One of the biggest challenges when Howard quit Novell to be a full time cartoonist was lack of schedule. This is a common problem. If I have three hours to get ten things done, I’ll do all ten. If I have all day to do one thing, odds are it won’t get done at all because I will always feel like I could do it later. So with the external schedule items like school drop offs and pick ups removed from my schedule, there has been a bit of floundering and losing track of which day of the week I’m in. Fortunately some of the requirements of quarantine living have begun to show me what are the fixed points in my week.
Sunday: Church at home and trying to avoid doing money earning work in an effort to keep the sabbath holy. Since work is a thing we cling to in times of stress, Sundays can sometimes be a challenge.
Monday: Mailing packages, fill up gas (if needed,) Food inventory in the evening, clear counters for groceries to arrive in the morning. Right now our online store is still allowed to function as it falls under “mailing services.” Also I go solo to a warehouse where no one else is allowed to enter, make packages, and drop them at a post office without interacting with anyone else. If my state goes full lock down, mailing will stop. Until then we still have something of an income. The food inventory is something I’m adding for next week. I’ve started grocery shopping once per week. At first we were in stock-up mode and I would pick up one or two of any item that we tend to use. Today I got home from the store and realized that I’d picked up some items we were already fully stocked on. It isn’t a problem. We’ll use them, but I need to be inventorying what we’ve used in the past week, making a list, and paying attention to it while shopping so that I’m not accidentally overstocking all the time.
Tuesday: Grocery shopping, sanitizing groceries, putting them away, updating list with things I couldn’t get this week. I have two grocery stores I go to each week. They have conveniently staggered opening hours so I can get to the first one as it opens then go to the next one an hour later as it opens. Being there for opening means the store is at its cleanest and it is as re-stocked as it will get that day. It is less critical to be there for open now that I’ve got a sufficient supply of flour, but I like getting the major task of the day done first. There are a few items that are only available at Walmart or Sam’s club, but it looks like I’ll be able to only go to those places about once per month or so. When I get home we wipe the groceries with a disinfectant and put things away. This includes partitioning and freezing portions of meats, moving dry goods into plastic canisters, and other arrangements so that everything stores in easily accessible packaging. In the evenings Howard is part of a live stream so the big TV has to be off from 7-10pm. (It used to be that Howard would leave the house for this live stream then my 17yo and I would watch movies that no one else in the house wanted to see. We’ve yet to find a replacement movie time.)
Wednesday: Is currently lacking any sort of requirement. This means it might be a good day for me to declare as Fiction First where I have to do fiction writing before anything else.
Thursday: package mailing and Writer’s group via Zoom in the evening. This means I have reading to do earlier in the day.
Friday: Accounting. I used to also have preparing the printed program for church, but that job is on hold until church meetings resume. I always sit down with my accounts once per week even if not much has happened in the week. Being regularly familiar with the numbers prevents me from avoiding looking at them because I’m afraid they’ll be scary.
Saturday: No fixed requirement
Floating schedule items
Telehealth therapy sessions for two of my kids. Times and days vary week to week.
Any other online social things I might want to schedule or participate in.
That is the shape of my weekly schedule. My daily schedule is squishier and that is where I get a bit lost. If I want to put exercise into every day, where does it fit? If I put it first thing in the morning, then the morning grocery trips interfere with the pattern. Also it is really easy for me to decide to stay up later than usual, so then getting up in the morning is variable. But writing this out has pointed out to me the squishiness of my daily schedule, so now I can think on it and perhaps find some solutions.