The corona plague came out of nowhere and brought the American economy to a grinding halt. I never would have guessed that our government would be willing to accept such massive financial losses; I assumed the powers that be were greedier than that. It makes me think there’s some other agenda going on behind the scenes, but before I start to sound like a conspiracy theorist, I’ll move on. There are some things I’m going to change when this nightmare is over.
The economic shut down and shelter in place order hasn’t affected my family as significantly as others. I already homeschooled before the virus, so that’s nothing different for us. We’re doing school as usual around here. My husband works from home and is still working, and I work in healthcare so I’m still going to work for my usual hours.
What has changed for us is my kids’ activities. They’ve all been canceled and replaced with some form of online meeting.I haven’t had to drive my kids anywhere or leave my house at all except to go to work and to feed the horses.
Honestly, it’s been GREAT! I thought I was living slowly before, but I realize how much of my time was spent ferrying children to activities. It’s made me resolve to keep this slow pace going after the plague has passed. Next year we’re doing less, scheduling less and spending more time at home. I’m going to let my kids do one activity each, and that’s it! The rest of the time we’re going to hang out, work in the garden, play outside, read books, do puzzles and watch movies.
The thing that has stressed me out the most about the virus is wondering how our food supply will hold up. Right now there is plenty of food at the grocery stores, even though some people are hoarding. I’m starting to hear rumors of shortages though, as the supply chain starts to break down. This has made me all the more determined to grow more of my own food. I’m going to turn every square inch of my yard that isn’t lawn into food production. I have garden beds and I’m adding containers, and I’m even going to work food into the flower beds out front.
I’m also going to learn how to can and preserve food and how to save my seeds. I would love to figure out a way to work quail or chickens into my yard, but that’s going to take some work to convince my husband. I’m at the point where the HOA can kiss my ass. I’m not going to be dependent on anyone else to feed me.
Another topic on my mind during the plague is debt. Last year I worked a ton of extra hours and I was very unhappy about having to be at work when I wanted to be home with my kids. I decided to take every extra dollar I made and put it toward my truck loan. If I was going to have to work, I wanted something to show for it.
Yesterday I was able to pay off my truck a full 2 years early. With all of this financial uncertainty, I realize how dangerous debt is. Other than my mortgage, I will have no consumer debt. (I do still have a student loan, but that’s a whole other blog post. Don’t even get me started.)
Having zero debt is a game changer for a family. I’m fully on board with the Dave Ramsey/ no debt/ live below your means lifestyle choice. I want less stuff and more freedom. Right now that means freedom from worrying about how to pay bills because I have less of them.
The plague has made me even more sure of my decision to live differently. I’m more committed than ever to providing at least some of my own food. I want to live slowly, enjoy my life and my home, and not be burdened with consumer debt. What about you? Has the mandatory shut down brought you to any realizations about your life?