Resilience & rubber bands
“During these Covid times,” being flexible and strong, never breaking and always protecting like those elastic gems is a must
March 17 was the invention date of the rubber band, a wonderful, magical tool that I couldn’t live without. Had British inventor and businessman Stephen Perry not been fooling around with vulcanized rubber, papers, products and hair and other mishmash items would scatter around willy-nilly.
“During these Covid times” as my ten-year old has been saying for two months now (the precursor to suggesting or doing something that’s normally not acceptable) I’ve been thinking about the rubber bands of life.
Bodies expand and contract like those wonderful elastic vulcanized rubber thingy-ma-jigs. Financial lives have been stretched to the breaking point, pulling and hurting in equal amounts, momentarily contracting then pulled again. Our emotional and mental states have also expanded beyond points we were prepared to endure. For a few, the rubber band has snapped. A front-line doctor took her life, horrific crimes have been committed against fellow human beings.
Yet this time hasn’t been entirely bad. Bike sales have spiked during Covid, the joys of family together melded with the very real need to get out of the house. And prior to that, games, puzzles and ebook/traditional sales dramatically increased. I’ve not experienced or seen bad temperaments of in-store fighting or wars of words. On the contrary, here in Idaho, it’s been politeness and sharing, the six-foot distance doing no more than stretching our boundaries, the visual rubber band at work. The elasticity of the human spirit has been wonderfully at work.
The rubber band family
Those of us Idaho-imports moved here had no idea that stocking up for potential snow storms would help against a completely unexpected virus. And when you do live in rural area, you make must have a level of self-reliance stock up because you have to. Town is thirty minutes away, the nearest gas station fifteen, so if the unexpected happens, the bread (and toilet paper) will be long gone before you can get to town.
For yourself or your family, coming out of the “these Covid times,” doesn’t mean spending wildly on fun stuff, although it would be nice if you can. It means preparing for the next unexpected wave. Doing so gives me safety of mind, which is akin to ensuring my personal rubber band around my family is in good shape, protecting it and holding it together.
What about the fires in Florida which happened this month along with the flooding in the Carolinas? If Covid weren’t enough, you have strife-inducing events caused by nature. Out here in Idaho, most goods come in (via truck) from the coast. One year, a strange snow melt covered the singular pass between Seattle and this region, shutting down the artery for two weeks. We had tires on a semi which was stuck, along with lettuce, clothing and every other item it takes to live. So while it wasn’t a fire, flood or pandemic, it was a simple snow melt that brought this region to its knees.
This all gets me to wondering, how can we be more like that beautifully simple product created and patented by Stephen Perry, expanding and contracting when the challenging times come again? It’s simple, just like the rubber band. Stock up on essentials well before it’s necessary; be it clothing for the kids (buy one of present size, then one size larger) that extra can of food, the additional box of detergent and of course, toilet paper and water. It’s not sexy and won’t gain you followers like that photo of being in Greece, but it will keep you alive and help you sleep at night, and that comfort is priceless.
Start today, sleep tomorrow
Money: always have $500 in small bills if possible. Start today with a ten here, a twenty there. Save it/don’t touch it.
Food: Buy an extra can of anything you pick up. Buy-one/save one is a good motto to follow. You’ll have two weeks of short/long term food storage and paper products in no time.
Clothing: buy an extra size when it’s on sale, for yourself or kids. My weight went up twenty and nothing fit. While some wore pajamas and sweats for comfort, I wore them out of necessity. NO BUENO!
Gas or other essentials. We were down to a few gas tanks, but seeing how the coasts were hit, we had a month lead time until restrictions hit us. We were lucky that way, because we had time to purchase and save. Now that the shelves are being restocked, do so now.
These are at home items, but the Go Bag, which I’ve often referred to, and have for each of our cars, has essentials that can all fit in a waterproof backpack. I go through it about every 4-6 months just to be on the safe side. Fires are the big thing around here, and I’m telling you what: if you can’t get it and go in under thirty, life is not good. The Go Bag is my mobile rubber band that keeps my family together at a basic level.
Fires are the big thing around here, and I’m telling you what: if you can’t get it and go in under thirty, life is not good. The Go Bag is my mobile rubber band that keeps my family together at a basic level. We have for each of our cars, has essentials that can all fit in a waterproof backpack. I go through it about every 4-6 months just to be on the safe side.