As such, I’ve spent a lot of time considering my life — my goals, where I’m headed, where I’ve been, and how I’m going to achieve what I want. So please humor me a while I share with you some of the life goals I’ve been re-evaluating while on lockdown.
1. Prioritizing family.
But while this might be true, our actions don’t always match our words.
How many times have you blown off visiting home for the weekend in favor of a girl’s night? How often do you bail on FaceTime calls because you’re hungover?
I’m not shaming you — I’m guilty of it myself.
But this lockdown has made me realize that time is precious. When I was able to see my family (but didn’t), I shrugged it off. But being kept inside, not knowing when I’d see them again? That really hit home.
This means more Zoom calls, more phone calls, more sending them random presents in the mail. And as soon as the lockdown eases, it means spending more time seeing my family, rather than ditching them for another forgettable night out where I’ll spend too much, drink too much, and end up with a foul hangover.
2. Dating, love and relationships.
Prior to the lockdown, I was something of a serial dater. Hopping from date to date, from a lunchtime coffee to evening drinks — it was exciting.
But dating during the lockdown isn’t quite the same. Sure, I tried a few virtual dates — dinner via Zoom, even a socially distanced walk here or there — but it lacked the same fire that real dates offered.
As such, I spent less time chasing dates and more time on introspection. I even deleted my dating apps. Instead, I spend a long time thinking about why I dated. None of my dates every continued for more than a couple of meets. Did I date because I genuinely wanted to? Did I just like the excitement of meeting another person? If so, was I trying to make up for a lack of excitement in my own life?
If anything, being isolated during the lockdown has taught me that I can — and should — find value and excitement in my own life.
Of course, this is easier said than done, and I needed a little help to prevent me from getting lost in a spiral of self-doubt. I even took online self-development classes to help me get some perspective on what really matters in life.
I haven’t sworn off relationships for a life of celibacy and solitude — far from it. But by learning to be by myself and value life, I will be able to find someone who complements that, rather than pretending to provide it.
Compared to other people in the world, I’m fairly lucky. I live in a comfortable property that, while not cheap, still gives me a roof over my head. It offers me a degree of security and stability during these troubled times.
Before the lockdown, buying a property was the last thing on my mind. With the market as it is, I’d never been able to afford a house of my own. I’d much rather spend my money on good food, fine wine, and vacations away.
But with the rug pulled from under our feet, I realized that my priorities needed to change. Owning a property gives you security, it gives you an investment — you aren’t at the behest of a rogue landlord.
Budgeting is obviously key. I’ve realized I can save literally hundreds by meal prepping — I spend so much money on groceries I don’t need (looking at you, takeaway lattes). I can even save money in the process itself by using a mortgage broker to cut out the pesky middleman.
Yes, parties and restaurants and vacations are nice. But having control of your own security is even nicer. It’s my mission to scrimp, save, and count the pennies so I can have a little place to call my own.
4. Getting moving and better appreciating the great outdoors.
I don’t know about you, but when the lockdown was first implemented, I spent so much time streaming videos. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, even the weirdest corners of YouTube (ever heard of marble Olympics?) — my days were a heady haze of slumping on the couch and watching everything from Breaking Bad to Bambi.
But like so many things during this lockdown, when something becomes forbidden, it becomes more attractive. I now find myself craving the outdoors, yearning for long walks, camping trips, even to simply feel the grass beneath my feet.
Now I make it my mission to leave the house at least once a day, even if it’s just for a short walk around the block. I try to appreciate everything I see, whether it’s a beautifully-manicured front lawn, the smell of flowers in the air, or just a happy dog gamboling in the park.