Updated: May 18, 2020
Ok, so we’re a couple of months into this social distancing thing. How’s it working for you? No, really? By now you might have noticed, that even in isolation, you are finding a routine, your groove, habits - new and old, that are shaping into what your days are like. Or perhaps, you’re like me in that not one day has been the same. I never realized how much I was grounded by my daily timings until now, when life as I knew it was chucked completely out the window. The corona elasticity of our days is a curse as much as it is a blessing. Being home all the time, I lack the discipline to keep any semblance of a schedule. When I had to be at work every day, it was easy to know when to wake up, take a shower, get in my car, run errands, exercise, visit a friend, etc. Now – way too many choices ….. I bake and cook and binge watch CSPAN, nag my kid, hug my kid, get interrupted by way too many texts! I clean my bathroom compulsively, over water my plants - a lot of stupid shit. I am trying to learn piano which along with my safe string is something I will be really happy about when this stay at home order is relaxed. It’s really weird how different life has become, right? One interesting thing I realized about myself, (and I am not sure if I ike or dislike it) – is that I am not a consistent creature by nature. My rebel side has a rebel side! But on the days that I really put my foot down and schedule an early morning walk, then a shower, put on make-up, catch up with the news, then put in my work hours, (in that order, …. I have to admit, I do feel better. What is it about a regular routine that gives us that equilibrium? I think the answer lies in the power of ritual but I’ll investigate that question in a later blog. And how hard should we be with ourselves while we negotiate so many new decisions during this incredibly challenging time?
When do you shower, eat? What to eat? Oh boy, that’s a big one. Shop Rite or Trader Joe’s? Red, white or should I go straight to the Martini? Green olives or black? How late will stay up; sleep in? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Most importantly, how much are you staying in touch with those you love and those who you know would benefit so much by hearing from you? Are you working remotely? Some of us are not – and the anxiety of losing pay is not only frightening but so unfair. Many of us have worked years, decades even and are seeing our careers morph into something entirely different. Impermanence seems to be the operative word, but on the flip side of that coin, isolation too will also be temporary.
As beaches, and parks and even some businesses open … as the weather gets warmer and the temptation to mingle and relax the guidelines creeps into our decision making and routine, take good care. Continue to find gratitude and self-love. Be courteous – keep your physical distance and your heart close. String another bead …. it’s getting more beautiful and meaningful by the day, isn’t it? There’s no doubt that we will one day return to the restorative power of our better routines. With each day, each bead, we are getting closer.