Reflections - Contributor East Coast Gal
Can you believe that 2019 is over? I was often told that as I aged, time would seem to pass more quickly. I have definitely found that to be true! As I expect many of you do, I find myself thinking back over the year and all that has happened. The world continues to be in a state of confusion over so many things, not only political but also humanitarian issues. I won't even attempt to write about that! I am going to concentrate on my personal journey to become a more prepared individual.
As I think back to January of 2019, I realize that a good friend was gradually leading me toward seeing myself and the world differently. As time progressed, I came to view so many things differently. My political views changed and I recognized the need to change my entire mindset. I began reading about what life could become in the future if things didn't change. I also began to think more about being prepared for not only natural disasters but for more serious scenarios. I had read numerous fiction books about "the end of the world as we know it" and other situations that completely changed the way of life but decided it was time to check out some non-fiction. The book Hope for Survival was my first choice. I personally know the author and have a great deal of respect for his perspective on the topic of preparedness. I learned so much from this book and searched out others to read. I was blown away at how little I knew!
Those who know me know that I am usually a very organized and routine oriented person - to the OCD level at times. I sought information on how to prepare a go bag and an every day carry bag. Imagine my displeasure when I didn't find a specific list! You have to take so much into consideration when organizing your bags. Once I got over that, I was able to put together a bag to have with me every time I leave the house. Is it perfect and complete? Probably not, but I continue to research and add to it.
I have previously written about my use of essential oils. I now have been able to save up and purchase extra of all the oils I recommended in a previous article. I've even been able to add a few extras. I've included a natural replacement for antibiotic cream and a rub to sooth sore joints and muscles.
I knew I wasn't in the best physical shape. So back in January, I began a physical fitness routine and a better eating plan. I have been able to continue both with success. My eating plan, which really just consists of eating less (no seconds, or thirds...), and making some healthier choices. My physical fitness routine began with walking and progressed to hiking during the warmer months. I also participate in a Zumba class at my local YMCA as time allows. Eating better and exercise led to a substantial weight loss and the ability to stop taking my blood pressure medicine. (I do think being retired may have helped lower my BP!)
In addition to hiking, I've done a fair amount of tent camping this year. This is another thing that amazes me - I love it! I would like to try some colder weather camping but that hasn't happened yet.
Another area in which I lacked experience was in self-defense. In the last several months I have become an owner of two guns and have secured my concealed carry permit. I try to get to the range to practice often. I recently found out how different it is shooting when the temperatures drop. My hands get stiff and achy much more quickly and it is a bit of a different feel if wearing gloves to shoot.
I continue to sometimes struggle to have support from my spouse. Sometimes I feel like he is all in and other times, not so much. Luckily, he has been much more helpful in teaching me to be a better shooter. We have plans for me to try out some different weapons and perhaps even do a little hunting. Wow, never in a million years would I have thought that would be something that would excite me!
I went to a self-defense class - really more of a one evening demonstration. I am currently looking into trying to get a class , for women in particular, started in my area. I've spoken with others who are interested and I'm hoping either the YMCA or the local police department can get something going for us.
The best part of all this - the way I feel about myself. I'm so much more in-tune with my body and my ability to accomplish things I never before dreamed of even trying. Even my friends have noticed that I'm much more confident about myself and my abilities.
As the year winds down, I can't help but remember how so very thankful and blessed I am to be able to look back and see progress being made. My goal for 2020 is to continue in my current endeavors and hopefully gain new skills that will enhance my preparedness.
Happy New Year! East Coast Gal
Bravo Echo Out,