The COVID-19 virus sucks! There’s no question about that. As I write this, over 100 million Americans have been asked to shelter in place and it’s likely that will increase.
But there is a silver lining. Twenty-three of them in fact.
Here’s what I like. You may have more.
- A Slower Pace: Have you noticed that as you nestle into your at-home routine, everything slows down a bit? It’s fun to shift the speed of life into a lower gear. Sit on the porch with a steaming cup of coffee and appreciate the world around you.
- Better Health Habits: My hands are cleaner than ever, but more importantly YOUR hands are clean. I hope we keep doing this so when we shake hands next time, we’ll both still be clean. Or better yet, let’s replace handshaking with a respectful bow like in Japan. It’s classier.
- Spending Less: I bought exactly one mocha since the outbreak. $5 plus a $3 tip because it was a little drive-through kiosk and I know they can use the help. Supporting local business is nice and saving money in these uncertain times is important.
- Planning Skills: Grocery store visits need to be rare — one a week. No more picking up a jar of pickles on the way home from work. Preplanning full meals and buying the right portions is hard work and a very useful skill.
- Commuting: If you’re essential and need to be in the office — there’s no traffic to battle. If you work from home, you have a two-minute commute from the bedroom to the office.
- Virtual Happy Hours: Zoom, WebEx, Facetime, and Microsoft Teams are among the many video conferencing technologies that give us the tools to share stories and cocktails in real time with friends and neighbors. Bars may be closed but your Internet chat room is always open.
- No-Makeup Days: When you’re working from home and you don’t have any video meetings, you can work in your pajamas without makeup, jewelry, or perfectly coifed do’s.
- Streaming Entertainment: The prohibition of large gatherings means that concerts, games, movies, plays, operas, fights, debates, and rallies are now available to watch from the comfort of your couch — with no makeup and in your pajamas of course.
- Home is a No-Flaunting-Zone: In the safe cockpit of your home, you won’t run into the arrogant brags sitting in their expensive Maserati waving their fancy jewelry in your face.
- Priorities Reimagined: When you can’t go to Target to pick up the new bedazzled wastepaper basket, you substitute a small cardboard box instead. Funny how it works exactly the same. Do you really need the new steak knives, Amish quilt, Baccarat vase, or wind chimes? Of course not — it’s all about wanting what you got.
It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got
- Online Shopping: Okay, when you do need something important, you can summon forth the genies of Amazon, Home Depot, or your local wine shop and they’ll send you anything your credit card desires. If you prefer, you can pull up to their door and they’ll load it in your car with a grateful wink.
- Write Your Own Rules: There are no critics waiting to condemn your ideas so you can make it up as you go. Dress for your virtual parties in a velvet gown while you wear fuzzy green socks to keep your feet warm on the cold tile floor — they’ll never know. Eat popcorn and gummy bears for dinner.
- Warm Up Your Cooking Skills: You don’t have to eat popcorn and gummy bears for dinner every night. Your computer is filled with 4.3 billion recipes (seriously, I checked). Look and you’ll find a few that even you can make. The more you make, the better you get. Practice — it beats starvation.
- Workday Flexibility: You can take quick breaks from work for laundry, snacks, short walks, meditation, down-dogs, and maybe even the occasional nap. Nobody will notice if you’re offline for a few minutes.
- Quality Family Time: You have more time to spend with your family. If you don’t really like your family you have more time to read, write, draw, study, or sleep.
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
- Expand Your Horizons: Did you know you can travel to Mozambique, skydive, race motorcycles, and learn to plant begonias from the comfort and safety of YouTube? Type anything into the search bar and you’ll be mesmerized for hours.
- Home Improvements: Spending so much time at home means you discover all the squeaky doors, leaky toiles, and fingerprints. Fix them or nag you forever.
- It’s Okay to Do Nothing: We can sit quietly, pray, or meditate. Let’s focus our efforts on doing nothing for a change. Our brain will like it because nothing is better than nothing.
- Rekindle Hobbies: If you’re not shopping or socializing you can revisit some of those things you used to be good at — or always wanted to do. Build model airplanes, quilt, make masks, practice card tricks, study chess, garden, or a million other things. Your memory and imagination are all you need.
- Social Distancing: I’m quite happy to socially distance myself from some people.
- Gardening and yardwork: We don’t have to stay inside. We can go out and work the yard and tend the garden. It’s spring after all. Do you need plants? Some nurseries deliver.
- Less Stress: Remember that most of the craziness around us is out of our control. All we need to do is interact with as few people as possible, stay clean, and stay home. Maybe just read a book or stream Netflix and chill (or Comcast and cuddle?).
- Happiness and Generosity: Through all the craziness I’ve noticed that people seem to be happier. I’m reading more stories of hope and generosity than before. Is it just me or is the world trying to help each other again?
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
What did I miss? What do you like about sheltering from home?
Originally published at http://retirementtype.com on March 29, 2020.