2020 has reinforced the lesson that less is not necessarily more.
Less is, well, less. But the lesson learnt is that you can live with it.
In some instances, less has still resulted in more. Less commuting, less time spent getting ready for work, less entertaining. And that has meant more time, be it for hobbies or to be with the family — though that can be tricky for many, especially if your life choices result in you having too many noisy people at home or if you haven’t the comfortable privacy of your own cave to retreat into.
It’s been an unexpected year of learning new things about yourself. About how you cope when the regular, mundane things you took for granted, like coffee with friends and breathing in the fresh air, become controlled activities
Like hopping on a plane for a weekend getaway with friends. Just because you can. Only, now you can’t
No travel for a while, not while COVID-19 is busy making its presence felt. I feel for the hardworking Boomers who may have been saving up for their retirement while looking after grandchildren, and dreaming of the time when they are free of these fetters to spend the time gallivanting the world and exploring new places. Now they can explore what’s in their fridge more thoroughly and wander around their home country exploring what was under their noses all along. For those living in large land masses, domestic tourism can keep you engaged and offer that change of scenery. When you live on a small island, the options are far fewer.
This will no doubt make many realise that they should act on their plans as soon as possible rather than wait for a perfect time to do so.
While we may be annoyed with having to wear a mask, we have grown accustomed to the act.
This has been a year when personal freedoms have been restricted and constricted to cope with the pandemic.
You may well wonder how a world that claims to be so advanced and smart has been unable to cope when put under real pressure.
Now we find ourselves taking that further unwelcome Orwellian turn; to be at the mercy of devices that monitor our movements (though you could argue that was already the case with the arrival of the mobile phone).
It may not be compulsory to load the app that tracks your whereabouts, or to be injected with the hastily delivered vaccine, but there’s a lot you can’t do if you don’t comply.
There’s no forcing involved. Just a gradual squeezing into a corner.
Still, it hasn’t been all bad. We were fortunate to have entered the digital era decades ago, and stragglers found themselves shoved onto that bus in 2020. The digital delights of ceaseless entertainment, social media feeds, VPN connections and webinars have shown that things can still be achieved with good connections.
If you’d just quit moaning about what you don’t have and start assessing what you do have, and figure out how you can make it work for you, you’ll be in a better place.
If anything, 2020 has offered a perfect vision of how we could live our lives. Instead of madly rushing around we’ve been forced to slow down to a new rhythm; one that could well be here to stay.
2021 will likely reinforce the fact that less could well be more.