Cities are reopening. Lockdowns are lifting. And some people are starting to feel they can glimpse a return, however slow and partial, to “normal.”
However, the surprise is that many of us have realized there are some things about quarantine life that may be worth preserving. Many are questioning the very fundamentals of the “normal” we knew and accepted — and many are realizing they don’t want to go back to the way it was before the pandemic rocked our world.
For some, going back isn’t an option. Those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, for example, have suffered a tragic and irrevocable loss. Millions who have lost their jobs or have no work to go back to, and many essential workers have been working through the pandemic without much choice.
At the same time, living in quarantine for months has offered some a rare opportunity to reflect on their lives and, potentially, to reset them.
Workers whose jobs defined their lives are now asking what all that productivity was for, and whether we really want to measure our self-worth by the yardstick of hypercompetitive capitalism. Many are finding that the things that made them look “successful” made them miserable, or precarious, or physically unwell.
Quarantine has allowed many to experiment with new habits and new lifestyles. And they want to keep some of these things going, even in a post-lockdown world.
Daily we hear from folks that this time has allowed them a sense of peace and reflection. Those who have been putting off getting their estate planning done, or even a simple Will written, have had the time to realize how important these things really are. Particularly if they experienced any type of loss due to the pandemic.
There has also been much reflection on finances and a large reduction in consumerism. Many are spending less money shopping for new material goods like gadgets and clothes, and are instead saving, paying off debt, and investing in their future. Many are realizing consumer behavior is about instant gratification, not lasting happiness.
Several people also noted that they plan to eat out less often at restaurants. Eating at home during the lockdown has enabled them to save money, and some have discovered a taste for home-cooked meals.
Many have adopted a “mend and make do,” philosophy. And in situations where that’s not possible and they have to buy something new, they want to be more mindful of where and how they spend their money.
Not being able to leave our homes many of us realized that we’ve spent years rushing through life, pressuring ourselves to get the “right” jobs and attend the “right” events, even if all that status-chasing was making us miserable.
There seems to be a new peaceful attitude. We hear, “this is what I want my life to look like moving forward. I finally gave myself time to figure out what it would look like to intentionally build in space in my life to breathe, reflect, and focus on the most important aspects of life.”
Others emphasized that the bizarre, unprecedented nature of this global pandemic has allowed them to reach out to people they haven’t spoken to in ages. Suddenly they’ve found themselves on Zoom with estranged family members or old college roommates halfway around the world.
It’s likely that all of us experienced the imposition of lockdown as a shock to the system, whether it made us feel lonely or listless or anxious or driven to distraction by the family constantly under each other’s heels, or all the above, all at the same time. As individuals, we've had to make changes – both big and small – to our everyday lives.
Now is the time to finally get your plan for your future under way. If you haven’t already started, making an appointment to make sure you have your important documents in place is a great beginning. You can learn more about those important documents we all need, HERE.
Schedule an appointment with Bob Michaels today and get started!
Bob Michaels is extremely passionate about providing the best possible legal experience for his clients, and focuses his practice on elder law, estate planning, business, and real estate matters. Bob has been able to provide piece of mind and a solid foundation to many folks in the Puget Sound area over the years and wants to provide resources and relevant information whenever he can.