Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Seychelles, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, UAE, UK, and the US.
If you don't see your country listed, it takes analytics about 24 hours to catch up. But it is interesting to see at least a few of the countries where readers are coming from, isn't it???
There are over 4,000,000 of you from around the globe in 150 countries, islands, principalities, and territories. Even before the pandemic, we were staying together while apart through our shared values and dreams. Somehow, that feels like a bit of a miracle to me....
Sharing our experiences during quarantine helps us feel less isolated, no matter where we are around the globe. So I thought I'd let you in to my typical day and welcome comments on what your typical days are like as well. We can all bloom and grow through this pandemic if we stay connected!
Yesterday started at 4:34am. No, I don't use an alarm--don't have to. After responding to social media messages for about an hour or so, I got up, did 30 minutes of Pilates and meditation, showered, then headed downstairs.The Matcha smoothie was next--and it's a bit of a production, lol, full of anti-oxidants and naturally immune-boosting ingredients like fresh-squeezed OJ, raw honey, cinnamon, Matcha, banana, half an apple, and green coffee beans (good for brain function). I then took a bucketful of organic material (from fruits and vegetables) down to the compost pile, leaving a clutch of fresh apples at the treeline for the woodland creatures that populate the forest in my backyard (just call me Snow White!). The compost pile is at the bottom of a rather steep hill, so going up and down is a good 15 minute burst of cardio. Back inside for my daily 10 miles (about an hour) on the stationary bike before heading into my "office" (aka family room) with an English muffin and bottle of water to finish up some edits before continuing new writing for a variety of projects.
After 90 minutes or so, back upstairs I went to check on my 19-year old pup (133 in human years)--a true lady of leisure, she has a king-size to herself after I get up and because of her age, prefers to sleep in. But I have to run up there and check on her every hour or so (good excuse to get up and do a round on the stairs). While there, I assimilated some personal care items into their appropriate storage cubes (yes, I have storage cubes--don't judge me!) and went back down to continue writing and prepare for my first telesession of the day AFTER checking in to one of the courses I'm taking (this one is just for funsies at Harvard--it's all about ancient Egypt!).
My furry soulmate decided to rise and shine sometime around 12:15pm. That's always followed by an hour of "old dog" activities, including going outside to check the perimeter--just very, very slowly. Little Dog (as I call her) gets roasted chicken, gravy, carrots, and peas for her meals--all organic and all from scratch. I cook and do food prep for her like a human because she has been loyal to me more than any human ever has (and also because she gave me the gift of compassion). When someone gives true friendship, whether on four legs or two, I give it back tenfold. Just how I'm built.
Once my senior companion is settled comfortably amidst her faux fur blankets and pillows in the corner of the sectional, I can resume my coursework, research, writing, and editing until my next telesession. And yes, I forgot to eat lunch so by 6pm, was totally ravenous. A piece of leftover homemade vegan pizza from the weekend hit the spot along with half a peach and some water. Then. upstairs (yet again!) to change into hiking gear and hit the trail for a (nearly daily) tour of the marsh, old farm fields, and a more difficult foray following a deer path in a wooded area off-trail. I live at a 45-degree latitude in the Northern Hemisphere so it has been snowing off and on all week (and is actually snowing right now!). With COVID-19 being a respiratory disease, I don't go outside when temps are below freezing (which has been the case every other day). Before COVID, I was out hiking every day, regardless of the weather. But jeopardizing or weakening the respiratory system isn't something I'm willing to do at the moment. And yes, I was alone. Always somehow end up in the woods alone after dark--very Red Riding Hood, eh??? Though, it's more likely I was a wolf in another lifetime (which may explain why every dog on the planet loves me...who knows!).
Once safely home, my pup and I take another 30-minute tour of the acre around my house. By now, the poor thing is tuckered out. I get her another plate of food and squeeze some OJ for the next morning while whipping up a few loaves of organic banana bread (with no added sugar or fat), cleaning the kitchen as I go. With the loaves in the oven for the next hour, I head back to work for a combo of telesessions (to accommodate a variety of time zones around the globe), coursework and yes, you guessed it--MORE WRITING.
Bedtime is whenever I finish my work--that can be anywhere between 1-3am. If it's 3am, I'm up around 6:30am to do it all over again. Maybe there's a variation thrown in there--instead of baking or doing food prep, I may re-pot an orchid, write thank-you notes, or start a home-project (like white-washing doors and window trim). I'll throw in weight training every other day. Row instead of bike when I'm bored. Or, just turn on some music for an hour and dance my ass off!
My closest neighbor and I will sometimes yell to one another from our front yards. Or, I'll talk to friends between telesessions on Skype, FT, or WhatsApp. I check in with family via text. And get in touch with the 85-year old I've adopted a few times a week to see if she'd like front-door delivery of Panera and/or groceries. We social distance and chat for a few minutes before I head home. Sometimes, I work on a canvas (yes, I paint...) or edit nature-photos from a recent hike (like the picture insert for this very post!). Poetry is a passion and I find myself jotting down lines here and there throughout the day.
I'm not going to lie--I enjoy not feeling a sense of obligation to run around like the Tasmanian Devil a la Bugs Bunny cartoons. It's been really nice to take a beat and slow things down (despite the fact that I'm still ridiculously busy!). This weekend, I even got to watch a few movies. Outside of the obvious fear for the health and safety of others during the crisis, I'm legit happy and hope you are, too.
We all miss people and being able to safely gather together. What I missed almost right away was the ability to hop on a plane to UK or Ireland. Half my life is lived there so that was a big adjustment and will continue to be. Also missed the local pub, lol. I was there probably 3-4 nights a week for maybe an hour or so--just to hang out. Maybe eat dinner at the bar. Chat with a few regulars. The gym is something I miss as well--daily deadlifts were a hard habit to break. Now, I do unweighted ones and squats using a kitchen chair, push-ups on my kitchen counter, but I've had a bike for like 5 years now and a Pilates Reformer for probably 15. And yes, I have a few other pieces of equipment, too, but that's because I have always worked side-hustles from home. Before 24/7 gyms existed, I needed access to equipment at say, midnight or maybe 4am to work a work-out into my schedule purely for health reasons. As you can well imagine, writing/editing is a rather sedentary pursuit.
Mentally, the uncertainty is tough. But sticking to a daily routine is helping me to stay both active and busy. Dare I say, life is even beginning to feel a bit "normal" again as a result???
This, too, shall pass, friends and readers. Stay safe and strong! I'll continue pumping out the free content and am happy to schedule telesessions to help you find your creative energy amidst the crisis, or maybe help you find peace of mind so you can get more rest, be more productive, and feel less anxiety overall.
You're never alone! I'm here for you:
*Original Photo Copyright Rebecca Housel 2020, taken at 7:27pm at dusk on 20 April 2020