Before I started this entry, I updated my journal prompts and hesitated for a second or two: what day is this? Oh, it's Monday.
Every day feels like a weekend right now, because: people are out walking and kids are playing as they do on weekends, do-it-yourselfers are sawing and hammering, lawns are being mowed ... these are weekend things.
But here I am, at 7.18am, sitting down to do my work (such as it is in this strange time). Why? Because I am a creature of habit and routine, and my day has some structure. I don't have a gorgeous wee puppy in my lap but I think this photo illustrates structure (working from home perhaps?) and distraction (cute doggie).
My good friend and wise sex therapist Jane McPherson (let me say here that she is not, nor ever has been, my sex therapist - and I do wonder how busy she is right now ...) once told me that 'structure and distraction' is important for our mental health, particularly during times of emotional stress. I've written about structure and distraction before but feel it's important to mention it again.
Structure gets us through the day, provides some security and routine, the knowledge that we need to do this thing at this time, and distraction is the fun stuff that balances it out: walking, playing, watching TV, reading books, exercising etc etc.
The neighbours I meet on my daily walks are developing structures to their days as we wait out our four week isolation. One elderly man I know well said he and his wife 'watch a movie on Netflix in the morning, sometimes another in the afternoon, we take our folding chairs to the beach after lunch and sit up on the grass, then we go home, have a cup of tea, I do some housework while she makes dinner then we read books.'
Sounds like a plan. I usually walk around 2pm or so and I see the same people out each day, so we have similar routines.
Right now they are encouraging us to get up and go to bed at the usual times, to develop some routines during the day and this can take a while. Trial and error is OK, experiment and be inventive and innovative, especially for the children. They will need some routine and that brings reassurance and feelings of security while we're surrounded by such uncertainty.
It's now light outside and looks like rain. Betsy has come downstairs for her work day too. My requirement before working is a cup of black coffee and a piece of toast. Hers is a small bowl of cat biscuits (for the 'mature' feline) and a bit of milk around 10am.