I suspect a lot of people spent this week in self-isolation. I know my family did. While some people have gone online to complain and the time “trapped” at home, I have found this time is a great chance to spend time with my family and reflect. Below are some life lessons I have learned or been reminded of during this time.
Life lesson #1 — Extra time with our children is a blessing
I started with this life lesson because I have been disappointed with the number of people that go on social media to complain about how their kids are driving them crazy. I get it. Kids can get restless and go a little stir crazy. So can adults by the way.
But I choose to think of this time at home together as time I would not have otherwise had with my daughter. I once read that by the time your kids are 18 years old you will have spent 90% of the time you will have together. If that is anywhere near to the truth then I will take these extra few weeks in close proximity as a blessing, not a curse.
Life lesson #2 — I don’t really need much to be happy
During this time I have learned that I don’t really need that much to be happy. This life lesson has been really impactful for me personally. We have found the simplest ways to entertain ourselves during the time. Whether that means board games, hikes in the woods, or even jumping on our daughter’s bounce castle while music plays in the background.
In the past those were all things we did to fill time. They were splattered between events and outings and the normal comings and goings of life. But now they have taken on a different meaning.
The other place I have noticed that I don’t need as much is in the food category. By no means have we had to do without. But there are some items that have been harder to get a hold off. Items that we really enjoy eating. So, we have made do with what we have. I know, it is a novel concept.
Life lesson #3 — There is peace of mind in having financial security
For a few years now my family has been debating buying a new home. Some of that has been driven by a desire to reduce the commute to our daughter’s school. Some of it has been wanting “one-floor living”. Over the past three years we have made an offer on only one house. When the seller made an unreasonable counter we backed away.
To this day my wife and I feel like a new home has not worked out for us for a reason. Today that reason seems pretty clear. We didn’t need a new house. We wanted one. But, we didn’t want it bad enough to take on a lot more debt and expenses.
I talked last week about the increase in the number of unemployed workers. Including how some reports estimate that we could see as high as two million people without jobs.
Knowing that all we owe money on, that the only fixed expense we have, is our mortgage provides me with a lot of peace of mind. I am hearing so many stories of people being forced to take pay cuts. That may happen for me as well, but at least we are in a position where we can absorb that kind of hit to our household income.
Life lesson #4 — The power of old-fashioned phone calls
Sometimes life lessons remind of us of the “good ‘ole days”.
Since we are choosing to self-isolate I have taken to finding other ways to stay in regular touch with my family and friends. While texting is a good option, I have rediscovered the power of a good old-fashioned phone call.
Nothing beats face-to-face time but that doesn’t make much sense right now. Instead, I have been real deliberate about using the phone to call people even it is just to say hello. I’ve done so in both my personal and professional lives. It may be the only networking I get to do for a while.
Life lesson #5 — Remote work will become even more commonplace
Without question, there are days that I feel trapped at home. The difference is that I have had time to get accustomed to the feeling. Since I have worked from home for over four years now. In fact, you could say that my life often revolves around my home office. Not only do I work from this room, but it is also where I spend time writing and gaming.
Although remote work has been more commonplace over the years it will become even more so after we get through this period. Many companies have transitioned to remote work for those employees that can do so. I suspect that this period will teach those companies that did not previously embrace remote work how beneficial it can be. Therefore, we will see more and more opportunities for people to work remotely.