Contributed by columnist Fannie Moore
People are blaming Covid 19 for many things, and we’re among those “people.”
I’m blaming it for getting us into a routine, a routine that is not necessarily good. In fact, not only is it not good, it can be labeled as bad.
When one is retired with no hours set to meet deadlines or make appointments and other obligations as once we did, it’s easy to get into a different routine. It’s easy to go to bed later and therefore sleep later the next morning. When there are no definite plans, one can just turn over and catch a few more zzzzz’s. That is what we have been finding ourselves doing lately.
With a late breakfast, sometimes as late as ten o’clock, then there is no rush to prepare lunch. After all, no one will be hungry till at least two p.m. So, one can leisurely clean the kitchen, make the bed and wander around trying to decide what to do next. It isn’t that there aren’t things that need to be done, but where does one start? With nothing else popping up, saying, I’m next, one might leisurely do a load of laundry, pick up the new magazines that came in yesterday’s mail or rearrange items sitting out on the counters. Meanwhile, Hubby waters the flowers and does a few other chores outside.
If it is time to order groceries for the week, we do that with plans to pick up later in the day or the next morning. And there is also the ordering of refills on our meds, which we have done and picked up in the drive-thru since the pandemic began.
We rationalize that there isn’t time to start cleaning that overcrowded closet because there is lunch to prepare. We don’t want to get started with the closet, then have to leave the items we pulled out sitting on the floor while we go to the kitchen. So, the closet remains for a later time.
Then, we remember there are a few phone calls we need to make, checking up on friends, and that won’t take very long. We forget that there is a lot of catching up to do with these friends we haven’t seen in a while due to the pandemic so the phone calls take longer than we anticipated.
By the time we hang up on the last call, we realize it’s time to start lunch.
Without a planned weekly menu, one might wander around for a bit, unsure of what would be good for lunch today. Finally, settling on a plan, lunch takes shape and is put on the table for our two o’clock consumption. It might just be the quickest lunch without much thought as to its nutritious value. However, most of the time is will be what many consider a country-style meal, heavy on the carbs and topped off with a dessert. I’m one of those who believes every meal must end with dessert, so there is usually something sweet.
Again, it’s time to clear the dishes and clean the kitchen before Hubby requires his afternoon nap. (Often I join him for a short nap) By the time naptime is over, it’s time for our afternoon cup of coffee. There isn’t a lot of time left in the daylight hours so if the weather is fairly nice, we might take a short walk out behind the house. We might sit on the porch for a while, making it back inside in time to catch the evening news.
Following the news, we tune in to the Wheel of Fortune, which takes us to 7 p.m. No one is very hungry, however, we might have half a sandwich with chips, and a cookie or slice of cake.
Time to clean the kitchen again, before baths and pajama time. Then we settle in for a two-hour movie, often a rerun, but nevertheless, if it’s been a while since we watched it, we might watch it again.
Just before news time, we have a cup of hot chocolate, then watch the news before bedtime.
And tomorrow, we will probably repeat the process.
So, you can see why I called this a bad routine. We don’t get a lot done, we can’t visit friends nor go shopping, and definitely no eating out.
This has resulted in unwanted pounds on one of us (guess which one) and today I had a wakeup call.
I got up, prepared a low-carb breakfast for the one who had gained the pounds, and the usual oatmeal with raisins and walnuts for the other one. I planned out some suitable meals, made a list, bravely donned my mask and went shopping for the ingredients needed for some healthful meals.
I have made a start. Let’s just hope we can break out of the old habits and get ourselves into a different routine.
If we don’t, one of us is in trouble.