I just read the guest post by Terrylynn over at the Survivalist Blog, entitled "Survival - Princess Style", and I found it very thought provoking. I have wandered around the periphery of the survivalist/prepper movement since I was in my teens. At one time back in the 70s, I took a "Survivalist" course. I even talked my mom into taking the course. I subscribed to "Mother Earth News", "Harrowsmith", assorted other more hardcore magazines, bought the Foxfire books, took archery lessons, learned to forage,... well, I could go on, but the interesting thing is that not one of those objects really prepared for things going to heck in a hand-basket.
It was trying things, learning how to do things, and realizing that I had useful skills. And when I went through a decade of really trying times, those acquired skills helped me. I shopped at the thrift stores because I couldn't afford to shop anywhere else. I regularly remade items of clothing to fit my son and I. I had a garden in the yard of the house I rented an apartment in. I learned to make bread (very fine bread, in fact). I learned how to make jams, and pickles and to can garden produce. It wasn't a lifestyle choice. It was necessity. I learned how to make do. I picked apples and pears from the cemetery near my place. I gathered acorns in my neighbourhood, prepared them and ate them. It's doing the prepares you.
Terrylynn is right about one thing. No matter how hard things are, the little comforts make the sacrifices easier to make. Having a pleasant looking home, a comfortable place to sit, these make it easier to handle still being hungry when you finish eating your meal. Reading a well-loved book yet again still helps to take you away from the worry. Playing a lively game of cards by candle-light and having a good laugh gives you a reason to get up the next day and keep on struggling. And even though I'm not a girly-girl, I do have a few dresses, and make-up for those special occasions. We want to do more than survive, we want to thrive. And thriving means we need to live, not merely exist. It's those civilized touches that help us thrive.
And yes, chocolate is a food group, and ought to be part of any woman's preps.
Anyhow, there's my two cent's worth...