Thought Experiment #10 – COVID-19 Edition

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

in-deed-a-bly

PathtoLife2

Total Balance

Money For The Modern Girl

Quietly Saving

One Million Journey

The FIRE Shrink

Dr FIRE

TipsToFIRE


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.

People Care

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.

Cringe Fest

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.

Negative Discoveries

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.

OddsMonkey

15 thoughts on “Thought Experiment #10 – COVID-19 Edition

  1. Good to read your first post, Mrs SN and thanks for sharing!

    It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in one of these thought experiments – usually, it’s because I don’t have time but I guess I have a bit more time right now!

    Love your ‘cringe fest’ admission – so sweet! 🙂

    I should be taking the extra free time to learn something new but have instead decided to spend time playing video games (just discovered Guild Wars 2) – in my mind, this is far better than wasting time getting outraged/depressed (delete as applicable) by social media.

    1. Video games are super distracting. I’ve spent a lot of lock-down playing Ark, and now I keep dreaming about taming dinosaurs!

      I’m definitely going to look into learning a new skill…at least by next week 😉

  2. Nice to finally hear from you, Mrs SN!

    I really liked your post, and hope to read more from you in the future!

    I wouldn’t say I’m lazy as such, I just have quite sloth-like qualities.

    This is so me too! Haha “sloth-like qualities”. Love it 🙂

    Perhaps you should share some of that cod liver with your cat, if it’s emotionally unstable too 😛

    1. I was watching a video earlier with lazy pandas and thought they looked quite familiar, so, insert lazy animal as suited!

      I’m sure trying to feed my cat cod liver would secure a foul mood for the foreseeable future!

  3. Thanks, Mrs SN, for your first guest post! There were aspects that resonated – caring about students (despite wanting to leave), concern about others’ difficult home situations (this preoccupies me at times), and liking my other half (albeit in a very different situation from you as we have a young child and therefore during the week, we barely see each other as we spend 7 hours each day working and swapping around). I also get totally where you’re coming from with the morning run idea – not even gonna attempt it myself!! Sounds horrible and would make me want to lie down on sofas too. 😛 While I can take a certain enjoyment from cooking creatively, it does tend to go all wrong if I try to adapt recipes, haha! Can’t believe I could overcome it with baking, not that I’ve managed to find any flour in Aldi yet. Cooking is much more of a practical affair in our household, though the task is more equally shared with current arrangements (whoever’s shift it is to look after Junior cooks). Returning to partners, I’m relieved Mr Firelite and myself are not at each others’ throats! He seems to have gone into ultra frugal mode though, but this could be because of a pay cut as well as the sudden sense of scarcity. Look forward to your other guest post!

    Mr SN: At last, I’ve participated: https://pathtolife2.com/2020/04/14/discoveries-in-lockdown-lessons-to-take-away/ Have a good day, both (and all your readers)!

        1. Glad to take part! Been meaning to for a while. Didn’t realise it was meant to be a stream of consciousness until I read indeedably’s! Will bear in mind next time I take part. 🙂

  4. I have discovered that there is a good reason I don’t read the mainstream news! Given the fast-breaking pace of pandemic-specific news, I was checking media outlets several times a day. I’m down to 1-2 times daily, and I am weaning myself to get back to my 1-2 times per week. Much of the news is speculation so better to just wait for actual confirmed info. Other than the news habit, new things to come out of this pandemic for me has been how much more cooking and picking up is involved when you go from a couple of empty nesters to a college kid back at home b/c of distance learning. 50% more people in the household makes a difference — I had forgotten after just 1 semester alone.

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