We’re living in a world we never knew before, a world of gloved hands and sanitizers. We wrap cowboy bandanas across our noses and mouths. A new sign of love is how far we are willing to distance ourselves for the sake of someone we care for.
It is a world we would sink into if it were a good story, and after the last scene we would shake it off gladly and be ourselves again. In fact, from time to time we live in it that way, as if it were going to end sometime soon and we would all be back to “normal.” Yet, at other times we say to one another, “it will never be the same.”
At best and worst, we are establishing new routines. Here are some:
Getting up and out of bed. Since you have nowhere to go, this is newly optional, and comes with a series of subsidiary choices. Do you shower or go straight to clothing? This has to be weighted carefully, and you do so while watching the latest COVID19 news bulletins, deftly switching channels to avoid death stories. (Or heartwarming stories of people’s adorable dogs.)
Showering. If you showered last week and today is only Monday, maybe you should put it off. Especially if you are feeling stressed or tired. You don’t want to add to the existential pressure. On the other hand, maybe the shower will be a pick-me-up (if you really feel you need picking up, but maybe you will need it more tomorrow so you don’t want to use it up now?). All right, I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Clothing . Now to clothing yourself. No question here, clean underwear every day, because what mother said is double triple true these days: in case you have to go to the hospital you want to look your best. That means your favorite pair of nicely stretchy old undies with the raggedy crotch and the waistband that doesn’t choke your waist is a no-no. Keep that for when things go back to normal. Sacrifice. Focus. What was that you were going to do next? Oh. Sweats? Again? Yes, another decision, but one that must be made because you can’t just keep standing there halfway to the closet. If you do, you will forget again what you are doing in the middle of the room. Maybe today you need a little change of pace, and you decide to go for khakis; or maybe you have a virtual meeting with your broker or your office mates, so you think outside the box, and go for jeans and a nice shirt.
Plan lunch or finish dressing? You are halfway there, and halfway to lunch. You are already in the vicinity of the closet, so you opt to finish dressing. But you are now terribly distracted by the question of whether there is enough peanut butter for your sudden lunch craving, and that raises the more pressing question, of why oh why you didn’t put Skippy on your most recent instancart or Amazon order? You are so distracted you button the nice shirt wrong, all the way up and have to re-do it. This leads to a short lie-down.
It is now afternoon and you are exhausted. There is just enough time and energy left to pay a few bills, re-postpone your already postponed virtual get-togethers to another, better day, and lie down. Maybe while you are resting, you will be able to multi-task and decide what to have for dinner, and whether to pair it with wine or gin.