We’ve been told for a long time: routine is important. But now that the metaphorical heavies of fate have kicked the metaphorical scaffolding of structure away from the metaphorical buildings of our daily lives, it’s high time to make some routine for ourselves. I’ll be sharing tips from my own routine-making and -keeping process here with you, in a series that I am tearfully obligated to call:
First, waking up.
Perhaps you are, as I once was, an alarm person.
But during my long walk with pneumonia, it was more important for me to rest and heal than to wake up at my usual time. This meant no alarm. The current social-distancing situation has made no-alarm life basically permanent here.
I recommend it. There’s a thrill that money can’t buy every night when the lights go out, thinking: when will I wake up? Will it be 2 a.m.? 4? Will it be 6:30? 8? 10? We just don’t know! Maybe in the old world that wouldn’t sound too exciting, but I tell ya, at this point it is an unparalleled HOOT.
Now, upon waking, I find that I like to lie there for several minutes bargaining with reality. Perhaps eventually this will successfully result in being able to stay in bed indefinitely and a maidservant materializing to open the curtains and provide a breakfast tray (just call me Lady Mary), but so far my negotiations have been fruitless.
As soon as it feels like another minute without going to the bathroom will result in imminent death, I recommend getting up.
The next few minutes are important. Somehow one must simultaneously put on the coffee, open the shades, remove any sleeping implements (if applicable, as they are for those of us who love grinding our teeth to dust in our spare time), make breakfast, put on clothes that wouldn’t result in jail time if we accidentally activated the video option on our next video call, and log on to work.
Sometimes, in the face of these tasks, it helps to sit in the dark and do the crossword for a while.
Now, I hear that some people have different morning routines involving fifteen minutes of uninterrupted creativity before they check email, or a yoga practice before coffee, or they run a marathon or something before putting on their shoes, but you know what? I find that I just feel a lot better if I drag myself to full consciousness just in time for my post-lunch nap.
And that’s fine.
Hang in there, everyone.