That ‘Rona Routine

A few months back I wrote about my 2020 “screened-in world” for my newsletter subscribers, and since at some point weโ€™ll transition to a brave new post-COVID reality, I thought for the sake of grim posterity that I’d expand that piece into a full snapshot of my average 2020 weekday. ๐Ÿš€ Buckle up…

6:00am-ish to 7:00am-ish:

I wake up, gather a ridiculous pile of devices and headphones and attempt to sneak out of the bedroom without waking up Sarah. I pour myself a coffee (followed by another), sit in a living room chair and spend some time catching up on personal email, social media and (way too much) news.

Sometimes I’ll eat cereal and take the dog out before the workday starts, sometimes mid-morning. I’m a wildcard, you can’t pigeonhole me. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

A bit before 8:30am:

Sarah wakes up, gets a coffee and makes sure that the boys are up for Zoom school. They are never fans of this reminder. ๐Ÿ˜ 

8:30am:

School starts. I hear Sarah welcoming her first class, along with muted voices from the other rooms. As if on cue, the dog starts barking, instantly infuriating everyone. ๐Ÿ•

9:00am (sometimes earlier):

I join my daily work video standup. Our birds immediately start chirping like crazy, making my feel like the old lady outside the bank in Mary Poppins. ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ

9:30am to Noon-ish:

I click, type, have video meetings, make ridiculous memes and remind nerds about various priorities, all while listening to Sarah walk her students through important literary analysis. Sometimes I also accept grocery deliveries.

Noon-ish to 1:00pm-ish:

I grab something in the house for lunch (sometimes a salad, sometimes a pile of string cheese sticks, it’s really anyone’s guess). One or more of the boys will usually emerge at this point to eat something, while also a) letting me know about new graphics card announcements or b) asking me to buy them something on Amazon.

By this point I’ll also usually have done a 10-minute Calm meditation, read a daily Bible chapter and caught up on Twitter again. ๐Ÿง˜โœ๏ธ๐Ÿฆ

1:00pm-ish to 5:30pm-ish:

More clicking, typing, meeting, meme-ing and reminding, this time usually from our bedroom (if Sarah’s done teaching) for a thrilling change of venue.

5:30pm-ish:

Time for a shower! I’ll immerse myself in the decadent “shower headphones” lifestyle for a few minutes, apply various creams and miracle elixirs, then eat dinner (some days Owen will go get something, some days we’ll get something delivered, some days Sarah will make something and some days I’ll follow the directions from a HelloFresh box (which I actually find to be a strangely soothing activity). ๐ŸŽง๐Ÿ’ง

6:00pm-ish to 7:30pm-ish:

I’ll repeat my morning personal email, social media and news routine. This is usually accompanied by one of the boys (typically Wilbur) raging at friends in an online game, Stewart roaming the neighborhood on his scooter, Owen watching episodes of his current TV fixation (a full Doctor Who re-watch right now) and Sarah taking a long walk and/or grading endless papers (while distracting herself by making Instagram stories about grading endless papers). ๐Ÿ“

7:30pm-ish to 8:00pm-ish:

Sarah and I generally move to the bedroom while the boys take over the rest of the house in true Lord of the Flies fashion. Depending on the night, we may watch episodes of a show, attend a midweek session for a new church we’re sitting in on (currently discussing institutional racism), attend a virtual book club discussion (Sarah), write newsletter material (me) or check in to see if any work shenanigans have popped up (spoiler: they have).

10:30pm to 11:00pm-ish:

Once one or both of us is done staring at screens, we call it a night, anxiously awaiting the chance to do it all again tomorrow! ๐ŸŒ 

Foreign Concepts

What a strange time to grow up. While change is obviously the one constant in life, the pace of technological innovation over the past few decades has been wild to watch. Here’s a short list of things that were fairly common not too long ago, but would be generally baffling to my teenage sons:

  • Sitting down at a specific place to “go on” the Internet

  • Waiting to get photos developed before seeing how they turned out

  • Listening for a dial tone

  • Needing to be together physically in order to trash talk and play video games with friends

  • Buying “box sets” to catch up on a TV series

  • Wondering what a classmate that moved away is up to nowadays

  • Owning a music collection

  • Getting driving directions ready prior to starting a trip

  • Sharing a file with someone on a disk or CD

  • Having the correct answer to a pop culture argument remain unsettled

Children Are Watching

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” – Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

Here’s the thing, evangelical Christian parents: When you trot out a verse like this (or alternately the flawed “Trump’s just King Cyrus 2.0!” argument), you’re teaching your children that your inaction against (or worse, your explicit support of) this administration’s horrors is in service of God’s will. In other words, as long as it’s part of a mysterious, unknowable higher plan, you’re fine with:

  • Relentless lying
  • Adultery, potential rape and hush money payments
  • Constant, unapologetic racism
  • Utter disregard for the environment
  • Endless attacks on journalism and objective truth
  • Separation of children from families legally seeking asylum
  • And on and on and on… (I strongly recommend checking out this piece and this video interview which both contain great insights)

You don’t get to pat yourself on the back for your strong moral stances on Sunday mornings, then remain silently complicit for the rest of the week. Your kids notice this.

You don’t get to splash around in a dirty pool of whataboutism. It’s wrong regardless of who does these things, but as Carly Simon would say, nobody does it better than Trump. Your kids notice you giving him this pass.

You don’t get to “leave it up to God’s plan!” and ignore what’s happening in our country. Have you considered that taking a stance against this garbage is God’s plan? Look to the model of Jesus in the face of the “those are the rules!” crowd:

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’

The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’

When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.” – Luke 13-10:17 (NIV)

Watching the hypocrisy of modern-day evangelicals in the face of clear, shocking sin and injustice is deeply depressing. Is it any wonder that young people are leaving churches at an alarming rate? Jesus rebuked Pharisees too.