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Revolutionary Routines

As we have all been trying to navigate our so-called “new normal” these past few weeks due to stay-at-home/social distancing rules I stopped to think about several things that have changed in my daily/weekly routine. I actually came up with a longer list than I initially thought and now I am wondering just how many of those things will carry over when we are able to return to our “old normal”. One change that I really hope sticks is the house cleaning schedule that I have made. Now I have to admit that I really don’t like to clean and can usually come up with any number of excuses to talk myself out of doing it. And my excuse generally involves around something that needs to be happening in the sewing room instead. No surprise there! However, with all of this extra time that I have suddenly found I decided to at least make a schedule and see how long I could stick to it. And I am happy to report that I have made it work for an entire month so far. Each day’s cleaning only takes 30-45 minutes and I seem to handle that better than trying to do 3-4 hours in one day.

Another change that has been quite positive is our communication with family members. When I was teaching in Lincoln I would call my mom on my way home every day and we would chat for about 30 minutes. Since my retirement, however, I often found myself busy working in the sewing room until 5:00 or so and quickly got out of the habit of calling mom every day. Now I have made it a point to check in with my parents every day around 4:00. We have also scheduled “happy hour” with our three daughters, two sons-in-law, and my parents every Tuesday afternoon at 4:30. While talking on the phone is nice it has been even better to be able to see everybody. One week we were thrilled when my cousins from the west coast joined us.

A fun thing that we have been doing that probably won’t last only because we will run out of ideas is our Saturday date night themed dinners. These started when Tom decided that we should dress up and eat in the dining room. I got out the good china and made a fancy meal. I then posted a picture on Facebook and we had so many positive responses that we decided to make this a weekly event. We made a list of themes - Husker night with homemade Runzas, drive-in movie night with nachos and popcorn, hunting night with venison, Easter dinner with lamb cake. The planning for these dinners has given us something to do and to look forward to.

Another thing that won’t continue permanently in this form is piano lessons via Zoom. Since in-person school was canceled in March I also thought it best to cancel in-person piano lessons at my home. But I didn’t think my students would have much motivation to practice if I wasn’t able to listen to them play on a regular basis. So I decided to make use of the technology that we have available these days and listen to them play via FaceTime. While it is certainly not as good as having them sitting beside me it is better than not hearing them play at all. We are even going to try a Zoom piano recital in a few weeks!

We have also settled into a different routine in the evenings since there are no meetings or other events to attend. We usually play some kind of board game after supper - our favorites are Ticket To Ride, Patchwork, Code Names, and Tsuro. Then I settle into my recliner with the remote and do some handwork - either binding or my five-year English Paper Piecing project. I have finally finished the center section and am now working on making 96 diamonds for the border.

What things have changed in your daily routine? Do you have a “new normal” that you will continue when we are able to go back to life as we knew it before the Coronavirus? Here’s hoping that you are staying safe, healthy, and happy during this uncertain time.

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