So in my "new normal" day, I've got about a 45-minute quiet window at home to write this little newsletter before leaving for work. For the most part, that's been working pretty well.
This morning, it didn't work so well. Let's just say it ended with me throwing a plastic measuring cup across the kitchen and leave it at that. Between trying to get everyone's breakfast taken care of, dealing with two little ones under the age of two, and getting ready for the show during a financial market panic, well, you can imagine.
But my guess is you don't even have to imagine it, because this scene and stress is playing out on a grand scale across the country right now. It would be one thing if we were all home with our kids and not trying to work at the same time, but this is quite another. Thank God my neighborhood is finding creative "social distancing" ways to let off some steam, like drawing chalk circles in the road for each family to come and stay within while playing follow-the-leader games and dancing to music for 45 minutes at 5:30 p.m. every day. That said, yesterday's session ended with us accidentally kidnapping the neighbor's dog, because he snuck in our front door when I wasn't looking. Again, I'll spare you the full details but that was another kind of panic to add to the day.
Even the economists and market strategists I follow are starting to share their "staying sane" tips with their distribution lists. They usually involve finding ways to exercise and get fresh air, setting dedicated times for work and family play, etc. I don't have much to add to that. But I will say my husband and I also have made a new rule: be extra nice to each other, and don't talk about coronavirus if at all possible.
I know everyone's happy to zone out to Netflix for now, but I do find, from past experience, that reading or studying are better ways for me to de-stress. In that spirit, here are a couple of suggestions:
> One Summer, by Bill Bryson
> The American Spirit, by David McCullough
> The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, by Michael Novak
> World Order, by Henry Kissinger
> The Way of the Runner, by Adharanand Finn
> Life of Christ, by Rev. Fulton Sheen (especially with Easter coming up and most churches closed to Mass right now)
> CFA Level I -- a good primer in markets and macro
> The CFP courses -- I only made it through three or four, but it was money well spent, and is the best overall real guide to "personal finance" you could find
I'm not sure how each of these study providers is affected by coronavirus but if the online courses are still available, I think they're worth taking even if you can't or don't take the exams or get the credentials in the end. I can say they certainly have been worthwhile for me.
Just my two cents! Here's hoping we're getting closer to the end of this whole awful thing. See you at 1 p.m...
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