I am not a foodie. That’s not to say I don’t like to eat - I love sitting down to have a meal. It’s just that I don’t care very much about cooking or slaving for hours to make a beautiful meal. I don’t really understand why people do that; probably like people don’t really understand why I would be fascinated with conflict and want to understand people’s behaviour when they are stressed.
I usually eat the same food for breakfast and lunch every day and wouldn’t mind that much if I also ate the same food for dinner at night. Food is just not a priority to me.
But all of a sudden now that we are homebound, one of the first questions I ask my husband every day is “what will we have for dinner?”
Dinner is suddenly the meal that makes today a different day to yesterday.
This does not mean that I have suddenly started cooking lavish meals - it’s more that it’s an interesting topic of conversation throughout the day. In fact, sadly I get really excited when it is agreed that we are going to have eggs on toast (again) rather than me actually having to cook something.
It feels like we are living in a sci-fi movie, where there is this invisible enemy that we are always on the lookout for but can never see. Everything about the world is a bit surreal.
In times of crisis, it is good to have rituals. It is good to have some part of the day that is 'normal' and predictable. My husband and I have maintained our routine of getting up at stupid o’clock and going for a run or a walk. We have created rituals and rules about how we manage who makes who cups of tea during the day; when we can interrupt each other; when we will stop work and what our night-time routine is.
We probably have more rituals that we had before COVID-19. We have replaced constant busyness and lots of time out and about and visiting family interstate, going to the theatre and the football with very clear daily routines and boundaries. It makes us feel safe. It has given our lockdown life rhythm and in some weird way, a purpose.
If you have team members who are living by themselves, if their world has been turned upside down, now is the time to ensure that you become part of their rhythm of life with daily phone calls or Zoom meetings. You can help give them a purpose and something to look forward to (hopefully).
One of your questions each day might be “What’s for tea?”