On June 6th, 2020, as we were just coming out of wave 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic with a decent amount of lockdown, I surprised my Facebook world by entering a relationship. The surprise was not only due to the timing, when nobody was still really supposed to be seeing others, but that the eternal bachelor from being undesired by women this racially conservative province had found someone! What I didn’t tell them, though, was with whom, and that it was fake, and that I did it for them.
When I’m enter my local groceries store, the first place I head is the breads, fruits, and vegetables sections, where I look for items on 50% discount because they have to be consumed “soon”. I head there first because pending what is on discount for almost immediate consumption, that will influence what else I will or won’t be buying to a large extent. I might as well know what my new shopping parameters are rather than having to put things back later when I discover these discounted items and give them priority. It’s a system that has worked well for me, and for many reasons far beyond the obvious savings.
After having shared my Resolutions Planning Workbook yesterday, I thought I’d show an example of how I use it through a couple of resolutions I just committed to in 2021.
These resolutions are about sleep, both going towards getting what I deem to be enough sleep, but done in a consistent way rather than binging catch-up sleep periodically. The body can’t fully catch-up on shortage of sleep to get the same benefit as if the same amount of sleep had been spread out evenly. Lack of sleep on many days also means one can’t be as fully alert and present as if with good sleep, to bringing the same energy to things, all else being equal, to life, whether to activities and/or to other people. That energy is about as fundamental a thing as a person can bring to life to live it best, and sleep is, without doubt, the most effective way to fuel that, even more important than the equivalent food deprivation. That’s how important sleep is once you understand what the latest research tells you, and that’s why it’s worth two resolutions to me, with that goal of sufficient sleep (around 7 hours a night to minimize cognitive decline) consistently, being my number one goal of the 2020s. So with that background in mind, here are my notes for the two goals. I will make the headers of one goal red, and the other blue, to denote the difference.
No, that’s not some sadistic, morbid, sarcastic, or hippie feel good see the bright side of things sort of a title. I am dead serious! That was morbid. No, seriously! There are going to be some huge benefits from this coronavirus pandemic!
How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…
- CO2 emissions will be drastically reduced from much less flying, cruising, driving!
There will be much less emissions from all that reduced transportation, that’s for sure! We may hit that 2050 CO2 target in 2020! Probably not, but we’ll definitely get much closer, much sooner, than anyone expected… at least before a rebound once this pandemic is over.
- People will learn to appreciate where they live more!
If people can’t go anywhere, they’ll have to stay close to home. It’s amazing when you’re stuck somewhere that you’ll start to look around and appreciate all the beauty that is there, even in the worst of places.
- People will buy local more!
With supply chains disrupted, aside from some a group of goods like iPhones that are not able to be produced locally, people will have to rely on local goods more. This will be especially noticeable for goods like food, which will be great for the buy local movements!
- People will learn to live with less!
With less available to buy, and less to spend with labour disruptions and lack of work compensation in the US, lots of people will have to learn to live on a lot less than they used to. It won’t be pleasant for them, with these changes forced upon them. But you know, the human spirit is a damned resilient thing! It will adapt, and it will be fine. Of course, some people will be hitting desperate situations out of pure economics not adding up, but I’m talking about the spirit to adapt to loss of luxuries and some conveniences here.
- People will be less dependent on Chinese goods!
A LOT of what people around the world buys is made in China, in part or in full. With Chinese supply chains disrupted, whether there or where you live, much less will be available. For the most part, though, it’ll be things people will be able to do without, or will be able to substitute with local goods. It might cost a little more, but it will probably be better, and it will definitely be better for their local economy! For a long time, the world has been unsuccessfully trying to wean itself off Chinese goods. Perhaps it just didn’t substitute the right thing, like COVID-19. Wouldn’t it be the most karmic of ironies that the Chinese create the thing that will get the world off its addiction to Chinese goods?
- People will waste less with less in life!
When people don’t less things to buy, like fast fashion, they will throw away less. That’s on top of no money to buy, which doesn’t stop a lot of people looking at average household debts in well to do countries.
- People will keep a LOT of the new habits they “discover” during the COVID-19 pandemic! When the time comes that goods, services, and events available not so long ago will be available once more, and people will have more money to spend, many will realize they have an option to live the way they did before, in lifestyles they couldn’t afford, or not, and many will NOT! This may be only in part, but that will still a reduction from before! There may be a temporary spike to rejoice, but when it settles, people will live less consuming and wasteful lives.
Those are the big benefits I can think of now that I am quite certain will happen. Many other things will happen that will also be good, but may not considered so, like a proper correction of the stock market from all the money printed so people have money to keep funneling to the 1%. I love it when Mother Nature extends her turf to economics!
There will also be situations where the outcome will be great for many, and disastrous for possibly just as many, like lots of time spent together with family. Some will strengthen bonds they don’t get to from little time spent together, while others will drive each other crazy because they’re… well, family. Some will do productive things with idle time, like read, while others will do things not so productive, like eat and drink more while not being able exercise more from not getting out much from conditions enforced where they live. Only time will tell on those things, but I’m pretty sure the seven things listed here will be a lot of good to people, and the world, in general, ultimately.
Prove me wrong in a few years!
Of course, I am not without empathy in wishing we could have all done all this without something as tragic and disruptive as a pandemic. But until we become smart enough as a species to do so, we’ll just have to keep on relying on Mother Nature to keep things under control for this planet to keep on thriving.
Thanks “Mom”! 😉
The intentional reduction in the speed of reading, carried out to increase comprehension or pleasure.
The name is obvious for what it is. The impetus to do so in this day and age of hurrying through things, and slow reading’s benefits, are less obvious, as described in the TEDRadio Hour podcast below.