31 Jul 2020 How Has The Coronavirus Shaped Your Priorities?
Almost none of us will get through this unscathed. There is a sense in which we are all dealing with a collective trauma—from the emotional toll of being cut off from friends and family to the horror of experiencing the death-dealing of the virus firsthand, and everything in between. And trauma changes us! How will it change you?
As René Girard would say, our desires are not our own. Mostly we form our desires as we form our language: by attempting to reproduce the environment in which we find ourselves. And as the fish can hardly recognize what water is, we think our desires are self-formed when largely they are just what we swim in.
But the coronavirus-induced quarantining and mask wearing is perhaps giving all of us a distance that—despite being detrimental in many other ways that I am by no means belittling—does offer us some space to consider, to the best of our ability, what it is we actually care about.
What about you? Have you noticed new ideas or dreams? Or maybe they’re old ones that you just haven’t been able to hear with all the noise of “normalcy.” Maybe they’re changes you have the privilege of choosing, or maybe the changes have been forced upon you, but either way, it’s important to listen.
In our house, an experience which is by no means prescriptive, we’ve definitely noticed some reshaping of priorities and desires. Largely they are lumped into three buckets: Home (more value to outdoor activities), Time (less value to anything that needs to go on a calendar), and Technology (more value to bikes and moving legs and less value to phones).
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to spend some real time thinking about how your dreams, desires, and priorities may have shifted during the last several months—or, more than likely, the way the dreams, desires, and priorities you’ve had all along have been uncovered. After all, the value of the financial planning process is largely tied to the degree to which you have articulated what matters to you. It’s only then that actionable advice can be given in the service of what it is you really crave out of life.
Once you have taken the time to do this, please let us know if there are any changes you’d like to be sure get reflected in your plan! That’s what we’re here for.