Who knew that this Pandemic would turn people into:
- Unemployed or underemployed
- Former business owners
So many people have experienced premature or unexpected deaths or loss of family members.
It’s made us question what and who is most important to us and a greater appreciation for the people who are often taken for granted — like teachers and health care workers.
What’s most important . . . to you?
I guess that depends on the individual but nothing makes you appreciate those you love more than a pandemic. People matter most — to the majority of us.
But, who knew we would suddenly feel like the people of Venezuela when going to the store for paper products to find the shelves bare. For weeks. It’s only been these past week or two that toilet paper and paper towels were available once again. Thankfully, there were tissues at the beginning and they make a great substitute for TP.
Food is of course a necessity and for the first time that I can remember, produce and meat seemed at a shortage because of C-19. Food distribution was a primary challenge there and yet . . . we have and are surviving and improvising when needed. I’ve googled substitutes for so many ingredients . . . I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the internet to uncover a new dish to make for me and my daughter who’s sheltering at home with me.
Downsized By Force or Choice?
Many of us might feel that our inability to easily get our hands on things we took for granted for so long was a forced downsizing of sorts. Others might have tried to embrace it — especially at the beginning of C-19 and focused on what we really need or can make do with and actually learned to do without many of the things that we once really enjoyed.
I think we will still all enjoy some of the activities and social experiences that came before Covid-19, but I also think it’s changed the psyche of many Americans (especially of a certain age) who have uncovered a greater appreciation of our ability to live happily without some of the things we assumed would always be there.
If it takes four weeks to establish a habit — we’ve had some time to create the habit of cooking and eating at home, spending more time as a family, or reaching out to people via Zoom — to stay connected and in touch. We’re working from home happily in some cases and major companies are embracing this change and moving toward significantly downsizing their corporate headquarters and offices allowing people to work from home indefinitely.
What does this all mean to the way we are living?
Having spent so much time this Spring held up in my home on Cape Cod, I realize more than ever that I simply have too many things. Just. Too. Much. Stuff. Period. End of story.
Ebay is alive and well and although we may not be able to drop off our unwanted or unnecessary things to nonprofits who might be able to use it most — I have a section of my basement filled with boxes so when things do open up again — I’ll be making sizable donations to those organizations.
We’re downsizing people. It may not be the size of the home you live in, but we all have most likely come to the conclusion that we have far more things than we “need.”
Multi-Purpose Function of Our Rooms
Here’s another thing I’ve learned. The rooms in our homes have to play double or triple duty. As I write this, my daughter is upstairs in her bedroom turned office. We brought in a small desk and removed the nightstand between the twin beds. I have twin beds in that room (and recently removed a queen bed) in case her sister or a friend wants to spend a night.
My dining room table doubles as my office which I clean off at the end of the day and store my paperwork in a temporary storage container until I need it.
My basement has a sleep sofa and air mattresses so when my three young adult children are here with friends in the heat of the summer — everyone has a place to sleep.
I use beach towels as regular towels here too. It just makes sense.
What can serve more than one purpose in my home is what I worked with people to achieve in their own homes pre-Covid-19 and no doubt will continue as we slowly get phased into our new normal. Even if we’re not physically moving or downsizing our homes — we have felt the need to downsize — or right size our lives.
Although most of us are wanting things to return to the way they used to be — I know that we have been changed forever by this. Hopefully for the better.