For the first time in a long time, I’m not traveling anywhere anytime soon. When it comes to my work, I’m going to talk about “gifting” in a different way — focusing on gifts like kindness, spending time together, and self-care in a new blog series. I know this is an extremely tough time for everyone around the world. And my thoughts go out to each and every one of you to stay healthy and safe. While we all continue to grapple with the gravity of our current reality, our family and friends need us, and we need them. And I need you! I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas so please don’t be shy about leaving comments. Sign-up to receive my emails.
As we continue to think about how long we will be staying home, it’s hard not to think about how to stay sane. Most people in my life know that I am a very organized person. I always have been (Thank you, Mom! No comment, Dad!). And living between two countries has made me even more so.
Kilian and I organize all our travel roughly six months in advance for a few reasons. Our kids are spread out attending three different schools and all in different countries. So, the first piece of the puzzle requires looking at each of their vacation schedules and putting them on the calendar. We then look at our work commitments to determine who needs to be where and when. (We’ve learned that being apart for a week or two can be healthy for the relationship, but when we are apart for more than two weeks in a row, it becomes a bit difficult.) Once we have a rough draft of the schedule, we send it to our former partners (I’m not a fan of the word “ex”) for them to review and send back any date conflicts from their end. Luckily, neither sets travel plans to the extent that we do so it makes it easier to coordinate with them and they are both understanding of the complexities on our end. Because of all this coordinating, I have a love/hate relationship with routines since I am a slave to my own. I often tell people that if you cannot plan in advance with me, the chance is that you probably won’t see me. It’s sad, but true! Ironically, our current situation has made me realize that having a routine is my savior. Since I am not traveling or really even leaving my apartment, it’s providing me a sense of sanity to stay on a schedule and stay closely connected (remotely) to the people who are in my life. For those of them who provide me their services and expertise as their profession, I have a strong desire to continue to work with them, to support them and their businesses. Although my routine varies slightly every day, here’s a typical Monday :7:30am Wake-up (depending on how many times I hit snooze – my weakness)! Waking up this late is definitely one perk of being in isolation.8:30amBreakfast with Kilian and catch up on the news. New York Times is first, then CNN.9:15amAt my desk and ready to work!10:00amGift Me Chic team conference call.11:00amWorking with CNN in the background. Intermingled with checking Instagram, catching up with family and friends via FaceTime, and watching Governor Cuomo when he does his daily press conference. 1:00pmLunch with Kilian1:30pm Back to work!3:00pmFaceTime with the kids (after the online school day is finished).5:00pmFrench lesson with my awesome tutor (thank you, Kim Pham @mouk_mouki).6:15pmCardio on my own or a Pilates session via Zoom with my kick-ass trainer (thank you, Desira Barnes @arisedesira).7:15pm15-minute meditation.8:00pmPour a glass of wine! And either make or order-in dinner.8:30pmDinner with Kilian9:00pmHouseParty or whatever TV series we are currently watching (We just finished Unorthodox and now starting the L Word!) 11:15pmTime for bed!I realize that this all sounds very regimented and granted there are slight variances every day (hello, snooze button!), in general, it’s been a huge help. In all fairness though, the biggest distraction I have during the day is no longer Instagram, but instead, the news. I have my iPad on my desk with CNN Live streaming, but I keep the volume at the lowest level until I hear or see something that I want to tune into. It’s hard not to get sucked in, but I’m slowly realizing that as fast as the news is changing day by day, it’s not changing that much hour by hour. I’ve learned that unplugging mentally for a few hours is OK and, most likely, very healthy!The weekends are when all hell breaks loose (YESSSSSS!). We let ourselves sleep in, make a huge brunch, lounge around in pajamas (sadly not the ones I ordered for Kilian for his birthday), binge-watch whatever series we feel like, and catch up with all the people we weren’t able to during the week. And we tackle long overdue projects like cleaning out closets and going through old boxes of stuff. (I still haven’t decided if I need to keep my K-12 yearbooks?!?!) I have found tons of old pictures, some of which I’m tossing because they have no purpose other than blackmail (80’s bangs for example!). But others, for better or worse, will lead to the next organization project. Maybe the old photos will get put in digital photo albums. This will require some research but, hey, I have the time! The BEST part of our weekends though is on Sunday at one o’clock sharp when we do a HouseParty family meal with the kids. This is our ONE weekend routine and, by far, the MOST IMPORTANT of the whole week! My son calls in from his other house while eating lunch and Kilian’s kids call in from Paris while eating dinner. It is extremely important to us all that we stay connected as a family, even though we cannot physically be together. There are many hardships that we are all facing, and each in our own way, but this is the hardest for me. It’s been almost a month since we’ve hugged our kids and my heart hurts over it. We all know that this will end eventually, the tough part is just not knowing when. When I think about all of this, however, I realize that it’s more than the routines that are keeping me sane, it’s my relationships within those routines. Sharing my meals and downtime with Kilian, working with my team remotely during the day, and taking the time to check-in with friends and family as often as possible. As physically far apart as we all are from each other, I feel closer to some people now more than ever. I know my parents will agree as I’m definitely calling them more regularly! Whether they like it or not! I am fortunate to have so much love all around me. And am hopeful I am expressing the same… So, on that note, I am sharing big love with all of you and I thank you for yours at the same time. Stay safe & healthy.
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