Dear all,

This is the sixth week of our lockdown and boredom has officially hit. The first two weeks I was doing relatively fine. I was able to give a proper structure to my days and get some work done. I was often feeling anxious however, hearing ambulances pass by all the time or police cars with megaphones advising you to stay inside. Nowadays I’m less anxious. The amount of cases is decreasing and also the IC seems to be less occupied. But I’m bored out of my mind.

So what do I do on a regular day? It depends on whether it’s a good or a bad day. It also depends on whether I have to teach a class or not. Those days are usually better. When I wake up, every day seems to have the opportunity to become a good one. The breaking point often occurs after lunch.

I used to wake up around 7. I now wake up at 8. Soon I will be trying to wake up 7.30, but we’ll see how things develop. I start the day with doing some of the leftover dishes of the night before (often only a couple of plates and some cutlery) or with a workout. So far so good. I prepare breakfast, get dressed, have breakfast outside in the sun and relax a little. Then I usually start studying Italian. I read one of my books and I listen to an Italian podcast. While I’m listening to the Italian podcast I usually walk around to keep moving. After that, I clean up the bedroom.

I manage to fill my day until I can start preparing lunch, which I usually start doing around 11.30 or 12. Now that Davide is working from home we have lunch together every day (we used to have lunch together a lot anyway, but not as often as now obviously). After lunch we make a coffee, I do the dishes and then the toughest part of my day is about to start. Sometimes I have some elaborate cleaning to do, like the bathroom or kitchen and sometimes my entire afternoon is free.

I could do some studying, but it highly depends on how motivated I am if I’m able to get myself started. I didn’t have any issues getting myself to study before, but now that it’s one of the few things I can do, it’s starting to get annoying instead of enlightening. I sometimes read, actually I often read, but reading for hours also becomes uncomfortable at some point. I try to write, however, the inspiration to write doesn’t always come when you would like it to come. If I really have no clue anymore I start doing online quizzes about the capital cities in Europe, or mentioning all the USA states within a certain amount of time. Anyway, these are basically the options I have until dinner time. At dinner my boyfriend does a lot of the cooking and I mostly assist. After that, often it’s already 20.30 or later, we watch something, talk a little (we talk a lot actually, surprisingly we still have an awful lot to share) and then go to sleep.

Once a week I can go outside now to do my grocery shopping by bike. Today is the day. I’m already getting excited. I have the feeling that today is going to be a good day, but I also know not to have any expectations. The moment I feel my afternoon is going to be unproductive and dull, I just let it happen. I do whatever I manage to do and nothing else. This has become a marathon, not a sprint.

From Italy with love,

Merel