Ever get distracted somewhere, like a grocery store, by some stupid little thing, and you realize minutes later that you had tuned out the entire world around you?
Or while buckling your child in the backseat, they drop something and you spend two minutes trying to find it; never mind the door is open behind you, the car is unlocked, and the keys are on the front seat where you left them?
A big part, nay, the BIGGEST part of self-defense is being aware of your surroundings. And keeping aware of your need to stay aware, even when something else happens that distracts you.
If you're in line to check out at Walmart, and you get a Facebook notification, it's not a good time to drape yourself over the cart handle and start scrolling. (I'm speaking to myself as much as you, here.)
Ever notice while watching a baseball game, that the only time something even remotely exciting happens, happens only when you look away for a second? It's the same case here. If you pay attention, you'll see stuff unfold and get early clues on how to respond. Or tips on when to exit the building in a speedy fashion.
So here's the challenge, set random reminders on your phone to go off throughout the day, at odd times (10:22, 12:38, 4:41, etc.) so you won't remember them. When they go off, you will mentally proceed as if you've been attacked.
Answer these three questions: What do I have on me to defend myself? What are my escape options? And, was I, in the last five minutes, paying ANY attention to my surroundings?
If your alert comes smack out of the clear blue sky, and you've been engrossed on Instagram for the last hour, you've failed. (Even if you're sitting on the couch at home. People still get attacked in their homes, FYI.) You've DOUBLY failed if your firearm (or some equivalent) was not within arms reach. (You left it in your car again, didn't you?)
Next, decide when and where you're most vulnerable.
As you go through your regular day, pick at least five points that could be a compromising time segment. Could be a dangerous place, a trip to your car in low visibility, or a time when you cannot have your weapon with you.
This may mean something as routine as taking the garbage out, while in your sweats, with the door unlocked and your gun on the nightstand.
If you're half the creature of habit that I am, it will be easy to figure you out. And if they have eyes, they know which day is garbage day. If they've been paying attention, they know when your husband leaves for work. They know when your kids leave, and where they go to school. They know you have a dog, but you keep it tied up in the back yard. They know you usually leave the kitchen window unlocked, and go out to start your car ten minutes before you leave for work. They know.
Don't just do things because you've always done them before, and don't get relaxed and let your guard down.
just because nothing's happened so far, doesn't mean the possibility no longer exists.
Think like a survivor, and you won't be a statistic.