To get the creative juices flowing again in these strange times, what better than a Thought Experiment to reconnect with the Financial Independence community?
We’ll try a different approach with this one; we’ll have no deadline. If you want to take part, write out a response to the question below and I’ll feature your article in this post, I implore all other participants to do the same.
Unprecedented events create new experiences. What fun, misadventure, or positive discoveries have you encountered while locked down?
– Thanks to in-deed-a-bly for his eloquent words
As always tweet @SavingNinja if you have participated and I’ll add your post to the list below!
Thought Experiment #10
Mrs SavingNinja kindly took the reins for this Thought Experiment for her post debut. Don’t worry, she’s still working on her introductory post which will be next up.
When I first looked at this thought experiment I didn’t think I had anything to write about. Lockdown has been fine. Just fine. But, as I banished myself to the bed with a mug of green tea to try and write something, I realised that maybe I have made some positive discoveries and had some fun.
I naturally like to live my life quite horizontally (hence banishing myself to bed to write!) I wouldn’t say I’m lazy as such, I just have quite sloth-like qualities. So on the evening of March the 16th, when I declared that I was taking a vow of solitude for the good of mankind, I was rather looking forward to lazing in bed all morning, having a relaxing lunch with my husband and playing on games all afternoon.
At this point, schools were still open and I was annoyed about it. How dare Boris put lives at risk because he doesn’t want people to get bored on lockdown too soon.
I looked at the newsfeed on The Guardian website every half an hour to see what was being done and I regularly got updates from my school. My school had partially shut by the Wednesday as people were self-isolating as per the new government advice. By Friday they had a ‘Skeleton staff’ and were only open to one year group, the following week it was the children of key workers only and some vulnerable students.
I was happy that action had been taken but I then found myself feeling really quite sad about the teenagers that were at home in really unpleasant and abusive environments. As a Head of Year I get to know all about my year groups’ family and home lives, the evening this all occurred to me was spent worrying about the teenagers with alcoholic and abusive parents.
The point of this depressing tangent is that despite the fact I have been to a few interviews recently that are not in the teaching industry, I do actually really care about these kids.
So, positive discovery number 1 – Even the teachers that hate their jobs and want out, really freaking care about the students they meet, even the stinky, swearing awful ones. Especially the stinky, swearing awful ones.
I Love Baking
I love cooking so much and I love that with cooking there’s a lot of room for creativity. The recipe says 2 garlic cloves, I’m going to creatively add 6. The recipe says a small glass of wine, I’m going to creatively add a large glass and then creatively drink the rest.
I also love changing recipes. When Mr SavingNinja wants to make something that I’ve previously made for him, it’s impossible for him to follow the recipe and get it right because I always change it and make it mine.
When it comes to baking I’m pretty sure you can’t do this…much. Baking is a science. I can’t add a creative amount of yeast or eggs, that would ruin the recipe. So I stayed away from baking, I let him bake the bread and make the pizza bases. Maybe I was scared that as it’s very precise I could get it wrong and ruin it. I don’t like to be wrong.
But it turns out I’m good at baking! I have made croissants! I made a pie! I bossed cinnamon rolls! And I’m having so much fun. This was a very pleasant and tasty positive discovery.
I’m sorry to now get cringey but the next positive discovery is that I actually really like my husband.
So many people can’t wait to go back to work and can’t wait to get some time away from their other half. I see so many posts on social media about how they’re sick of their husband/wife etc. I know some of these are partially in jest but I’m actually going to be really sad when we have to go back to work and not spend this much time together anymore.
We are lucky, in a way, to not have any elderly relatives to worry about or help care for during this time and our families both live at other sides of the country, so it’s just us and our emotionally unstable cat. I love it.
I’m looking at this as practice for our retirement. Can we spend this much time in close contact and still be happy and get on? Damn right we can; I’m even happier! I’m definitely mentally ready for retiring together, I just hope we get to spend a bit more time in the great outdoors.
There is, of course, going to be some negative discoveries during this time. These aren’t earth-shattering, heart-breaking discoveries, just things that I need to look at. The main thing being my lack of self-motivation.
No matter how much time I actually have I’m not going to want to exercise and I’m never going to actually want to go for a run. Going for a morning run during lockdown lasted three days.
I have always said that if I didn’t have to start work so early I would work out in the morning. That was my excuse for not doing it. I was always tired when I got home from work and wanted to cook, eat, watch TV, go to bed.
I now have no excuse and I still don’t want to do it.
I could also spend an entire day on Reddit. This is not good. I could be learning new things, tidying the house, exercising! Some days I’m super motivated and get loads done and feel great, but most days I’m sad about getting out of bed and then barely move from the sofa.
This is something to address before retirement and I need to find a way to motivate myself so I don’t become a depressed couch potato.
But hey, if all else fails I’ll just bake more cinnamon rolls.