The Quarantine Diaries #35: Rising to the challenge of everyday

I have never been very good at the everyday. For me, the whole of life needs to be a challenge: I don’t tidy up, I ‘revolutionise my living space.’ I don’t want to go for a relaxing stroll in the park, I want to climb a mountain. I don’t just wash the dishes, I…well, I hate washing the dishes. I like the challenge of loading the dishwasher to optimum capacity. It’s true to say that most of my life I’ve been driven. The trouble is that half of the time I’ve been driven to distraction. Life can’t always be full of dramatic challenges. Every day is mostly full of, well – the everyday. This is a lesson you can’t help but learn during an enforced lockdown.

The challenge of everyday

As a new mother, I struggled to adjust to the amount of extra housework that comes with having children. Before I had kids, housework was something I ‘got done’ over the weekend and maintained during the week. This was no great challenge even when juggling a full-time job. Once you have children, housework is never done. There is always something more you could be doing, and if you leave it for even a day, it just piles up. At first I drove myself mad trying to ‘get on top’ of things. But after a while I realised it’s all about managing the flow. Don’t let the dishes, laundry and other chores pile up for too long, or you end up snowed under. Get certain tasks done every day, and fit in the rest when you can. I never had a perfect house or ever wanted one. But I don’t like things to get too chaotic either. Managing the flow is the secret of balance in this case, at least as far as I’m concerned. I also need to recognise when I should ask for help, and ensure other family members do their bit as well.

With the lockdown, comes another daily flow I need to manage: schoolwork. In the first week or two, I drove myself crazy trying to recreate the school timetable, until I realised the teacher had posted a ‘core’ timetable of tasks that had to be done, with the remainder to fit in around that. This made matters much easier. We focus on the ‘core’ through the week, and do the other activities at weekends, as these tend to be crafts and music which the little one can join in with. It’s unfair to him to be schooling the eldest for 5 hours every day.

Achieve a lot by doing a little

It really is true that you can achieve a lot by doing a little. But guess what? You have to do a little everyday. Daily blog posts add up to 300 in 10 months. Daily yoga practice increases strength and flexibility until finally after 38 years I’m able to touch my toes 😅. Daily meditation increases my serenity, reduces anger and anxiety, and helps me live a more enjoyable life, everyday.

So there is a challenge to the everyday: it’s enjoying the moment and managing the flow of life which might just take you to new heights you never even realised existed. It’s all possible, one day at a time. No need to introduce extra difficulties out of some misplaced sense of martyrdom. No need to complain that you always have to do ‘everything.’ You don’t ever have to do everything. But you always have to do ‘something.’ Just do what you have to do, and do it well. That’s the challenge of everyday. And I’m learning to love it!

Photo by Анна Рыжкова from Pexels

15 thoughts on “The Quarantine Diaries #35: Rising to the challenge of everyday

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  1. Love this and so relatable Ingrid! I am a lot like you for better or worse 🤣
    The housework with kids remind me of managing our blogs which all take time. Hate the housework. Yoga, walking and meditation are essential and so is bill paying.. Oh it’s cold inside i better check to see if I paid the bill.. 🤣 thank god for my husband there. Happy Sunday! ❤️ cindy

    1. Haha, this made me laugh because my husband is ‘allergic to paperwork’ and he has made me the same now he’s upset about it! I let him do the paperwork as it’s all in Slovenian and I ‘couldn’t possibly understand it’ 😉

      1. lol… glad you got a chuckle.. I was taking over till covid and now I can’t bother my head with one more thing. Lol.. NO you wouldn’t get too far.. clever girl. ❤️🤣

  2. That makes three of us struggling to keep our lives in balance. 🙂 I suspect there are many others!

    Excellent post and very practical advice for prioritizing and planning. I think the hands-on art experiences are very educational for kids, and they will catch up quickly when school resumes if they are continuing to read and write. There are many fun science activities online that can be done with no special equipment. Cooking can be a math lesson in measuring and fractions… I think the blog is a good idea for Benji. I answered his post today and asked him about what his Holiday plans are. All the best, Ingrid! <3

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, Cheryl! I suspect a lot of lockdown parents may be ‘winging it’ just as I am, but we’re doing ok. I just leave Benji to write his own posts, and he now knows how to schedule and add images too. Pretty soon he will be my tech support for WordPress! ❤️

  3. These quarantine days are teaching me it’s okay to just do “a little” at times and even “a very little” is okay too, haha, as long as we try. I’m having to help my 15 year old navigate school from home now and it’s a challenge for him to focus. I continually tell him to stop playing video games. Writing helps me relieve the stress. I know we are very blessed though and try to count the blessings every day. 💖

    1. My 8 year old already plays too many video games 😳 but his playstation is broken so he’s having to manage without it! I keep encouraging him to read a book instead…

  4. I have so much difficult doing anything that’s boring – it’s a serious problem because I find most things boring… I do what I need to do, for the most part, but I really, really have to force myself to do things like laundry, dishes, etc… I always prefer to be reading, writing, or otherwise exchanging ideas…

    I’m impressed that you’ve adjusted so well, Ingrid 🙂 … for me, it’s still a daily struggle to accept this new reality.


    1. Yes that’s the problem with me and housework. I find it mind-numbingly boring. But somebody’s got to do it 😅

      How is the lockdown situation where you are?

      1. Well my wife just returned from abroad so she’s in quarantine right now, which means that all of us are staying at home (other than going out for groceries).

        Otherwise, Israel is coming out of its second lock-down right now… but the government has been considering things like a curfew, and I think most restaurants and cafes are still only open for take-out.

        A third lock-down would not be unlikely here, but Israel just made the vaccine available last week – so who knows?


      2. Our restrictions are easing this week but I’m honestly not sure if the kids will be back at school after the holidays. We have a 9pm curfew and only supermarkets and pharmacies are open. I hope your vaccine program helps: ours is starting next month I think!

  5. I still haven’t figured it out. I actually managed better with the kids around because it gave structure to my day. You need some structure, but its hard to construct it entirely yourself. At least its hard for me. (K)

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