{mindset} So many pandemic changes – part 2

We started talking about all the changes that we need to consider due to the pandemic last week. Read part 1 here.

And a huge disclaimer – I know that we are fortunate that our jobs have been secure thus far. If your income has been affected, I’m sorry – that completely sucks.

5. House/ external environment

I’ve told myself, since we’re not travelling, we might as well spend some of that money on our house so that we’re as comfortable and happy here as we can be.

To that end, I’ve had a handyman in to fix 6 little things, a plumber came to sort out some minor annoyances before they become big things, my garden is looking good for now (Jhb has no winter rainfall so the garden is decent) and my house is fairly deep-cleaned as my domestic worker is back for 40% of our pre-covid arrangement, which is actually why I can blog and am not cleaning!

We sealed some windows and had carpets replaced (two years later than I planned!) and now I just need a painter to come and paint my downstairs and I think we’ll be good for a while again.

More importantly than projects, we’ve moved things around in the house so that the entire space works better for this new C19 life. That couch on the left is no longer there – I needed it there for the workshops but since those are no longer happening, we’ve moved it upstairs to the pyjama lounge so the kids can relax near us while we’re working.

Zumba in my study

6. Exercising

In the beginning of the lockdown, exercise was a substitute as we waited for “things to return to normal”. Now that we realise this is how it’s going to be for a long time, and things are not going to return to normal for a long, long time, and we’re working from home so are far more sedentary, I have personally realised that I need to either get happy about my methods of exercise, or change them.

Zumba has been keeping me sane, I’ve found I really do not like ballet via Zoom though (I really do go for the whole sensory experience) and I love going for a walk to clear my head some evenings after work, especially now during autumn and winter. I’m under no illusion that when it gets too hot in Jhb, I’ll hate walking again and may have to do more Zumba classes, or maybe ballet will start looking exciting again 😉

thank goodness for kindle books and scribd

7. Spending

Oh, this is a big one. I’ve had a couple of discussions on Instagram because I’m honestly fascinated by all these people who are saving money.

Yes, we’re not spending as much on petrol but our food has increased so, so much with all of us here all the time, snacking, eating, treating ourselves with food and the occasional takeaway.

We’ve had to upgrade our internet and with that comes an increased monthly expense – the speeds are not sufficient with two people working full-time, in meetings, and two children trying to also access the internet for their schooling.

I’m going to deal with clothes properly in a separate post but is there a need to buy clothes any more? I have to probably keep four work outfits for summer and four for winter, and even that is plenty. I have bought some clothes during the last four months – a sports bra, slippers and socks, so I clearly have enough clothes.

So what am I spending some money on? Scribd, Zumba, books and some toiletries.

Our repo rate (the rate that the banks loan money to people for houses) has dropped a number of times since lockdown to aid the economy. I’ve been sensible and increased our bond payments every time. I let the actual payment the bank requires go off on the 1st of the month, and then we pay in extra on the 14th. Let’s face it – things could change any day and it would be good to have a bit cushioned away for an emergency.

This photo was taken in February, and I’m so glad we made time to get together when we had the chance.

8. Socials

I would almost always rather meet up in person than spend time on a call, but calls and Teams/ Zoom meetings have been a delightful way to connect with my friends.

I do have some concern for some of my friendships because I’ll be honest – it does feel rather like I’m stoking an awful lot of friendship fires these days.

Even our bookclub has taken a knock – the nice thing about not everyone pitching is that you can really connect better with the ones who are there (and this is what I tell myself). The bad thing is it is an anchor during the month to connect with many friends at one time and if those friends don’t pitch, I don’t always have the time or inclination (or, enneagram 1!) feel like it’s my job anymore to always be the gatherer. I’m not sure if anyone can relate?

Tell me, how has the pandemic affected these four areas of your life?

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  1. I briefly read these in my extremely busy two last weeks of work (worked until 11pm just about every night last night!) but came back after reading your comment on my blogpost today. So ito money, we’re using the little bit of “spare” money we have to fix up the house. As you know, we’ve had tons of things break in this period and we’re fortunate to have had the extra cash to fix accordingly
    We’ve also done a few household improvements – I’ve ticked off some of my things household related from my 20 in 2020 list!!! Exercise is definitely high on my list even PRE-COVID although it’s more a sanity thing now than a fitness thing but it also means ME time 🙂 We’ve considered making a real home office space somehow but we just don’t have space. A friend put her spareroom bed in her garage as they’re obviously not expecting visitors anytime soon, and bought desks for work and homeschooling and converted the spare room into their work/school space which I thought was quite nifty but I don’t have space for my spare ro bed anywhere!!

  2. We have been truly blessed to still have a job we can do from home and not take a pay cut. I have friends that haven’t been as lucky. I need to adopt that extra money going into the mortgage habit. I was actually thinking of it earlier this week. I have buy a proper desk on my to do list. I’ve been using a plastic party table and some days it just isn’t cutting it. Yes!!! Food budget has definitely increased but I think after months of being home we have settled into a nice rhythm and I know what we need and what we can do without. You know exercise is a biggie for me snd now even more so. I do long walks almost everyday and add in free YouTube and IG live sessions 2-3 times a week

  3. MamaCat says

    My life has changed quite a bit. We had already set up a desk for me last November (in the planning of me starting to work for myself). The desk set up has really helped during this period. HB has been able to sit and do his work near me and it has worked well. We have a desk in HB’s room too, and that is for anyone who wants to work quietly or needs the door closed. I don’t like being isolated in the house, so I don’t often sit there. We finally decided to just buy a printer/scanner because it means going out less.
    We have also been adding as much extra money into our home loan as possible, and the end is in sight. Bar anymore unexpected financial issues, we have just a year left.
    Our food budget has dropped because there are no more packed lunches, so we are buying less prepacked stuff. Petrol has dropped. Electricity has gone up. Our internet is the same, because we already had a decent package.
    We are not buying any takeaway or eating out.
    Exercise is still dismal.

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