There’s no hope when you forget your routine. It’s true! Months and months of each day blending into each other and today I forgot what I usually do next. I think it is a good thing actually.
When You Forget Your Routine
As I have written in my blog before, we are high risk for COVID. Therefore we have developed a way of coping that allows us to get out for essentials but otherwise stay at home. But it has evolved into a series of routines! The spontaneity afforded us pre-COVID of being able to just pop out in the car to visit somewhere, take photographs, meet friends for coffee, go out for lunch, have all been removed. I miss the ability to respond to a call that says “there are flamingos down on the lake if you want to try for photos”. Or perhaps “Some of us are having lunch do you want to join us?”. Or even “they have that cheese you like on special offer today in such and such a supermarket”. And the days tend to blend together.
I don’t know who wrote it but I remember someone posting on Facebook along the lines of:
“Can’t wait until tomorrow. I have another big day of cleaning the bathroom and looking out the window planned!”
That sort of sums things up don’t you think?
It says a lot when the highlight of the week is the Saturday pizza takeaway. But, you see, even that is part of what has become our routine. Pizza Saturday. We seem to measure time by it. My Mum will say to me on our Friday video call “I can’t believe tomorrow is Pizza Saturday, where has that week gone?”. Our local restaurant is ‘L’Oca Brusciata’ in Paciano. Rosa answers the phone and these days and after the ‘hellos’, I say “Can we have the usual?”. The response this week was “The same pizzas at the same time, see you later”. Says it all really.
But our routine is more than just pizza (thank goodness). We have animals so every morning has a ritual. This includes the time we get up, take our morning medication, cleaning litter boxes, walking dogs, feeding everyone and – this time of year – lighting fires. And all of this happens before we have our own breakfast of course.
The rest of the day is punctuated by dog walks (the dogs know the times for those of course and will tell us if we are late!). Even the cats will sit on the window ledge and bang on the glass when it is feeding time in the evening.
In the winter, we move into our office/living room space where there is a pellet stove and radiators. The kitchen log burner is lit as well. At about 4pm I go and light the log burner in our main living room so that it has warmed up sufficiently for us to move into it for the evening – at which point the pellet stove is turned off. All of this is part of our ‘zoning’ of the house to ensure we don’t waste energy and maximise heat. When you have a large house in the countryside this is a necessary activity. I may have mentioned before that we have several sources of heat which also allows for back up heating if necessary. For example, if we lose electricity then there is no gas central heating (the bedroom areas) or pellet stove. Then we rely on our log burners.
But Which Routine Went Wrong This Morning?
Well, it was to do with my computer routine. It is nothing very elaborate or exciting. Just switch on computer, check emails and then visit Facebook for birthdays or to respond to comments on my artwork. Then I habitually visit a few other art sites to check on visitor stats and which images people are showing interest in.
Mostly I do this fairly mindlessly but this morning I had a senior moment. You know when you are walking down the street and you become aware someone is watching you? And you then walk all awkwardly and are very mindful of what your feet (and bum!) are doing? Well I made the mistake of actually thinking about what I wanted to do next on the computer. And just for a second I couldn’t think at all.
And it really made laugh – serves me right for having routines and not being mindful about what I was doing. When you forget your routine perhaps it is a sign of sanity kicking back in!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!