MAY 2020 IN

Stuck in the Wrong Place

Not everyone who is unexpectedly spending a few months at home is happy about it. There are plenty of people who look around and realize that, in one sense or another, they are in the wrong place.

This has resulted in a flurry of household-related activities during the current lockdown period that you might think would be delayed until after the danger was passed.

The biggest surprise for some observers is that home sales have increased. In a period in which the official guidance is to stay at home, more families and individuals are moving.

Anecdotally, families are moving because:

A few people are moving as domestic partnerships break. A partner who was merely irritating on a daily basis may become intolerable or dangerous when one has to face them all day long.

The added time that many people are experiencing is prompting people to re-examine priorities. This can accelerate the end of a relationship, or it can lead to other changes.

Exercise, cooking, study, and meditation are examples of activities that have become priorities for people who decide they finally have the time for something they have long wanted to do.

Of course, being home all day brings you face to face with your own clutter, and this has led to the largest wave of clutter clearing ever.

For some, the clutter clearing is a way to preparing to move. For others, removing the clutter makes it easier to stay where they are. Clutter clearing can help create the feeling of control in a time of global crisis. For some like me, clearing clutter is a way of preparing for an uncertain and unpredictable future that might involve moving or other life changes.

The feeling of being stuck at home can also bring about the desire to escape. The break that vacations, cruises, cinemas, and restaurants provided has to be replaced in one way or another. This desire for escape may help to explain why sales of hard liquor have soared to all-time highs even as bars and restaurants are closed.

While all of this is happening now, I have little doubt that there are many people who have decided on changes but are postponing action until the pandemic is ending. When we can look back on it, the current pandemic will mark a flood of personal changes affecting more people than not on a scale that is unprecedented in peacetime.

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