Friday, April 17, 2020
Prepare for Re-Entry
At some point our current crisis will come to an end, and we will return to "normal" life.
Remember normal life, just a few short weeks ago? We were busy -- usually too busy -- and anxious to keep up with what everyone else was doing, seeing, buying, eating, wearing, aspiring to. We spent a lot of time shopping, and not just for things we needed like food, medicine, and toilet paper. We weren't a community surviving together in challenging circumstances -- we spent our time competing and comparing and desiring what someone else had.
This global tragedy has cost too many lives and too many livelihoods, but it has had an upside. We've been given a break from the constant barrage, and we suddenly have the freedom to evaluate our lives with almost no external pressure to keep up with the Joneses or anyone else.
We've all been stuck in roughly equal circumstances, and we all have the opportunity to emerge from this difficult historic moment as better versions of ourselves.
But to do this, we have to be willing to cut ties with our previous FOMO-driven busyness and consumerism. We need to be honest about our true values and needs.
5 Areas to Consider Before Re-Entry
1. We always claim that family is the most important thing. But for how many of us did our previous lifestyle give the lie to that claim? How often did family togetherness lose out to work, school, sports, screen addictions, shopping, and other activities? Right now, we have the chance to re-align our choices and actions with our values.
2. With almost all activities cancelled, we've probably had more rest and free time than we've enjoyed for years. What was all of the busyness about? Did it really add to our lives, or did the pressure and lack of focus diminish the benefits of those involvements? Right now, we have the chance to thoughtfully evaluate each commitment and intentionally choose what we will allow back into our schedules.
3. How about creativity -- is that important? We spend an awful lot of time mindlessly partaking of other people's creativity. Right now, we have the chance to curtail that and make time to use our talents to produce something ourselves, and to bring something good to the world around us.
4. Since we've been forced to spend time at home, we've also been forced to come face-to-face with our possessions. How do you feel about all of the stuff you've amassed? How much of it is unnecessary? How much of it impedes the comfort and function you need at home? Right now, we have the chance to remove clutter and commit to more intentional accumulation going forward.
5. If we're enduring financial hardships, we've probably questioned some of our spending habits. Why didn't we save more when finances were good? Why did we acquire so much debt? Were we using our money in ways that truly brought satisfaction and well-being? Right now, we have the chance to reassess our finances and make better decisions about how to use our limited resources.
If you're considering minimalism because you've recently been forced into owning less, I'm sorry for your situation. But you don't need to view this as a disaster. Owning less gives you the opportunity to find more freedom, more focus, and more energy to put into the things that really give meaning to your life.
If you've been interested in minimalism for some time, I encourage you to be intentional about resuming normal life. Consider what you've learned about yourself during this crisis, stay focused on the things that add value and bring joy, and discard the rest.
Photo by Lauren Griffiths on Unsplash