One of the interesting things that I have noticed about preppers is that they are great right out of the gate. They are willing to spend money (often a LOT of money) on gear and equipment. They're willing to invest their time in learning new skills. They jump in with both feet, get prepared and settle in to wait for the end of the world. And then the end of the world doesn't happen. Soon, their food stores are depleted. Their skills aren't used and are soon forgotten. Their equipment hasn't been maintained and fallen into disrepair.
Don't believe me? Just look to our recent past - Y2K. How many people do you know that bought into the Y2K hype, became overnight survivalists and now don't have a spare gallon of gas to their names? I know of more than I can count. Much of our preparedness inventory and equipment came from people selling their Y2K stores. They waited for about 5 years and then began slowly liquidating their supplies. Most of the generators had never been run, the grain grinders never used and the gamma sealed buckets never opened. We benefited directly with tremendous deals on never-been-used Dietz lanterns, Aladdin lamps, All-American canners and military surplus. Y2K was good to us in more ways than one!
Although we see the error of our post-Y2K brethren's way, Sir Knight and I can also understand their position. They were experiencing Survival Fatigue. The rush, the panic, the expectation of disaster - followed by an anticlimactic conclusion. Their disenchantment was understandable.
The same thing can happen to us today. We learn, we prepare, we train, in anticipation of societal upheaval, yet society, amazingly, continues on as it did yesterday and the day before. After months, and years and decades, it is easy to become weary and experience our own Survival Fatigue. We can become complacent and apathetic and that complacency can cost us everything.
Being a survivalist is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle. You have to be willing to prepare even when you don't feel like it. You have to be willing to prepare even when everyone tells you there's nothing to prepare for. You have to be willing to maintain your equipment, polish your skills and stay at the ready. You have to be willing to invest yourself in prepping, not just your money.
Maintaining operational readiness should be a part of daily life. Use your equipment and keep it maintained. Rotate your food, rotate your fuel and rotate your medical supplies. Water your batteries, grind your grain and grow your garden. Don't stockpile your skills and equipment for "some day", make them a part of your everyday life, now.
We can't live our lives waiting for future chaos. We have to live now. And in living diligently now, we can maintain our own operational readiness.