Lately I’ve found myself very interested in the daily routines and patterns of life during our current situation. So I’ve decided to record a typical day in my life during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
I have no pretensions that this is a particularly thrilling or riveting piece of writing. Instead, it is the very definition of quotidian–dealing with the small and everyday.
But, our lives are made up of the small, the everyday, aren’t they? I hope to be able to remember what my small, everyday life looked like during this tumultuous time, but I know that memory is a fickle thing. And so I will record it.
An Ordinary Life–One Day
7:00–I get up. This is one of the luxuries of quarantine–getting to sleep in past 6:00 for the first time in decades.
7:20–I’m dressed in casual clothes (typically jeans and a striped 3/4 length shirt), with make-up on, hair combed, teeth brushed, and ready for the day.
7:30–I’m making breakfast while the kids are coming downstairs, dressed and ready to go. Breakfast these days is a much calmer affair than our pre-COVID routine. We often have eggs and sausage, oatmeal, or bacon and toast. I always make a cup of tea.
8:00–Once breakfast is finished and dishes on the counter, we pack our bags with books, multiple devices and cords, paper, and pencils. All five of us make the short walk down to the academic building on the seminary campus. (Since our Internet is not reliable in our house, we need work in the building. Plus, the change of scenery is nice.)
8:05–School is in session! We take up two classrooms in the building. Each child has their own device, headphones, and their school-assigned lessons and activities of the day. My husband and I move between the children, helping with lessons, answering questions, and doing quality control on rushed work.
9:00–George has his class’s half hour Morning Meeting via Zoom. Like most kindergartners in the country, he is now entirely proficient at this platform. The other two children keep working on their work. If we have a few minutes while the kids are self-sufficient, my husband and I will walk around the building a few times.
10:00–Ella gets Zoom for her class. The kids eat a snack while they continue to work. George often needs a movement break by now, so he will accompany my husband and I on a 20 minute walk around campus.
10:30–We all pause in our day to listen to the day’s Scripture readings through Ancient Faith’s The Path. We’ll pray together as well.
10:45--I begin to prep for my class’s lesson. Ella and George are generally winding down by now, so Dan will often take them to run around the building, get the mail, or go on a walk.
11:00–I teach my class of fourth graders for half an hour. It’s good to see their faces, though I can tell that they would much rather be near their friends and able to talk freely.
11:30–Andrew gets onto Zoom for his class. I work for half an hour on grading and emails. Dan lets the younger kids watch a show.
12:00–Lunch break! We all need a rest, so we walk back up to the house. Lunch is generally sandwiches or leftovers, so no thought or prep is required. The kids get to play outside for 15 minutes while Dan and I get things set out for the meal. We are enjoying the blessing of eating all of our meals together during quarantine.
12:45–Andrew and I head back down to the classroom building for afternoon classes. Dan supervises the younger children in their afternoon quiet time. Ella generally reads on her bed while George plays with Legos.
1:00–I teach another lesson to my fourth graders, but in a small group format this time. It is nice to have few of them so that I can really check in with them. Andrew has two more classes to take.
1:30–I grade, answer emails (my inbox is a tidal wave these days), and make a math instructional video. My tech skills have definitely increased over the past two months. I upload the video onto our teaching platform, make the lesson, and assign it for the next day.
3:00–Andrew and I are both finished for the day! We walk back to the house.
3:05–Andrew joins the other kids outdoors. They play, ride their bikes, climb trees, and swing for the rest of the afternoon. Dan is reading. We chat for a bit while I brew and enjoy another cup of tea.
3:30–I begin making bread, something I now do once a week. We don’t rely on this as our only source of bread, but it does help supplement what we get from the grocery delivery service. Plus, it’s relaxing.
3:50–The bread is now rising. I get out my walking shoes, grab my phone and headphones, and take off on a walk around campus. I am trying (and mainly succeeding) to get at least 10,000 steps a day. Plus, this afternoon walk is one of my highlights of the day. I listen to an audiobook, appreciate the blooms around campus, and enjoy some solitude.
4:45–I come back to the house refreshed. I form the dough into two loaves and set them aside to rise for another half hour.
5:00–While weeding in the garden, I see my neighbor and chat for a bit. It is nice to live on campus–in an enclosed community–where we are still able to see others.
5:20–I go back inside and put the bread into the oven. I begin dinner prep. Tonight it’s a simple meal of spaghetti, frozen veggies, and sliced fruit. We’re trying to go to the grocery store as infrequently as possible, and the delivery service only comes every 12 days. Sometimes meal-planning is a bit creative, or, like today, a little simple.
5:50–The bread comes out of the oven. Oh, the house smells amazing! Dan calls the kids in for dinner.
6:00–We pray and begin a lovely dinner. I am loving this phase of parenting, where the kids are asking interesting questions and able to contribute to dinner conversations. Fresh, warm bread with butter and honey makes for a delicious dessert.
6:30–It’s time for kid showers and pjs. Dan supervises this while I clean up from dinner, start the dishwasher, and tidy the living room.
7:00--Now we all join together in the living room for the highlight of the day–our family read aloud. We are currently reading “The Fellowship of the Ring,” and Frodo is trapped by the barrow wight. We all snuggle down under blankets to find out how he will escape. I have loved these books for years, so it is such fun to share them with the family.
7:30–We say family prayers, and then George and Ella go upstairs to bed. Andrew and Dan watch a Youtube video together. I pull out a dishrag I am crocheting and get to work. After half an hour, I finish.
8:00–Andrew goes upstairs to bed. I put away my crocheting and pour myself a glass of wine. Dan and I decide to watch an episode of “The Crown” together.
8:55–I take a shower and begin winding down for the night. Dan will stay up later to do a bit more work.
9:20–I am in bed with a book. Lately I haven’t been able to read anything new or heavy–a side effect of the stress of quarantine. Instead I have been revisiting classics from my childhood. Tonight I am reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. So much about this book resonates right now. It’s the perfect way to fall asleep.
10:00–I put the book away, turn off my lamp, and go to sleep.
Tomorrow will be another day of small things, little pleasures. My quotidian life is simple but joy-filled. There is beauty in the ordinary.