“Unprecedented events create new experiences. What fun, misadventure, or positive discoveries have you encountered while locked down?“-Savings Ninja thought experiment –The Covid-19 Edition
Reducing my (planning) horizon
I am a planner, usually I’d be on the internet now booking flights for 2021, trying to secure early bird tickets for this or that festival. Now I plan a day ahead or to the next weekend at the most. Living more in the moment and not having continual FOMO has been quite nice. As well as reduced planning horizon my physical horizon has become much more local. Walking, running and cycling in my near or not to far neighbourhood. This has involved walking down cul-de-sacs just round the corner from where I live to cycling on side roads not before travelled.
Lots of random interesting facts now forgotten
Zoom quizzes are now the social gathering of choice and I have been entertained with friends and work colleagues alike – have learnt lots including – how many eyes do bees have, which city in the UK has the most Greggs and how high is Scafell Pike – most have facts are now though unfortunately forgotten ! (5, Newcastle, and 978m).
Taking time to read and reflect
I consume my personal finance and FIRE content through podcasts and reading blogs. I rarely read books these days and definitely not finance or FIRE books. I love podcasts in particularly, that mini discussion or lecture nicely packaged in a 30-40 minute bite sized listen is just enough before I move onto the next thing. So I decided to get back to basics and read some of the historic and recent seminal FIRE texts including ‘Simple Path to Wealth’ and ‘Your money or your life’. Reading a book slows you down, give you time to reflect and digest, go on a longer journey than a podcast episode can take you. These books are great in their own right and I have enjoyed rediscovering reading.
Knowing the path is different from walking the path
Talking of ‘Simple Path to Wealth’ in more normal times I would have read the text ‘The market always goes up and it is always a wild and rocky ride along the way’ and gone ‘yeah yeah I know this’. Now when I read that sentence I go, ‘yes, yes I KNOW this’. Much less dismissive and information that is felt as well as understood. It’s been a pleasant discovery that I am accepting this with equanimity.
I have really relished been booted out of my comfort zone – working from home, VCing family and friends rather than visiting, doing more cooking, running, spending time with my partner, even a bit of sketching with Grayson Perry.
However there is a negative note.
Have the ability to accept the unacceptable
You may not accept the government statistics but even theirs are saying we have, per million population the fourth worst death rate in the world currently, topping Italy and Spain, and for some reason right behind Belgium. And even with this tragedy Boris Johnson’s approval rating has increased (courtesy of the Daily Mail, mid April). How can this be so?