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Vaccines And Routines

I am not going to sugar coat it, no matter how many times Mary Poppins sings, “Just a spoonful of sugar...” Right now, things aren’t so sweet. We have a vaccine yes, but slow delivery of it to those who most need it means we are still waiting. Just as in Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, no one knows for what or whom they’re waiting, just that

waiting’s the thing. So we practice patience, bake banana bread, do yoga and Zooms, all the while smiling with our eyes.

There’s no denying these Winter blues and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, avoidance doesn’t make anything disappear. In fact, our discomfort grows instead. Let’s say it out loud instead. This is hard. I am struggling. Now more than ever, let’s reach out to each other. Go for a walk and kvetch about it. It’ll make you feel better. A routine helps too. The sheer shapelessness of this waiting was fine during the holidays. It fit with pyjamas and late nights. But the need to create anew, to prepare has returned. And I need boundaries and proper clothes.

I am framing my days with order, drawing around its shapelessness. I’m back to meal planning- a sheet of paper attached to the fridge door to allow me peace of mind (and to remind me what day it is- if it’s Chicken it must be Tuesday!). It also prevents me from emitting less than Christian words to my kids who now address me as, “whatsfordinner?”….

Here’s the thing when we know nothing: doing something, sticking to a routine may just be the local and immediate vaccine we all can self-administer to navigate these great unknowns. A routine narrows our focus and reduces our anxiety of the ever-projected, catastrophic horizon. We aren’t there yet. You are here. It is now. Being accountable to what’s important now, keeps us present, reigns us in from the 24 hour newsfeed that spins our heads into mush. And it is no small joy that I celebrate in the acronym WhatsImportantNow- as a WIN. Frankly, I’ll take all the wins I can get right now.

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