There are times to fret and there are times to take a survivalist attitude.
Post Session Podcast is an ocean themed podcast with the stoke of a surf session and the wise guidance of an ocean voyager. Click to listen to Episode 15.
Laurel and I have had some concerns recently. When I routinely asked her how she felt about our “special episode” she answered with trepidation. Once we got past the routine self consciousness (do I talk too much? sorry I cut you off…) that accompanies every episode we were left with a knot in our stomach. Neither of us felt that we had given the situation it’s due solemnity. Of course, Laurel is back home with constant internet access so she’s inundated with every new statistic, every update and every single sentiment on social media. The attitudes Laurel was seeing on Instagram, Facebook and other outlets just after our episode were overwhelmingly bleak. People seemed to be resigned to depression, boredom and general unrest, afraid of the future but even more dissatisfied with the sordid present. The posts left Laurel feeling as if she was not regarding the virus gravely enough.
I was left feeling similarly but for different reasons. My family and I are still sailing in Belize with small but insignificant disruptions to daily life. We get updates from our families but not daily as internet is sparse. Because of our unique position, socially isolated by way of boat and adventure, we have to constantly check our positions to be sure we understand the full implications of not just the lock down but the impacts to real people. That being said, upon further review I think there are more nuanced emotions than despair and dread. As a matter of fact, I think the position Laurel and I are taking represent the most practical and realistic outlook there is.
There are times to fret and there are times to take a survivalist attitude. I find that I have a natural proclivity towards this attitude. To the chagrin of my mother who has been known to accuse me of indifference at times, I have to admit that sometimes pure logical reasoning and survivalism kick in, maybe too soon. The survivalist attitude is pure compartmentalization. It means that in times of stress or need one is able to break a situation down to its least common denominator. So when the world is dark and bleak, you’ve been stuck in your house for weeks staring at the walls, the house becomes your new world. Instead of wallowing or giving in to our panicked inclinations the survivor will simply adjust to the new environment, regardless of the situation, and continue to exist, prevail in the new world. This is no way means that the survivor is devoid of feelings. Empathy and pain still exist but are secondary to developing life in the new surroundings. Sometimes this outlook is the ONLY option.
I recommend, strongly, that everyone out there try it. Put the anxiety aside and figure out your next move. If you’re stranded on a life raft at sea, stop waiting for rescue and establish a routine. Try to fashion a fishing pole and feed yourself so you’re not dead once help does arrive. Maybe you’re stuck in a snowstorm on Everest. You could curl up and die or you could dig a hole, check your provisions and make a plan. For now, dry your tears everyone. Those are for later. For now, make a plan, establish a routine and execute. There will be plenty of time for a nice cry and a side of despair on the other end of this. But let’s make it there first.
Maybe we should do a whole episode on survival! In the meantime, here’s what we said about CoVid in our Special Episode. And if you want a good read on survival check out Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales.