What COVID 19 Is teaching Me About Living A Simple Life.
Hello from week 8 of isolation. How are you coping with this crazy situation in your part of the world?
Here in Australia, our numbers are stabilising, but we are being cautious and staying in lockdown for a while longer. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, but I’ve learnt so much about living a simple life.
It’s one thing to talk about simplifying, but when a pandemic sweeps across the world, you suddenly find yourself forced to let go of the superfluous things in life and get down to the basics. It’s been an illuminating time.
Here’s what I’ve learnt so far about living a simple life.
The Importance Of People
Hubby and I live in a small(ish) apartment block. We know most of our neighbours well enough to smile and wave if we see them in the street. Still, since the lockdown, it’s become increasingly important to form relationships.
Having more than a passing acquaintance with our neighbours means we have support. I can ask my neighbour not to slam the entry door without fear of an altercation. And when they let their kids run screaming up and down the hallways in the afternoon, I’m patient, because I understand they need to let off some steam. It makes it easier to be respectful of one other when you’ve looked each other in the eye and had conversations at the front door.
We were all so busy before that we rarely stopped to chat and get to know each other. I love that living a simpler life means we have more time for other people. There’s a less perceived difference between us when we’re all dealing with a common issue. Walls are coming down between us, and our home life is more harmonious because of it.
The Small Pleasures Of Living A Simple Life
Little things count. The bird sitting on your outdoor table. The new shoot on your monstera. The happy surprise when you find a jar of raisins at the back of the cupboard and decide to make a cake for afternoon tea. Less external influences mean we have more ability to appreciate the small moments of pleasure.
When living a simple life, the little things count.
Let’s be honest, there are moments of absolute mind-numbing boredom when you’re confined to your suburb. But not having the ability to search further afield for distractions means you have to rely on yourself for your entertainment.
This is what I’ve noticed:
- I’m saving money because there’s limited opportunity to be swayed by manipulative marketing
- I’m discovering how creative I am (I had no idea I could be this creative)
- Running in the park is loads more fun than running on a treadmill at the gym
- My husband is amazing! (I already knew that of course, it’s why I married him. I’m just rediscovering it and falling in love all over again.)
- Playing the games you played as a kid can be just as much fun when you’re an adult.
And another aspect of self-reliance I’m enjoying is this:
Without so many external influences, I’m able to listen to myself more, think about things deeply and objectively and draw my own conclusions.
I have every finger and toe crossed, that enough people are discovering this ability, so when the pandemic is over, we will not return to life as it was. It’s my hope that we will redefine the way we live and move forward into a simpler, less consumerism fuelled existence.
Experimentation is Cool
Before, when we were running around trying to be modern, sophisticated people who were “woke” we were afraid to get things wrong. Now that we’re safe in the confines of our own homes, we’re free to experiment.
I’ve dusted off my digital camera and am taking daily photos again. I have the time and freedom to experiment with different techniques and take terrible images. I can take the same terrible picture 100 times until I get it right. And through this experimentation I’m defining my own preferences and style. I’m finding what “right” is for me.
Look For The Positive
I feel that for every negative the lockdown has thrown up, I’ve found a positive to balance it. Sure, I’m in a very privileged position. I live in a wealthy country with a switched on government and my income hasn’t been affected. I understand that there are many people in our world who are suffering greatly through this pandemic. Once the lockdown is over it will be my duty and honour to help whomever I can. But right now the best thing people like you and I can do is look for the positives and use them to prepare for when the lockdown is lifted. It will be up to us to make sure our world becomes a better place for having lived through COVID 19.