I like to think that reality TV shows about subsistence living in remote places and people prepping for the end of the world are popular because it’s fascinating to watch others display skills we likely don’t have to survive extreme situations. You may not want or know how to hunt a bear for food, but could you survive a job loss or extended power outage? How about the basics of living in an environmentally-friendly and frugal way? Can you mend your clothing or cook from scratch? How about cleaning and maintaining your home or following a budget?
In previous generations, many of these basic life skills were taught in school home economics classes, if not at home. I can’t tell you how sad it is to hear a mother complain that “It’s too expensive to eat healthy” and then bypass a ton of nutritious, inexpensive food for ultra-processed non-food with little to no real nutritional value. Or let’s talk about how we have become a throw-away society because no one takes the time to maintain or mend their belongings.
The skills needed to live life are not hard. They save money, save the environment, and make us appreciate what we have because we work a little harder to get it and keep it nice. Should something happen that does change our life in a drastic way, we know that we have the skills to not just survive, but also thrive.
These things I write about are the skills that I have and am acquiring – growing my own food, sewing, knitting, cooking from scratch, maintaining our house and belongings, maintaining our finances, speaking in public and teaching – the list is infinite. I learn them from many places – being taught by others, taking classes, from information published to the internet, from family members, and finally by experimentation.
I don’t want to hoard these skills – everyone should know the basics of living a good and simple life. Even if you don’t use the skill every day, you still have in case you need it.
What skills could you offer if you suddenly had to live in a small group that only relied on each other? What to you want or need to learn to be a productive member of any society?
So, how did this become my soapbox?
I’m Kendra. I like to think that I’m fairly self-sufficient, have a bit of a stubborn streak, and don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I’m a life-long student and learner of new things who thinks I can do anything. I may not want to or may need help, but I’m usually willing to give it a try. I recognize that there is a difference between can’t and won’t. I like to know that I possess the skills to be a productive member of society should the preppers be right.
Professionally, I am a CFO and owner of a property management company, have a contractor’s license, and have a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in management information systems, both from Texas A&M University. I teach designation classes in human resources, finance, and risk management for the local apartment association. My creative side is soothed by sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, photography, music-making, and dancing. Other than that? Cradle episcopalian. Spiritual mutt. Saved by grace. I like to think I am on a journey to being a polymath, a renaissance woman.
Skills I still want to learn as I embark on this journey? Car and engine maintenance. Woodworking. Cabinetmaking. Flower arranging. And many, many others.
I hope you join me on this journey. Welcome!