The times change us. In the 60s, it was about disruption. In the 70s, it was about expression. In the 80s it was about business success...
We are into new times and it is almost reflecting WWII era and Depression Era with stressed resources, great disruption, and a need to get back to the basics.
It's a time of humility.
Every bad thing brings a benefit. We have been the often pampered children of an era of parents who wanted us to have everything they didn't have. Then, the pandemic hit and resources became more scarce, public gatherings became taboo, and it was every man for himself financially and in terms of food, housing, and health. We are getting back to basics like self-sufficiency, reliable healthy food sources, and fair housing.
HEALTH AND FOOD
The excesses of fast cheap food and busy sedentary lives brought on weight gain and the health risks associated with it including the cytokine storm occurring in covid patients who are overweight. A taxed health care system means we may not get the help we need and must take the basic steps to ensure no diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc. With processed foods being harder to find and bags of rice and beans and backyard soil available, many who fear the vulnerability of depending on grocery stores are taking more responsibility for their own food sources.
Some of the ways people are jumping on board responsibility for their own health and food supply -
*Taking vitamins including zinc and vitamin D for immune system support.
*Cleaning their hands, wearing masks, being more conscious of spreading disease. Avoiding crowded areas.
*Growing a food jungle in their yard or patio.
*Going for walks/biking to be outside without risk of contagion.
*Setting up exercise equipment for working from home convenience.
*Storing water, supplies, and food for emergency situations.
*Learning to cook meals and have family suppers.
*Consciously losing weight in order to ensure immune system strength.
*Tending to anxiety and depression with yoga, prayer, meditation, exercise, time outdoors, volunteering, gardening, and communicating.
CAREER AND LOCATION
Remember in the 70s when communes sounded so cool and self-reliant? Today, people are envying small home affordable housing, nomadic lifestyle living in RVs, ecovillages, earth ships, and homesteads. With jobs allowing people to live anywhere and work remotely, small towns are having a huge resurgence of life and money into their streets.
The only thing stopping most people from quitting and moving on is the housing situation.
Affordable housing is impossible in the US. If you want to downsize, you literally have to find your own land and build your own small home. Rent rising made people realize they'd rather live in a vehicle than pay 1700 for a studio.
Being able to work remotely, families thought about more affordable and also spacious areas in the open plains, away from the big cities that had rioting and disease, and where they could possibly teach their kids to raise chickens or grow food, get home schooled, and have their family in the house with them.
Here's some ways that folks have evolved their concepts of jobs and homes -
*Side gigs like etsy shops or reselling secondhand items became possible full-time positions with a world that delivers items to people's doors and advertises online.
*More people considered several income streams like AirBNB, rental properties, book revenue, ad revenue, etc, so there was less dependence on one source of money.
*Folks have taken on learning how to build a home, renovate, fix things, mow their own lawns, and other basic skills that eluded them. The feeling of self-reliance, whether it's dyeing their own hair or building their own shed made people realize ways they were needlessly spending money.
*Alternative ways to live, such as co-sharing a home, creating a duplex, renting out one's home for AirBNB, hitting the road to live out of a converted bus or RV, finding an ecovillage to live in, or putting a tiny home on a relative's property became real options.
*Moving back home with the parents has become a very real option, especially with aging family and upkeep of a home that is paid for.
ENTERTAINMENT AND SPENDING
With more people working from home, spending has shifted. No more lunches out, Starbuck's, and commuting costs (especially with higher gas prices). People are not going out and about to windowshop, go to big events, hang out for drinks at the club, or impulse buy while browsing.
Interestingly, with no need for makeup, hairstyling, and wardrobe for public viewing and job advancement, people are buying secondhand clothing, often times sweats and things to wear around the house. Spending is more focused on home improvements and quality food and coffee. This could be the decade of home and hearth.
Here's some ways people are finding entertainment and spending their money differently -
*Streaming tv is the obsession. Paid-for special channels or streaming service apps are the basis of much entertainment, as are online sources like Tik Tok. The ability to sit and marathon a series on streaming is the new sports activity.
*Books have made a great comeback. People are slowing down enough to curl up and read and enjoy this thing called silence, engaging the mind creatively, and recalling what it was to be still. Audio books have made a huge climb too, thanks to at-home workers.
*Families are starting to do things outdoors together, whether it's smores and a camping tent in the backyard or riding bikes.
*Removing unnecessary services like car washes, manicures, and hairstyling, people are beginning to see how dependent they were on outside sources to get things done. They are more likely to go on YouTube and find a video on how to fix the toilet and do it themselves.
*Delivery is the new obsession. The surge in grocery delivery, restaurant delivery, and buying sundries and having them delivered by Amazon and Walmart have become the new virtual shopping mall.
*Dropping cable tv has become a new focus, as well. The cost of cable boxes, not to mention their enormous draw on the electric bill (second only to the fridge), and endless channels no one wants, has made people drawn to sources like Hulu that allow streaming of favorite channels without a box and the super costs.
Getting back to basics has included the importance of family and friends as a true support system, renewal of faith, desire to slow down and live. The only thing stopping more people from exiting the major cities and slowing down is the housing market. So long as there are McMansions or highly expensive city apartments and little in between, housing will always be our biggest source of angst. In order to have one's own home, a certain level of income must come in and the alternatives like apartment rentals are going for more than mortgage costs.
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