Adjusting Every Day

Coronavirus wind is still strong around the world and the perception of its intensity is different for each individual. As I and my girlfriend work in sectors that depend heavily on travel, live in a place where social distancing measures have been extended, and have our families abroad, the wind blows straight in our faces, so we try to keep cool every day and continue doing our little adjustments.

As our Philipino domestic helper cannot work for us anymore, we had to fine-tune our way of functioning. We quickly realized that in times where we do not go to the office or meet friends and customers, we do not need ironed clothes. We still need to clean our house, so my girlfriend decided to buy a robot.

At the beginning it behaved like a silly dog: it was constantly getting stuck and spent a lot of energy trying to munch electric cables or my girlfriend underwear. Now that we got to know each other, it mops the floor once a day. We are continuing to support our helper that has no source of income during the lock-down.

My company is going through a tough financial situation: its revenues depend directly on air traffic and have dropped to historically low levels, so the cash flow is negative these days and the activity on the airlines’ side is slowing down. I decided to voluntarily opt-in to a working time reduction plan and from the first of June for a duration of six months, I will be working only four days a week. As the consequent loss of income is sustainable, I am happy to slow down and use the additional free time to chill or learn something new. I can re-negotiate this agreement with my employer at any time, so I see this as a win-win.

We initiated a re-negotiation of the rent with our landlord and after a few exchanges, obtained a reduction that will allow us to save a little money over the next five months.

Finally, I reviewed my investment portfolio and tried to adjust it to a weak economic outlook. Of all the adjustments, this is the most critical one: as no-one knows how long this situation will last and what will happen next, it is not easy to define a strategy to navigate through it.

It is a balancing act, similar to this picture.

Like these fishermen, we cannot change the river flow, so every day we sense it and just do our best to remain on the boat, that keeps rolling under our feet.


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