One thing that has helped me during this pandemic has been routines. Last year the days and weeks were so varied that it was hard to figure out a routine. School schedules were all over the place, work was super-busy, and it threw me off and made it hard to have consistency. But lately I’ve been in a good routine which has contributed to feeling I’m managing things in the pandemic pretty well.
Since my routine will probably change in the coming months I wanted to document and share my current routine so I remember what it was like. Especially if I fall back into a less-good place mentally I hope this can remind me that with a little structure I can make this work.
- 7:00am – Wake up. I sleep in on the weekends, but I’m consistent about getting up during the week.
- 7:15am – Shower. I’m pretty sure I’ve taken a shower every day during the pandemic. Others seem to think that’s weird but it’s just always been part of my day
- 7:30am – Walk the dog. Daisy and I go for a short walk around the block to allow her to go to the bathroom and me to stretch my legs in the morning
- 7:45am – Breakfast. Usually Jeanne and Caroline are in the kitchen too. On home days, Hannah wakes up at 7:40 for 7:45 homeroom. On in-person days, I drive Hannah to school at this time
- 8:00am – Work day starts. I have a standing 8am meeting every day with colleagues in Europe and India. I have been able to avoid earlier meetings but I’m consistently online at my desk at 8.
- 8-11:45am – Virtual meetings. I spend most of the morning every day on Microsoft Teams meetings. With most colleagues in later time zones, my mornings are packed with meetings
- 11:45am – On in-person days, I walk to pick up Caroline at school. Daisy has a whole group of cohort-B puppy friends and the dogs play on the grass while we wait for the kids to be dismissed
- 12:00pm – Lunch. Caroline has lunch break from 11:45-12:30 and Hannah finishes her day at 12:30 so we usually eat in shifts. Pre-pandemic I would make lunches for the girls in the morning, but now I prefer to make lunch at lunchtime.
- 1-4pm – Back at work. Usually my afternoons are less busy so I get work done. I try to take a break and go for a walk to break up the day and get some exercise while its light out. Caroline is in remote school from 1:15-3 and Hannah is doing homework in the afternoons.
- 4:15pm – Take Hannah to gymnastics. 3 days a week Hannah is at the gym from 4:30-8pm
- 4:30pm – Back home, if Caroline has friends over tell them to start wrapping up to send them home before it’s dark. Usually these days I can wrap up work before dinner
- 5:30pm – Make dinner. I prefer simpler meals that I don’t need recipes for but everyone else gets bored of my cooking so we’ve tried HelloFresh, Dinnerly, and now we’re on to HomeChef. Once to twice a week we get take-out from a local restaurant (Comella’s, Greg’s, or Shines are standard go-tos).
- 6-7pm – Eat dinner, clean up. I’d like to say the kids help more with chores but the reality is that we do all of it. Huge shout-out to our dishwasher which has been a trooper throughout the pandemic running multiple times a day.
- 7-9pm – Family time. Regular activities include practicing Spanish on Duolingo, reading a magazine/newspaper, playing Super Mario Bros, watching a show
- 8pm – Pick up Hannah from gymnastics and feed her leftovers when we get home
- 9pm – Bedtime for Caroline and Jeanne (and Daisy) – Most nights I read to Caroline (she falls asleep after a few pages so it takes a while to get through a whole book).
- 9-10pm – My only time of day totally to myself (although Hannah stays up late too). I typically write my blog posts during this time. Or I’ll watch a show or a game (soccer and basketball are in season now) while on the elliptical machine.
- 10:00pm – I try to get in bed by 10 and read before sleep. And then do it all over again the next day
Overall it’s working for me. It seems boring, but as with life in the White House, boring is good these days.
And in thinking about daily routines, I wanted to share a video from 2013. I made this to share with international colleagues about what a typical day in my life looked like. It’s funny to see how different things were 8 years ago when the girls were so much younger. I do miss going to an office regularly, but the hectic life of toddlers is not something I can imagine now:
Things that went well this week:
- The GoFundMe campaign for the family of Henry Tapia, a local black man killed in a racist assault last week, has raised over $150,000 for his family
- We got the Ticket to Ride expansion pack to expand the game that we play regularly
- It snowed this evening for the first time in 2021; it looks so nice to have a blanket of white fluffy snow
Things that did not go well:
- Global covid cases are over 100 million, US cases over 20 million, and Massachusetts at 400,000
- A massive East-coast internet outage forced our town to cancel remote school this afternoon because teachers couldn’t consistently get online. We’ve had a snow day and now we had an “internet day”
- In certain places, teen suicides are way up this year as kids struggle alone with crippling anxiety
Random happy find from the web:
- A great idea about How to help local restaurants without spending money. Writing real reviews (not just ratings) can give a boost to local restaurants. So many of us want to ensure that our neighborhood favorites stay in business and writing online reviews can really help.
Cute puppy photo of the day: