Americans have quit their jobs in record numbers in the past 18 months. It’s being called “the great labor shortage.” But when a massive number of people who were previously employed just choose to walk away from their jobs, perhaps this is just a return to more “traditional values.”
We have personally learned that “virtual learning” is nearly impossible with three small children. Wrangling kids to get in the car to go to school is hard enough, add to that getting the kids to sit in front of the computer and listen to a tiny teacher’s head on a Zoom call trying to explain math. It’s simply impossible to also work, while trying to make a miracle akin to herding cats happen.
We have decided to refuse to participate in “virtual learning”. No learning occurs virtually with three kids under nine who can’t even sit still for a haircut. It’s a prolonged torture exercise, and kids cooped up at home easily become menaces to parents, dogs, neighbors and furniture. A laptop is no substitute for a classroom. Teachers essentially have banded together to quit encouraged by over-zealous, fearful administrators. Now parents need to quit. It’s too much. So parents are quitting in record numbers. And we are returning to single-income households.
Also, many more are quitting who were in trades that they felt were less desirable. Quitting is nice when there is a plan B. Quitting is great in a work environment where appreciation and hard work are undervalued. But quitting is extremely difficult if you have a mortgage and bills to pay; and when you want to afford to enjoy life.
So what if you can’t afford to quit? We suggest a series of weekend getaways. Sojourns from the daily grind of the weekend. Plan to get out and witness the geological and ecological magnificence that makes Utah the most diverse and interesting landscape in the world.
Go visit the mountains, way high above the crowds and the smog bowl. Snowshoe or snowmobile to the backcountry and listen to a stream for an hour while eating a picnic lunch. Visit Antelope island, where the sky touches the massive Dead Sea of the West but the lines are blurred so one cannot tell where the sky ends and the water begins. Walk along the shore and witness the thousands of birds who make the lake their home while they travel. Visit Box Elder, Cache, and Morgan counties. Realize the vastness of space, and you begin to realize the vastness of time. Life is long. We have plenty of time to take in nature and connect with our own creation and creator, but we need to make plans.
This virus and the lifestyle changes imposed upon by our government have made depression a reality for thousands of Utahns. The dullness of eyes, the slumped shoulders and look of desperation upon faces, and the missing spark.
These attributes melt away like a massive icicle when we visit the less-populated trails. This year more than ever we need to get outside and enjoy February, the last two months of winter can be enjoyed. Depression is not inevitable if you make the effort to make plans. Go ahead and quit, quit your job if you can afford to, or quit for a weekend or two in February and make it count: revitalize, recharge and revisit your life anew after you spend plenty of time in the sunshine, clean air outside.
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