Note: This post was drafted on 6/30/2021 and finalized today.
The transition to post-vaccination life has been tougher than I thought it would be. For me it might even be tougher than going into the pandemic.
When the pandemic started, I felt like my objectives were clear: Do this. Don’t do that. Conserve toilet paper. Loads of options were taken off the table when most everything closed down.
When things started opening back up I wasn’t sure what my objectives were. I feel like a domesticated cow being set free into the wilderness. I’m not sure that’s the metaphor I want. But the FOMO is back, I can tell you that.
When we were in lockdown, there was also a solidarity in stasis. No one was doing anything fun. No one was doing anything outside there homes. In some ways it was a relief to get to a Friday night and think, “welp. Nothing to do. Maybe I’ll check out those video games I’ve always wanted to.” or “Maybe I’ll just read more.” But mainly the thought was a gleeful: “It’s all mine! I can do anything I want with it.”
I always knew I was prone to FOMO, but in the post-vax world it is brought into high relief.
In my post-vax world there’s no reason at all I can’t just sit home on a Friday night and play video games or read. But some strange force pulls me away from doing nothing.
The worst part of this is my morning routine. It is currently fighting for its life.
My Morning Routine
During the pandemic (as I have blogged about multiple times), I developed an awesome routine that I found very fulfilling. I did it every day for months.
5:45: Wake up and shower.
6:00: Make coffee.
6:05: Meditate for 10-30 minutes
6:30: Go for a walk for 20 minutes. If my head feels “full” then without music so that I can give the thoughts some room.
6:50: Make breakfast. 1 egg. 2 chicken sausage.
6:59: Sit down on porch with breakfast, coffee, and water.
7:00: Relish the fact that I have won the day. (A simple pleasure that never gets old).
7:01: Eat and read 10-20 pages or something. Preferably a thoughtful book that inspires reflection.
7:15: Study spanish flashcards and watch spanish video for 30 minutes.
7:45: Blog for 30-60 minutes
8:45: Make up work schedule for the day.
9:00: Start the work day a winner.
I wasn’t a stickler for these exact times, but this gives you the idea. Generally it all started at 5:45 though.
Waking at 5:45am was very easy when I was stuck at home and got bored at 9pm.
But now people invite me to do things at 10pm on a weeknight. I like doing these things. But it is disrupting the routine I love.
You might ask – Can’t you just start the morning routine 2-3 hours later? Just shift your day forward a few hours.
But one thing I didn’t mention is that I love being up before the sun. It’s like me versus a celestial giant in a race that I consistently dominate in. It’s so gratifying. I am a weirdo.
But something’s got to give. I need my 8 hours of sleep. It makes me think better. My work results are better. I could do six or seven, but gaining two hours of awakeness would be a net loss on productivity.
Time For a Test Drive
My solution is that I’ve decided to frame this as a “test” for a few months.
Framing changes as a temporary test or experiment is a wonderful trick to make changes in your life. You don’t have to worry if you are “making the right decision”. In fact, you are actually helping yourself make the right decision by test-driving the new option. Checking out all the options is the right way to make a good decision, right?
Additionally, you don’t have to deal with the mild grief or sense of loss when you make a life change of some sort. And sometimes you find yourself enjoying the experiment and so extending the experiment longer and longer until it becomes the new normal.
This doesn’t mean I have to wake up later every day. Just that if I do, that I won’t be so aggrieved by it. That I won’t fight to go to bed at night. Right now, the most important thing is to be well-rested so I can get The Eureka Room to production level MVP.