Take what is offered for now

Photo of fitness center showing hot tub, therapy pool, and indoor pool


And even in lockdown, we are given the opportunity to use the pool.

For a limited time, 8 am to noon, MWF.

But it is a lot more than nothing, and realistically, only in the hot summer months do we use the pool (the outdoor one) more than three times a week.

It’s not a good time – if I spend physical energy in the morning, there is usually no writing done that day.

And I’m not getting up and functional – quite a process for someone with ME/CFS – early enough to do writing before going to the pool, say, at 11 am.

I will try.

Schedules fall apart when the dinner meal isn’t happening

We have not LIKED the schedule here. Our dinnertime in New Jersey was more like 7-9 pm. Here, in ‘normal times,’ the schedule is way too early for us: we are meeting people for dinner between about 5:15 and 6:15 pm.

You get used to it.

The solution is, of course, to get up earlier every day. Something that night owls like us do not adapt to easily.

So we struggle – but the struggle is oddly deflated when they are bringing a plastic bag of takeout dinner around 5 pm.

We can put it in the fridge – and eat when we prefer.

But we had gotten used to the schedule we were trying to learn to live with.

And daylight is when it is.

And the best time to go for an afternoon trike ride is before the setting sun is in your eyes.

Will isolation have its own schedule?

Probably. Eventually.

Everything seems random when you don’t have a few anchors in time.

Days vary. Today I did Zoom on the computer with the child who is three hours earlier – in the state of New York.

Other days vary – depending on when someone else is available for a call.

But we’ve lost the evening concerts, and the evening folksong Sing – no groups allowed, no outside visitors.

The result is a life that is surreal in one more way

I literally don’t know what to expect from day to day.

To add to that, which is probably common right now, everything from checking out the Washington Post, to making sure friends on FB are still with us, to grocery store hours for seniors (6 am – really???) is causing worry, and worry is causing very erratic sleep patterns: one night I go to bed at midnight, another at 2 am, and a third rewards me with sleeplessness until 5 am because I went to bed on time.

Hard to catch up, hard to regularize, hard to schedule.

Being unscheduled wastes a lot of time

Things that should be done because it’s lunchtime get postponed because you just had breakfast after you got up at 11 am.

Every day has to be decided individually.

Adding the volatility of when my brain comes online, and I’m surprised I get any writing done.

It IS settling down. They have nothing else for us to give up, assuming the pool hours continue.

I may be able to persuade my brain to cooperate.

Because this is going to be a long haul, and I need to write.

How has your time sense and your schedule been affected by the coronavirus?



7 thoughts on “Take what is offered for now

  1. Janna G. Noelle

    Definitely agree that being unscheduled wastes more time; I’m still trying to create some manner of isolation schedule. So much of it is about managing one’s mental game. I’m glad that you’re still doing reasonably well and hope you work out a writing routine (even if a reduced one) soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      We have ‘all the time in the world.’ It’s not that easy to manage.

      You still take time for your own things, and if you had a commute, now you don’t. But it’s harder in many ways, and the normal in-person friend activities have vanished.

      There’s a reason the Chinese curse is ‘May you live in interesting times.’ They are so right.


  2. Widdershins

    My routine hasn’t changed much, thankfully, but I find myself staring at my computer screen for what feels like a few moments and minutes have gone by … it will , as you say, settle down, but right now it’s downright disconcerting.
    And may your words flow too. 🙂


  3. Sharon

    Enjoy the pool if you can, our public pools have all been shut down now, I can’t complain but it is something I will miss. We can’t in good conscience go camping anymore, until this thing is under control. Totally grounded, so no swimming anywhere.
    Still working at the moment and still going in to work but that is about to stop, actually kind of glad about that, it is no so much the virus affecting my schedule, as the overall tension of everyone else getting on my nerves. I am seeing some silly decisions being made, feels like people are not always thinking things through.
    Best wishes and may the writing just flow.


    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I think the trick is finding some small safe way to get outside a bit – I will be taking those trike rides when I have the energy.

      People who are chronically ill and disabled and older, as I am, are hearing the national discussion, and what is going on in Italy, and KNOWING we will have to be ultra careful, because so many out there are NOT taking it seriously, with relatively small personal risk – but can LITERALLY kill us.



Comments welcome and valued. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.