A Break From Routine
There’s something about a routine that’s so predictable and comforting. For me, besides my daily work schedule – long hours before the health crisis added daily breaking news – there was my ushering at synagogue every Shabbat. For several hours every Saturday I greeted familiar and new faces, was social and helpful, I hope, while somewhat authoritative, at times, to maintain the dignity of the service. The following day, I spent a similar amount of time on my very long and effective cardio workouts. Like everyone else, my routine has been rocked.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way. I maintain contact through text, WhatsApp and Facebook with friends from synagogue, among others, and have tuned into my shul’s Shabbat services. I take long walks with family and friends – at a distance. After my gym was closed and until I got my own spin bike, I shared one with a friend who lives alone, immaculately sanitized, of course. (I’m a longtime germaphobe, so the advice to wash hands and use sanitizer is second nature.) There’s always jogging with my son, who I’m spending more time with than ever possible before the virus struck.
Aren’t we told to break from routine, shake it up, smell the roses, if you always do what you’ve always done, and other clichés? So, I go with the flow as my world and everyone else’s is upended. I roll with the punches and find a way to maintain my life balance. There are definitely some silver lining moments besides playing Scrabble with our college kids and saving money on gas.
Of course, we’ve got two newish cars that aren’t getting much use, and we’re paying rent on two apartments while our kids live at home. (So much for the empty nest). On the other hand, I get to report my own weight to Weight Watchers – yes, I’m honest – I stay in comfy clothes and slippers all day for virtual work or “shul services,” instead of dressing up. Plus, we’ve been invited to three virtual seders so far. Looking on the bright side, it could be worse. Chin up people. We are all in this together, and there’s something comforting about that too.
Roni Robbins is associate editor of the AJT.