I noticed Friday evening that it didn’t feel like Friday. I’ve been working from home for over a year now, so I’m used to being at home most of the day. But there was something different this time. Maybe it was recognizing the emptiness outside, the quiet streets, as people shelter in place. The flow of “normal” life is disrupted. Things don’t feelright, including the passage of time. And I bet for a lot of people, now staying home, that times feel weird.
It reminded me of the importance of “rhythms of life.” We have it on a grand scale with holidays scattered throughout the year, marking time. But on a day to day basis, we need it psychologically and emotionally too. Daily rhythms. Weekly rhythms. Mark your days with something that restores a sense of balance and natural flow.
Start your mornings out with something that says “morning” to you. For me, it’s my coffee and quiet time, then feeding the dogs. End your days with a consistent routine that helps your body and mind know it’s time for sleep. Maybe drink some chamomile tea, or turn off the tv and listen to ocean sounds to relax. Or maybe, like we usually do here, put on The Golden Girls reruns to unwind.
Do something to mark the end of your weeks, too. I was reminded of the Jewish custom of lighting candles on Friday evening to welcome the Sabbath. A special meal. Maybe some wine. Some definite marker that says: “this is the weekend.” Especially now that for many of us, churches are closed and our Sunday routine is no longer in place. Do something distinctive for your Sunday morning. Watch your favorite church or pastor’s sermon online. Remember to give. Your routine of giving is important, too. Say a prayer of thanks for what you have, and then hit the Paypal button. Maybe grab a cup of coffee, and go sit on your patio for a half hour. Meditate, connect with God, gather some peace. Just because you can’t meet as you usually do, does not mean you have to completely surrender your weekly routine of worship and generosity.
In a time of disruption, it’s important for us to restore balance in our lives. For me, rhythms and routines help give me a sense of structure and mark the “normal” passing of time. We don’t have to be “victims” of chaos just because things are different now. Assert a little control, impose a little of your own normalcy on your life. Don’t lose who you are, or who you’d like to become, just because the outside world is changing.
May we all find some peace and recover some balance this Sunday.
photo credits: “A Trail of Night Lights from the International Space Station,” Flickr, cc2.0 “Breakfast on the Patio,” Flickr, cc2.0 “Shabbat Candles,” Flickr, cc2.0