Random thoughts on life while Sheltering in Place

I’m very fortunate. Despite the world being on pause for who knows how long, we’re doing well given the circumstances. Most importantly, the household is in good health. Mrs. Lite has a job that can be done remotely from home, and though my work is temporarily on hold, when things start opening up again my job is a secure one (I think). Neither of us is in a position where we have to be around a lot of people, so I’m thankful for that. Much appreciation for the grocery, utility, and other essential workers who are working hard during this time.

One thought that I’ve had many times recently is that I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to visit Egypt a little over a year ago with Mrs. Lite, momma Lite, and momma Lite’s best friend. If we had kicked that can down the road, who knows if and when the trip would have taken place, both due to world circumstances and the ages of the two older travelers who came with us. One of my work colleagues who doesn’t vacation travel nearly as much as I do had a big year of international trips planned for 2020 including Great Britain and Australia, and all of it is either cancelled or doubtful. She’s understandably upset since this was expected to be an extra special travel year for her. I’ve had to cancel a few trips as well, but it stings a whole lot less for me because I’ve been regularly visiting new places every year since I was in my early 20s. Missing 6 months or a year or however long this ends up being isn’t too bad in grand scheme of things. This further reinforces my belief that anyone who enjoys traveling should do it early and often, even if it means sacrificing other things in life.

Times like this also make me thankful to be a minimalist. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a minimalist lifestyle more that I do right at this moment. Though Mrs. Lite is still employed full time, my income has taken a nosedive since I get paid purely on production. Not a problem though. Since our expenses are low (small house with proportionally small utility bills, modest cars that are fully paid for, minimal & flexible discretionary spending), we’re in a good position to pay all our bills, even with a drastic decline in income. It has got to be a challenge for people with large, inflexible expenses who suddenly find themselves jobless or underemployed, even if it’s just for a few months. Professional landlords who have most of their capital tied up in real estate have got to be hurting right now. This is a great real-time illustration of the benefits of having low personal overhead and having liquidity in one’s net worth.

The last thing that’s been on my mind is a planned trip overseas in the fall. I’m hopeful that things will be under better control by then so we can proceed with our plans. One thing I’m doing very differently for this one is waiting until a month or two before the start date to buy our plane tickets. We should have a better sense by the summer whether the vacation will be possible or not. After what I went through with Expedia, I’m of the opinion that I’d rather wait and potentially pay more for a flight that I’m confident will happen than buy a cheap ticket and have to attempt to get a refund later on, or worse, get stuck with a travel voucher. I almost bought these tickets back in January but held off, as prices went up when I checked again the following day. Lucky circumstances.

Hope everyone is staying healthy and sane out there. The weather is about to get really nice this weekend, so we’re planning on some outdoor therapy in the sun while planting our vegetable garden.

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