I’m predicting a return to a simple life for most of us once Covid 19 has completed its journey of destruction.
As I write this article, I’m in self-isolation after my husband began exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Instead of “wasting” precious resources and going to get tested, we decided self-isolation was the best option. And I am enjoying it.
Taking Early Action
My husband’s company took action early, and as a result, he has been working from home for a week already. It’s taken a little bit of adjustment. My yoga room is now his office, and my quiet home is now abuzz with computer calls and iPhone alerts, but having him home every day is such a blessing that I don’t care. Even though his workload has not changed at all, he suddenly can take a proper lunch break. And we schedule a time to walk the dog during the middle of the day when no one is around.
Working from home would be a return to a simple life for many
This week has already brought up the question – why can’t he work from home permanently? With our modern tech, he can communicate with all of his workmates. He is not bound to his desk all day, hunched over and square-eyed. He can take breaks when his mind begins to feel overwhelmed and as a result is producing better quality work.
I understand that not everyone’s workplace will be able to make the transition to work from home but imagine if those who could, did. Less congestion on the roads. More time at home with loved ones. Better health outcomes for the nation as usually desk-bound people were able to move more and eat appropriately throughout the day. It would undoubtedly be a giant leap towards a more simple life for many.
Time for creativity
While I’ve been home, I’ve had to get a little creative with the extra time I have on my hands. Last year I went on a social media detox (thank you Carl Newport. If you haven’t yet read his book Digital Minimalism I highly recommend you do.) As a result, I’ve avoided the social media scrolling trap. Still, now that I’m not going to the shops “just to have a look” or leaving the house for the gym or yoga, I have time on hands—time which I’m filling with things that make me feel calm, happy and creatively satisfied. My indoor plants look healthier than they ever have, and I’ve learnt how to style and present them with flair, thanks to Pinterest and the Ivy Muse website.
I’m writing more too. Not just articles like this one, but poetry, and I’m working on a new book.
My husband and I are working together creatively. We have started a photography business that makes the most of his creative photography skills and my online know-how. Isn’t doing what you love with people you love an essential part of living a simple life?
If you’re in self-isolation and are wondering what you could do to creatively fill the extra time you have on your hands, check out this post I wrote on how to take care of your mental health while in self-isolation.
Isn’t doing what you love with people you love an essential part of living a simple life?
Decluttering for A Simple Life
We moved into our apartment in November, and the closet in our spare room (the one that is now my husband’s office) has been jam-packed with paraphernalia that we don’t use but can’t seem to part with. Well, no longer. I’ve been going through all the unnecessary clutter we have lying around and rationalising. Do I really need 100 sharpie pens? For some reason, I’m obsessed with sharpies! It makes no sense to have a sharpie collection. So out they go, donated to a school teacher friend who will have a practical use for them.
And then there’s the food situation.
Australians have gone a prepper mad! Food hoarding has become a national pastime. I’m not blaming them though; we have good reason to be anxious. It was only a few months ago, while the longest drought in recorded history was ravaging our nation, and we were in the midst of a bushfire emergency, that our government told us to brace for food shortages. Now we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and those same people are telling us not to worry, there’s plenty of food to go around.
Our nerves are frazzled; we’re anxious and not thinking straight. We want to make sure our families will be provided for should the worst happen. We’ve been on the brink of the worst happening for many months, this time we’re making sure we’re prepared.
So it’s no longer a case of “I’ll just pop down to the shops to get something for dinner.” Now I’m in full meal planning mode. And I’m thanking my mother, who lived through world war 2 for teaching me this. She knew how to live a simple life.
You might think it’s tedious or boring to plan a months meals in advance. It’s not, it’s liberating. I have a list of meals that I can cook up on my fridge. I know I have all of the ingredients to make each dish. My life is simpler because I’m not wondering what to cook every night. I don’t make plans for a meal and then find I’ve run out of something so need to make a last-minute dash to the supermarket. Where I inevitably buy something I don’t need, like choc chip biscuits fresh out of the baker’s oven.
Less money spent and more preparation = a much more simple life.
It’s my hope that people in self-isolation or complete lockdown will begin to take stock of their lives.
I’m hoping that this time in a forced slow down mode for the world, we wake us up to how wonderful it is to live a simple life. With time for creative pursuits, for being with our family and enjoying simple things.
I’m dreaming of a collective wake up to the stupidity of our mass consumerism. And a return to a DIY attitude towards life.
How about you? I’d love to hear what your dream for our future is. There’s always a silver lining in every cloud. What’s the silver lining you’re hoping for?