One of the best quotes that I have heard during the pandemic is from a friend of mine who was talking about when she doesn’t have some thing she needs to make a certain meal now, she says ”I just make do.”
Prior to the pandemic, I probably went to the grocery store every other day. And now, instead of always just jumping up and running to the store, I “make do.” I find something else to substitute for what I don’t have.
And it’s not just food – it’s everything. I realized that I had gotten into a cycle where if I thought about something I wanted or needed, I just got in the car and went to a store to buy it. Now, I stop and think about it. Do I really need that? Is there something else that I already have that will do the trick? Can I use an old box to wrap the gift in? Do I have to put tissue paper in the gift bag? Do I have to buy a card? Or can I make a card?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m pretty sure Amazon knows our address by heart, but the immediate gratification consumerism that I had become so accustomed to is seeming a lot less important to me these days. Prior to the pandemic, we basically had everything we needed within a few miles of our homes. From groceries to clothing to sporting goods to furniture, they were very few things you couldn’t get by jumping in the car and making a short drive. And now that it’s more complicated, it gives us all a little bit more time to think about what we really need instead of just knee-jerking whenever a thought pops into our heads that we lack something.
I think learning how to “make do” is a very important skill to have in life. I know it’s something my parents and my grandparents did. And yet, our generation was raised into a society where everything we we needed was readily available. Now, we have the opportunity to understand what it means to not always get what you want in any given moment, to learn how to make the best of the situation, and not always lament what you don’t have.
I’m hoping this will become a permanent change. Right now, as I write this, I can’t think of anything I really need other than a good night’s sleep, and that’s something I can’t get on Amazon.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.