!
How about you? Are you having any trouble feeling doomish? How do you keep moving forward with your preparations?