Day 4- Routines and rituals.

Purveyors of chaos often sustain life day-to-day by forcing themselves into routines and rituals. Routines by nature of their predictability are safe, controlled, becalming. Chaos and uncertainty can be exciting, thrilling, glamorous even. But it generally breeds anxiety.

I truly learnt the practicality of setting routines only after I had my first child. Until then, life was ever dynamic. No two days ever the same. Bedlam, some called it. I thought I revelled in it; but it came with a price. My sanity.

So now, on busy, short- handed, stressful days; I take refuge in my routines and rituals. Current times are odd and indefinite. Children may not voice their anxieties, but they sense our fear and have an innate ability to absorb doubts and uncertainties. Vacation plans cancelled, Dad away, unable to go out and meet friends, art classes suspended, schools called to a close abruptly. Everything’s different. I try to tell them that things are different, but they are temporary (I hope!).

We have a time- table for the day. We pretend to go to school – the guest bedroom. We pack snacks and water. We have PE class everyday. We have art and craft time. TV time. iPad time. And the past week has been a successful exercise in containing what could have been a disaster.

I am bored. This was the catch phrase of the weeks past. Ever since schools shut. Brother and sister fight all day, everyday. The fight ends only when one gets significantly hurt. Scratches, welts, bruises- even drew blood a few times. The television was a sore spot. How much to watch, what to watch, who keeps the remote in hand. I was fight referee, TV police, food enforcer, bath- time peacekeeper and “boredom relief committee”- all put together.

I am still all of those. But at least the routines have helped me ‘flatten the curve’. And therefore I can deal with the situation a little better. Put my mental faculties to better use.

Hope we make it out of this in one piece folks!

Till next time,

J.

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