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Monday, September 14, 2015

Putting the Fun back in Functional

When you get down to brass tacks, reconstruction after a SHTF scenario is all about functionality. You have to stop and consider what's beyond mere survival, though, if you really want to hang on for the long term.

Survival is good and necessary. Having the skills and functionality to keep yourself housed, clothed, fed, protected, and in relatively good health are essential to living long enough to start putting things back together.

What keeps us from devolving into simply another mammalian animal, though, is our resilience and our ability to find (or make) fun during the worst of times.

Even in the midst of crises, it is important for humans to play and laugh for morale and for mental health maintenance. It is important for us to relax, or else the stress of simply surviving will undo all our hard work and make life unlivable. Too much stress can also have nasty adverse physical effects, which are certainly going to be counter-productive in a survival situation.

While I no longer have children young enough to worry about, many do. Those with small children as part of their bug out/bug in/cope and survive group often wonder how to keep their children entertained, useful, and out of trouble (not necessarily in that order!) during a SHTF scenario. The same question arises for unexpected visitors as a SHTF starts -- who may or may not have particularly useful skill sets -- and those members of your Tribe/Clan/Group who perhaps are mentally and emotionally willing, but not as physically able as others to take on difficult tasks necessary for group survival.

Turn small but necessary tasks that do not require significant skills into games for the kids. Sending them to gather kindling and firewood (while still in sight of someone who can protect them, obviously) and turning it into a bit of competition can keep them occupied and entertained, while freeing up someone else to do more skill intensive tasks.Other good tasks for children involve animals, such as feeding chickens, walking dogs, watering cattle.

Encouraging songs, story telling, poetry; all these are good for "down time" to keep minds occupied and off the groups' worries, while providing an excuse for physical lulls. Leading these exercises are good jobs for adults who are low-mobility due to age or illness, especially if they have experience being parents, babysitters, or elementary school teachers.

Remember, life is more than simply surviving from one day to the next: it's thriving and growing and playing and laughing, too! A life that is worth living is a life that is more likely to survive a disaster.

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