Live Simply, Live Well is the motto we have chosen to represent our company. The stay at home order has brought living simply and living well to a whole new level. I’ve considered myself a rather low maintenance woman for quite some time now. I don’t care for expensive jewelry, it’s something I usually lose. I don’t care for expensive cars; they are something I usually bump and dent. I don’t care to have the latest gadgets, again something I would lose, bump or dent. I’m pretty happy with the simple things in life. I like to shop. I like good clothes. I am house proud and like a nice home but really, I am pretty easy to please. I never imagined just how simple and easy I could be to please until recently.
The things I consider essential look a whole lot different than the things I used to consider essential. I haven’t been out of the house, like really out of the house, since the end of February. We were staying home two weeks before this all got real because Jordan had surgery. Really, we were home the whole month of February because we were trying to keep Jordan healthy before her surgery. This has been a very long run indeed. However, back to the essentials. I used to have a budget for fun…that was essential. Fun looked like, well it looked like spending money. It looked like shopping trips, movie dates, eating out, entertainment venues. It looked like theater, concerts, and museums. Fun looked like extracurricular activities like dance, sports, music lessons. Fun looked like over the top parties, play dates, and outings with friends. I considered all those things essential. TJ Maxx, oh how I miss TJ Maxx…and TJ Maxx was indeed considered essential for me. Having a few hours to myself to peruse the aisles from clothing to housewares, from the girl’s department to the pets…sigh, I do you miss you old friend. If asked then, I would say my fun budget was indeed essential.
Now after months with no retail therapy, I see how frivolous I was being. I haven’t had any shopping therapy for months and I’m doing okay. I eat what I have at home and I am happy. I use what I have on hand and things are good, I’m content. I don’t feel like I have to plan elaborate meals, outings or playdates to be happy. I am simply happy being with those I care for. A campfire and hotdogs with a glass of wine is an evening well spent. Having a friend over to play in the barn or down by the creek, at least six feet away, is a good time. There doesn’t have to be extensive crafts or activities…it’s enough to just be with someone who isn’t in your immediate family. I, dare I speak it aloud, don’t have to have weekly trips to TJ Maxx to feel happy or entertained. A good magazine article or a good book is just as thrilling. A walk in the fields with my bibbed wearing buddy is just as rewarding. Sitting on the front porch listening to the frogs awake and the birds go to sleep is just as soothing. Looking at my mangled landscaping is still infuriating…that is a dead horse I will continue beat until it is a mangled, putrid pile of pus…however I digress.
Essential these days looks a whole lot different indeed. We are down to the bare bones of what is necessary. Our break neck schedule that we felt we had to maintain has slowed down to a certain degree. The Bibbed Wonder sleeps in until 5:30 or 6:00 on Sundays and he takes a nap on Sundays…that is unprecedented. We try to end our work day at 5:00 and we stay up until the uncivilized hour of 9:00…sometimes 9:30 if we’re really crazy and engrossed in whatever is on PBS. Oh yes, “real T.V.” as we call it, has been gone for almost two years. The Bibbed Wonder, my man of steely reserve and integrity, had an ongoing battle with a certain satellite provider. He was outraged at their willy-nilly practices of raising rates, offering poor customer service, and unyielding policies to provide decent service. All things The Bibbed Wonder considers, and I quote, “enough to piss off the Pope!” Oh yes, I am quarantining with this barrel of monkeys without even “real T.V.” It is like living in the 80’s with 2, 4, 6, and 10 on a sunny day…but we’re adapting and refraining from violence…unless it is directed at trees and landscaping…I know, I know, that horse is stinking to high heaven. Essential really does look a lot different in the days of Covid-19.
Haircuts, new seasonal wardrobes, vacation plans, and Charmin are all luxuries that when push comes to shove, and shove seems to come hard from a high, delicate precipice, are all nonessential. It’s amazing what we were used to and it’s even more amazing what we are learning to do without in a very short amount of time. It is a time of reevaluation of what is necessary. I am finding as long as those I love are safe, healthy, and near me, I am good. All else falls into the category of nonessential. Although I do miss TJ Maxx…and Charmin…and my tree. Hopefully dear reader, you too are finding your way to simplifying and living well. I hope this process is as painless and stress free as possible. As always, stay safe, stay smart, please keep good soap on your list of essentials, and keep washing your hands.