Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Excuse #2 - Preparation Takes Time

Way back in June I started a series entitled "Why I Hate Being Prepared." I promised to follow up on each and every one of the reasons, but then I had a kiddo go in the hospital.  It is amazing how much life changes when a kid is in the hospital.  So now we are back on track, but for those of you who do not remember what the reasons were, here they are again...
  1. Preparing is expensive.
  2. Preparation takes time.
  3. Being prepared takes emotional energy.
  4. Getting prepared means I have to focus on negative situations.
  5. There is the chance I will never need to prepare at all.
Preparation Takes Time...I think I just saw a few of you shudder.  Yes, it does, but the question is how much time?  Is it more or less time than it will take you down the road to deal with a situation you weren't ready for?

I guess we could also ask, what are you preparing for?  If your goal is to feed a small nation for a month, then it could take a really long time.  If all you want to do is gather a 72 hour kit, then your time requirement is substantially shorter. 

From what I have learned, you need to sit down and look at your ultimate "pie in the sky" preparation list, and then order it by priority.  For my family, I feel very motivated to learn to use basic camping gear.  I want our family to be able to survive outside our home.  For me, this means finding a tent to purchase and learning how to set it up.  Then we need to test it in our back yard and then make the leap to the great outdoors.  I remember doing all of this stuff as a kid, but let's be honest, that was a few days ago, and I am a bit rusty.

Given that I want to learn how to camp again, I have a few preparation items that are just not going to get worked on any time soon. Right now I am not going to work on food storage (for the record I already have some...) and I am not going to buff up on my first aid skills.  I am just going to focus on camping.

Preparation is something that can easily fit into your family goals.  While the end result is a tent and the ability to sleep in it, the method of getting there actually meets another goal of ours, family time.  My kids love nature, and camping together allows us to be in nature.  My kids also love to spend time with both parents.  Camping gives us solid family time without the distractions of cell phones and TV screens.  We may just read books by lamplight and enjoy each other's company. (Wow, I know.)

Sometimes preparation takes time because you are not organized enough to prepare.  Paperwork can be buried in drawers, garages can be over run by junk, and finances can be overwhelming and scary.  If this is the case for you, look at preparation as the catalyst for positive change. If you really have missing paperwork, overflowing garages and mismanaged money, how would you handle an emergency?  You really do need to get it taken care of, and setting a preparation goal is a wonderful way to get started.

Sometimes preparation is not a simple one step process.  Sometimes it starts with us cleaning out the junk drawer or purging the garage.  Sometimes it means making smarter financial decisions, or maybe just owning the decisions we have already made.  My mom went back to school in her late 30's.  I remember someone asked her why she would do that at her age, and she told them that in 4 years she would be in her 40's one way or another...but she wanted to have a college degree when she got there.  I think preparation is the same, in five years you will be five years older, and you will either be prepared or you won't.  The same time will pass, what you choose to do with it is up to you.

So yes, preparation does take time...but then again, so does everything else.  Look at your value system and see if you can work preparation into what you already value.  Maybe, just maybe, your tent will look a lot like family togetherness...or at least a cleaner garage.


  1. Thanks, Laura -
    I just began reading your blogs, and am grateful for the down-to-earth wisdom. Indeed - when I stop complaining I don't have time, I look to see what my choices have been!
    A couple other candidates for reasons/excuses:
    Overwhelmed by too much info
    Best regards - Mary

  2. So glad to having you reading my blog! I think you are right, overwhelmed and afraid are two very big reasons. I may just have to blog about them...grin.