Single in Sandpoint:

Be prepared for all of life’s storms

By Scarlette Quille
Reader Columnist

Most things that occur in this world are completely out of our control.

This is a fact. Mother nature is uncontrollable, unpredictable and at times vengeful. We spend a lot of time and resources trying to predict what sort of surprises Mother Nature has in store for us, but she always has the last laugh. One can choose to accept this, or one can continually complain about the weather. Either way Mother nature doesn’t give a shit. Mother Nature is a honey badger.

She is also one of us, as we are part of nature. Whether or not one wants to admit it we belong to the same club as the honey badger. We are animals. We are unpredictable, and no matter how successfully you believe that you are controlling another person, whether it is your child, significant other, friend, coworker or “enemy,” you cannot control the feelings and thoughts of another human being. You can throw a person into prison and modify their behavior for a certain amount of time, but all you have truly gained is the illusion of control.

You can force your significant other to pick up their socks and restock the toilet paper the way you like, but what have you really gained? Compliance is different than acceptance. If you are the type who seeks compliance in personal relationships, get ready for the storm. Seriously. Because when the cold front of resentment blows in and the pressure changes, your perfect relationship is going to be ripped up like a trailer park in a hurricane.

You can predict storms in relationships and in nature with a tiny bit of accuracy. What you can never truly predict is how bad the storm will be and how long it will take to fix the damage. You also have to learn that both storms in relationships and in nature need to occur for new growth to take place. We have to learn to be thankful for the storm no matter how destructive it is. It is still an opportunity to learn and grow.

I bring this up because on a world-wide level, we have been experiencing storms lately. Unpredictable violent weather patterns, as well as the inexplicable actions of fellow human beings, have been occurring at a seemingly much higher than “normal” frequency . Social media has given us all the ability to watch in horror and often in “real” time as these shocking events play out. When there is a storm, or a terrorist attack or a violent shooting, there is fear. Where there is fear there is blame.

The blame game instantly starts whenever tragedy occurs: Guns are the root of all evil. Muslims are to blame for all acts of terrorism. People who do not recycle are responsible for unpredictable weather patterns. Social media is the reason why your husband cheated on you. Blame, blame, blame.

Guess what? No matter how convincing your argument is, or how thoroughly society eradicates the perceived problem, bad things will still happen. People will still be assholes. You will occasionally be an asshole. And there is nothing we can do to change this. Control is a concept, not a reality. Through weather, Mother Nature tries to teach us this valuable lesson, but we fail to see the example, and continue to place blame.

It doesn’t really matter why it is happening when the storm is here. What really matters is how well we weather the storm.

That is why I think we should all equip ourselves with an emergency kit. There are the obvious items that we should all have in our homes and vehicles, such as band aids and matches. But what does a first aid kit really do for us if we are in a full scale crisis? I asked myself that this summer when several people were being evacuated from their homes because of forest fires.

What do I need in case my house is about to be consumed by flames, or there is something like a zombie apocalypse? What do I need to survive those first crucial days in case of a break up, death or unexpected lay-off?

The following five items became part of my personal emergency kit.

1. Full tank of Gas. If there is a storm, fire or attack of some sort, fill your tank. Nothing is worse than trying to escape something and running out of gas. Also, you can keep warm, charge various electronics and sleep in a vehicle. If shit goes down at home or work, it’s nice to be able to drive for a while and enjoy the brief solace of a personal car concert and a change of scenery.

2. Change of clothes including shoes in a plastic bag in your vehicle. This isn’t just for emergencies. Have you ever spilled coffee on your crotch on the way to work? What if you think you are over the flu, and allow yourself to pass gas, and you pass more than just gas? Did you have to miss valuable work or play hours because you didn’t have any clothes? Problem solved. Take your clean clothes out, put the dirty ones in the plastic bag and wash them when you are back home. The plastic will prevent whatever caustic substance you have soiled yourself with from spreading odor and germs throughout your car. If you really do shit your pants, though, you should just throw them away. Keeping them around will only bring up the trauma every time you wear them.

3. A notebook and pen/pencil. This is so that you can keep track of valuable last moments, or thoughts. Some people do this over their phones or electronics. This just burns up valuable power, which could become a scarcity in a real crisis. Also, if you have last words to say to someone, it would be nice to have them written out so that they could easily be distributed. Also when you are in a chaotic, terrible situation, writing to the people you love and focusing on what you have to live for are good ways to focus positively.

4. A fifth of your favorite liquor and some mixed cds/ or decent playlists. This is my list. Remember? If I am about to be eaten by zombies, or life as I know it is going to change, I have a spare bottle and some battery-operated music in my house for emergencies. This helps more in an emotional emergency than the weather-induced kind. When I am sad, I find comfort in power ballads and liquor. Judge if you want, but if you are too sad to make it to a dive bar, it’s nice to have some of the comforts at home. Also, when the power is off for nearly a whole weekend as it was last summer, it makes for a pretty kick ass party.

5. A dog. Dogs are really the best defense against any kind of emergency. They alert you when intruders are in the vicinity—even imaginary ones. They also start acting like possessed psychos when weather patterns become violent. They will defend you with everything they have, and they provide unconditional love.


I could add a few more things. This list is hardly comprehensive. Feel free to compile your own list. Take my suggestions or don’t. I am under no illusion that I can control the weather or one of my fellow honey badgers.

Stay full of love, laughter, and appreciation for all of life’s gifts, because living and being happy are the best ways to tell those who try to hurt you to fuck off.

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