This is a good time to ask ourselves what are the things we could go without, and what are the ones we really need. The ones we couldn’t or wouldn’t want to live without.

We often confuse want and need. And we’re not always clear about what we need. This takes information, learning and reflection.

The quarantine forces us to think about what we really need. On the one hand, we can experience first-hand how it is to live without a lot of things for longer. On the other hand, it forces us to change habits, shift priorities and focus on the essential, in order to stay sane.

I used to be a passionate skier. This winter I haven’t skied at all. Last winter I had one day of skiing. As it becomes more difficult to find natural snow and ski resorts are scrambling to ensure good conditions, skiing becomes too much of an environmental nuisance for me to go on. I miss waking up in the morning to fresh snow, and making the first descent on the slopes while there’s nobody else around. But building huge water tanks up in the mountains, to ensure enough water for artificial snow, is not cutting it for me. And skiing on crowded slopes in high season, on those patches that can be covered by snow cannons, is not my idea of being in nature.

I am a passionate dancer. Being in the flow, having the right connection with your dance partner, being fully present in that moment are pretty amazing things. Would I be able to go on without? I know I would be missing it a lot. After a while I would probably start dreaming about it. I would dance alone. And then it guess I would just think less and less about it. I’d miss it from time to time, but nothing unbearable. As you would miss a lover.

I’ve been in love with forests and mountains for most of my life. Being deep in the forest at sunrise. Looking all around you from the mountain top after a day of hiking and climbing. There’s no formulation that does justice to this feeling. There’s nothing that compares. Would I be willing to give up hiking and mountaneering? If I had a choice, if I had the slightest choice, no.

If there would be no choice, I would survive. But my life would not be the same.

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