Many of us now find ourselves stuck at home for days or weeks on end, getting bored as we wait out the coronavirus pandemic. I prefer to look on these days as a great opportunity.
- All those "honey-do" lists your significant other has made? Now's the time to take care of them, so you can go back to normal living in due course with a clear conscience and a happy partner.
- All the food, tools, guns, ammunition, spare parts, supplies, etc. that you've accumulated over the years? Now's the time to sort them all out, catalog what you've got, identify things you need that you haven't got (and make shopping lists for use after the quarantine period, when you can buy them again), clean your guns and your tools (something many of us neglect), and set up everything in an organized and ship-shape fashion. I've so far cleared about a quarter of our garage, arranging some boxes and totes in one corner for future unpacking and sorting out, throwing out a great deal of trash, and asking myself far too often, "When did I buy that - and why did I waste my money on it?" On the other hand, I found 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm. ammunition that I'd forgotten I bought a couple of years back. That was a very happy discovery.
- While you're doing that, if you expect money to be tight in the not very distant future, now's a good time to identify things of value that you can sell, if you have to, to raise funds. Guns, tools, garden equipment, spare parts, whatever others need and will pay for (or swap for things you want) - figure out what you have, and make a note of it against future need.
- This is a great time to expand your horizons. On YouTube and similar channels there are literally tens of thousands of instructional videos, from university courses, to "how-to" demonstrations, to cooking, to painting, to . . . well, you get the idea. Make a list of areas that interest you, and set out to find video materials that will teach them to you. What's more, this is a good time to learn things that will save you money. How about fixing simple plumbing problems yourself, or maintaining small engines like those on lawnmowers? You can even expand those skills into unofficial repair work for your friends and neighbors in due course. It's good for barter, too. You fix their pipes or their mower, they give you a couple of bags of vegetables from their garden in payment. Everyone's happy except the IRS.
- Wash the car(s), cut the grass, get the flower beds cleaned out and organized in preparation for spring and summer, clean out the gutters, and generally organize the outside of your home to match all the "honey-do's" you've just taken care of inside it.
Being locked down sucks. We may as well look on the bright side, and use the time to our advantage.