As many of us continue to shelter in place or work from home, mental health professionals recommend keeping a schedule to lend a sense of normalcy and constancy. Here’s how I’ve painstakingly laid out my days during this extended time at home.
6am: Rise early to write The New Project.
6:05am: Decide that I need to get myself in the Writing Zone.
6:10 am: Make coffee.
6:30 am: Down three cups of coffee.
6:32am: Look at the ingredients of the creamer my husband bought at the discount grocery store.
6:33 am: Decide preservatives will keep me young.
6:40 am: Feel that I’m now in The Zone and sit down to write.
6:42 am: Feel too keyed up from caffeine to write.
7:00am: Read the news.
7:30 am: Regret reading the news.
7:45am: Eat breakfast.
8:00am: Help the teens with their schoolwork.
9:00am: Realize that I have no idea what an allele is and develop a deep and abiding anger toward Mendel and anything resembling a Punnett square.
9:30am: Tell younger teen to ask older teen for help.
9:40am: Begin work.
10:00am: Answer the call of “MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!” when the volume between teen bickering reaches 85 decibels.
10:30am: Get everyone settled and resume work.
10:45am: Eat second breakfast.
11:00am: Decide to check Facebook “real quick.”
12:15pm: Make peace with the fact that everyone has a different idea of “real quick.”
12:30pm: Eat lunch.
12:50pm: Put work aside while waiting for feedback on a work assignment and get back to writing The New Project.
1:30pm: Read a BuzzFeed article about various Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner and That Are Totally Game-Changing.
1:40pm: Realize I have no actual game to change and that I’m not totally 100% sure what the game is?
2:00pm: Contemplate starting a new hobby. Eat Second Lunch instead.
2:30: Try on everything in my closet.
2:45pm: Realize that I really miss the 80s.
2:48pm: Come to the conclusion that I would’ve made a fantastic Blossom.
3:00pm: Help teens again with school work.
3:30-4:00pm: Enjoy one hour of quiet while everyone does what s/he is supposed to.
4:01pm: Festively proclaim that it’s time to take a baking break.
4:02pm: Begin by eating 450 chocolate chips.
4:05pm: Make brownies.
4:45pm: Eat brownies.
4:48: Determine the best box wine to pair with brownies. Savor the results.
4:50-6:00pm: Conclude work-work and school-work.
6:05pm: Drag leftovers from freezer and try to determine origin and risk of food poisoning.
6:10pm: Scrap leftover idea and marvel as teens create a lovely meal.
7:40pm: Decide to watch a family movie.
7:42pm: Try not to get pulled into argument over which movie to watch.
7:45pm: Pout over the fact that no one in the family appreciates the comic genius that is Chevy Chase like I do.
8:00pm: Watch a movie with lots of explosions that teen son has chosen.
9:00pm: Wonder if eye-rolling counts as exercise.
11:00: Crawl into bed, exhausted by all that was done and not done.
11:01pm: Promise myself a more productive day tomorrow.
How about you, dear friends? Are you scheduling your days? Are you spending your time differently during this sticking-close-to-home era?