You know that tale about the two lifeboats lost at sea? One crew stick to a routine every day, every sailor has a job, a responsibility, a purpose. The second crew don’t, they just sit there all day every day, bobbing along waiting to be rescued? 2 weeks ago, I was in the first boat. I’d watch shows like Survivor, and Shipwrecked (ok maybe occasionally Love Island and the odd bit of Big Brother, you know to change it up a bit! Nothing like a bit of tv trash to wind down in the evening!) and I’d be tut tutting at the screen “they need to get in a routine”, “that’s not living, they’re just existing”, “they need something to focus on other than ‘the end’”, it’d be so easy for someone like me!
I love a routine (and a list! But that’s for another time), and I love my routine. My weekdays are filled, I know exactly where to be and what to be doing every day, I leave at the same time to make sure I’m there at the right time; school run – must be out the house no later than 0832, home, housework, gym – must be out the house no later than 1042, home, eat, school run – 1522 (though if its raining 1520). If it’s an office day, I leave at 0728, gym classes – 1855, afterschool club pickups – 1635. It’s all there, all planned and engraved in my grey matter so I don’t have to think about it, it’s habit, it’s a routine and it works.
And then COVID-19 shut the world down and I found myself lost at sea in my own boat, with my own crew. But I know what to do right, I’ve been moaning at the telly for years, I know all the tricks, I’m prepared for this moment. It’ll literally be a breeze! Want to know how that’s working out….?
Put simply, it’s not. I’d got all these fun and creative ideas in my head to do with the children, the house would be spotless, all those odd jobs would be finished, combining home schooling and actual work would be a piece of cake, then we’d go make more delicious cake for after we’ve done our new family workout. Not happening, any of it. I’ve gone from training 5 times a week to barely completing one home workout in the last 7 days. The housework has gone to ruin, freezer tapas is a regular feature on the dinner table, I haven’t brushed my hair properly in a week and the kids have found their inner feral. I have zero motivation to do anything. I know I need to get myself moving, I know I need to build a new routine (for everybody’s sake), I need focus and I really need to brush my hair, but right now, this week it turns out I’ve been mostly bobbing along waiting to be rescued!
Massive respect to every single human self-isolating too right now, and of course every person keeping the country moving while we take a leave of absence. It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride!