Health & Wellness

Cope and change: Finding joy in the routine

Pat Edwards

LORANE — The third week of living in a pandemic is leveling out a bit for Jim and me. We’ve developed a routine and, as I imagine most people have by now, we’ve had a chance to adjust to the many changes in our lives that have occurred in such a very short time.

I’m enjoying getting reacquainted with the surfaces of my counters and furniture now that I’ve taken care of the clutter that had been hiding them … at least the ones I have access to. I’m not known for my housekeeping routines, but I’ve been rather restricted from doing a whole lot these days because five rooms full of furniture and other items have been rehomed to our living room and dining room since early January. 

It was determined that our roof had been leaking into the walls on the backside of our house. The five rooms have been opened up and fans used to dry out the affected walls, but the repairs won’t be done until a whole new roof has been put on the house. The process of coming to terms between the insurance company and contractor has been a long one. 

Fortunately, we have full access to our kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, my computer room, and a small section of the family room where Jim’s recliner and big-screen TV is located. 

As a bonus, the utility room where our washer and dryer are located can still be accessed even though there is plastic covering the missing drywall along the ceiling. We’re still living that particular “adventure” I wrote about earlier.


With only my trips to town to make the store deposits at Selco’s drive-up window and Jim’s quick runs to Lorane to pick up the deposits at the store and to order a cheeseburger lunch from the Lorane Deli on Tuesdays, we have settled into our home routine without distress.

Of course, our lives have been home-based for quite some time, but not to this extent. Jim’s doctor’s appointments are now conducted over the phone and the other day I set up an app on my computer where I can upload Jim’s diabetes data recorded by his electronic sensor. Our medication refills arrive by mail, so there is little reason to go into town now, thanks to our family, which is making sure we have everything we need.


With the rainy weather, our days are free to do inside whatever we feel up to each day. How Jim can sit and watch the same TV shows all day long, though, is beyond me, but he’s content. I haven’t been able to focus on any major writing projects so far, so for me, when I’m ready for some quiet time, I’ve been working on jigsaw puzzles, which I’ve always loved, and I’ve actually enjoyed the nap I frequently take in the afternoons after mornings spent washing dishes by hand, cleaning surfaces, doing laundry and keeping up on email.

Our two dogs and two cats are loving the extra attention they are getting, too. When I settle into my recliner in my computer room for a nap, there’s a competition between Toby, our small blue heeler dog, and Jo-Jo, our very social and loving cat, to see which one will settle onto my chest first for naptime. If Toby wins out, frequently Jo-Jo will jump up anyway and park himself right next to Toby. He will then resist the nudges and calculated shifts that Toby makes to dislodge him. At those times, I usually give up on taking a nap.

I have no doubt that many who have been much more social are finding these quiet days extremely boring, but I’m also hoping that the optimists among us who haven’t experienced a slower style of life for many years, if ever, will learn to enjoy these quiet times, too. I’ve felt for many years that our lives have gotten so frenetic that many people who have never allowed themselves to really relax and enjoy each day will find their stress levels, heart rates and blood pressure readings have decreased.

There are positives in even the darkest situations we find ourselves in. We just need to look for and appreciate them.

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