One of the first things I've quickly learned about my new "routine," while trying to run a business at home and entertaining Sloan while she's out of school, is that there's really no such thing as routine anymore. We do our best every day and have some guidelines we follow, but the reality is, each day is different. Here's a glimpse of what a day sheltering in place looked like for us recently...
The basic structure of our mornings remains relatively unchanged during this time. That said, it's become slightly simplified without the added stress of getting Sloan and ourselves ready and out the door. We now try to take things really slowly. G and I have implemented a "no phone in bed" rule, since we found it's so easy to slip into that 24-hour news cycle if we check our phones first thing.
Instead, when Sloan joins us in bed each morning, we each share the things for which we're grateful. It's always been one of those rituals we've meant to do regularly, but neglected due to time restrictions. There is no excuse not to now that the pace of our family's lives has slowed a bit, and it really helps ground us, especially given the current climate.
Whoever is the last one in bed is typically in charge of making it. This morning, it was me—but I honestly don't mind. Even if the rest of the day is a hot mess, I know that I have one thing crossed off my list before I've even had my coffee.
I have my coffee while Sloan gets to watch an episode of a TV show or Facetime with my parents, who have been virtual babysitters from afar. G and I usually drink our coffee in the living room, where we'll turn on the fireplace and just try to ease into our day.
Lately we've found that prioritizing only a couple of things each day is the best approach, so we take this time to strategize. We create a general timeline of the day, keeping our work meetings and to-do lists in mind, so we can decide who has Sloan at what time ahead of the day.
One of the things I've found most helpful in managing Sloan is getting her moving early. For the first week or so, I would bring her outside and tell her to run around, only to realize she needs a lot more guidance and instruction than that. Now, we create obstacle courses, play 'Simon Says,' basketball, and our most recent invention: Line Monster.
To play, either G or I am the "monster" and can move laterally in a line while she tries to run past us to get to the other side. It's a fun game that gets all of us moving! I find that getting time outside to shake out some excess energy and breathe in fresh air, especially when the sun is shining, is such a solid way to start the day.
One of the few constants we have is Sloan's 10 AM daily check-in with her girlfriends. It's so touching that they all miss each other so much, and their video call together provides a little levity as well as important time to connect with her friends. They draw and play imaginary games on their own, but the parents are usually nearby so we can guide them if they need it. We'll keep the conversation on track by telling them each to draw something to show one another, or share their favorite movie, but I'm usually able to use this time to tackle my inbox.
During the first few days of shelter in place, we were so busy and overwhelmed we didn't carve out time for regular meals. Now that we understand the importance of sticking with a regular eating schedule, I've been kicking off each day with a protein. Last week, I ate homemade no-knead bread with eggs, and have also found that a second coffee (in this case, an iced latte) helps get me through the days.
I ate this during a conference call while on mute, because if I were to have one motto during this time, it's: Kill two birds with one stone. And a whole flock of birds whenever possible.
I've come to realize that I'm never going to succeed in getting every to-do done, and am constantly trying to take solace in the fact that the single most important thing I can do is stay home with my family and keep others safe. If that remains my underlying cause and most important priority, then we're already on the right track.
One of the challenges of not being around our ten-person team is trying to maintain business as usual while we all work from home. The first week and a half, Geoffrey and I took turns jumping on our computer whenever we could, sometimes crouched on the couch or in the kitchen, but I've been reminded just how much I miss having a dedicated space from which to work.
We brought an old desk into the guest room where my parents usually stay, so that if I need to get work done, I can shut the door and put on headphones. As you can see, I've also set up an extremely makeshift "set" for filming beauty content...
Among the hardest parts of sheltering in place, is that I don't know when the next time I can see my parents will be. For the last five years, we've had the good fortune of seeing them every three to four weeks. I'm so grateful for things like Facetime because it means that I can check on them three-to-five times a day. When things start to get really redundant, our cats manage to check-in with each other. 😉
A small benefit of being home all the time has been all the cooking and baking we've done. We've been relying heavily on pasta, and this was a dish G made the night before that doubled as leftovers for lunch. I ate it during our daily video check-in with the team.
P.S., We got this pasta maker as an early anniversary gift for our family, since pasta is one of our favorite things to eat and Leslie has been raving about hers for months. It's really such a wonderful indulgence that's already been put to good use!
While we're home, I've been challenging myself to create compelling content for people who are in the same situation. Sometimes that content involves my anxiety tips, or how to make a margarita, but so many of you tuned into my Instagram Live last week on how to do an at-home manicure! It's a touching reminder that sometimes, it's the smallest things that can make us feel like things are still normal...
I was too tired to do anything fancy for dinner, so I threw a potato into the oven and added a dab of butter, Greek yogurt, chives, shredded cheese, and some hot sauce, which I ate while Facetiming my parents. I enjoyed it with a glass of Champagne since we confirmed a very exciting business development that day that deserved a celebration!
Early on in our shelter in place, I made a big batch of my chocolate chip cookie dough, which I scooped and froze so that every night after dinner I can make a few at a time. While they baked, I Facetimed Cristina.
Most nights, I either Facetime with friends or family, watch something with G on TV, or play a board game before heading upstairs to wash my face, do my nighttime skincare routine, and get into bed to read.