What I’m learning from the pandemic

One of the earliest teaching moments we all share is learning from our circumstances. Did your parents encourage you to learn from life’s good and bad deals? I bet they did. By no means have I perfected the art of life’s takeaways. But, in the midst of the pandemic, a few lessons have bubbled to the surface.

As as a student of life, here are some of my takeaways from the covid-19 virus pandemic of 2020.

Don’t put things off

Yes, the pandemic is an extreme situation that came out of left field. Nonetheless, having to put many things on the back burner because of the covid world stinks. The bottom line is that you never know when life will be turned inside out or become challenging. To that end, if you have the time, money and ability to do something – do it. From a personal perspective, I do my best to live life with no regrets. In my mind, the easiest way to let regrets pile up is to put things off. Make your priorities and do them without delay.

Government seldom has your best interest in mind

If this pandemic taught us all one thing it’s that governments will politicize, punt or screw up anything. You’re smart if you maintain a healthy distrust that the government has your best interest in mind. The pandemic situation has taught us all that self sufficiency has not lost its utility. The government can only do so much. It’s on you to have your house in order – money, resources, etc.

Always have some savings

The topic of financial savings has depth. Wrapped up in the topic are priorities, frugality, individualism, consumerism and a crap load more -isms. Having dry powder can not only save your neck when money gets tight but, can offer opportunities. Keep six months of expenses in a bank savings account no matter how low the interest earned. Your future self will thank you.

Keep your TP inventory in line

Toilet paper’s importance is one of those things that you likely underestimated. You don’t have to agree with TP hoarding but, if you run out and can’t buy, it becomes your problem. So, adopt the rule of having a solid supply of TP and soap.

Be a reader

I know reading is not everyone’s bag. Trust me, I did not enjoy reading until well into my 20’s. Today, I’m a voracious reader. For me, a good book or magazine presents a great form of escapism. When confined to home or to a smaller circle than normal, any escape is welcome. Whatever your interests are, there is a good book on the subject. A good library does not have to be large – it has to be meaningful.

Be sure to subscribe to your favorite print magazine. Print is not dead, it’s just transforming to quality (more below on quality).

Showering daily?

When your social circle has shrunk to a few people, you start to question if you need to shower daily. Then, you discover that it’s not great for your skin and hair by shower too often. The water bill goes down. Further, if you’re concerned about the environment you will be doing your part.

Less stuff

Early in pandemic time, I read an article about a woman living in Rome, Italy. When the Italian lock downs became restrictive, she left for her parent’s place in Umbria. With little time to plan, she packed a large suitcase of clothes and a few books. After a few weeks of living in the open space of Umbria, she realized how little she needed to be happy. I’ve always leaned toward minimalism but, the pandemic reinforced how little I need to be happy. My guess we all need a small number of things to be happy. A few books, a sketch pad and a pencil will keep me happy.

Quality counts

The statement could stand on its own. Choose your topic – time with family, sweatshirts, work – it does not matter. The sudden small world we have faced meant we had more time with our stuff. As you spend more time with your stuff you might wonder if there are better options. No time like the present to upgrade to quality even if it costs more in time or money.

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