What day is it today?

I always have had a tendency to not be quite aware of what day or date it is, although strangely I’m really good at being aware of the time, even without a watch – except when I’m concentrating on something like writing or reading when the minutes and hours can fly away like a swarm of bees off on a mission.

In the past, when I was young, my parents guided our lives and they always seemed to know what day it was so we went to Brownies on the right evening, or swimming club, or took the right things to school such as PE kit. Of course during the summer holidays everything merged into one long wonderful time of freedom, no need to know which day of the week it was. When I went to Manchester to go to the Polytechnic I was living with other people who were in the same classes as me so, knowing where I was supposed to be or what I should have with me was also not a problem – even completing assignments was something I managed as we worked together – even when we were heading towards a deadline and had to stay up all night to finish, we managed it!

To work, and first at the Civil Service when every day was the same so whether it was Monday or Thursday it didn’t matter. I worked at the airport next, and worked shifts, so there as a timetable to keep to, and as I absolutely loved the work I was never late or never turned up at the wrong time. Teaching, and of course our lives were ruled by timetables and there they were, stuck on the walls in the staffroom. Our lives were governed by bells, and again with my uncanny ability to know the time (even if I wasn’t sure of the date) I managed my lessons, drawing them to a close in time for the class to move somewhere else.

When we had the children, I stayed at home, but husband was still at work, Monday to Friday, and my days were differentiated by mother and toddler groups, baby gym club, swimming until I returned to teaching where once again my life was governed by bells. When the children were grown and I gave up the day job, dates and days began to swim somewhat. I had to constantly check what day it was – the weeks punctuated by reading groups, writing groups, French groups, and my monthly Irish group. Husband also had his weekly band practices, and of course, the highlight, the pub quiz.

Now most of this has gone; yes we have our monthly book clubs on Zoom or in Facebook rooms, ditto the writing group, but no actual meeting people to set those lovely events in my mind. There is no weekly quiz to anchor my Tuesdays, although husband does have his on-line Jamulus rock and roll session. These few distanced events aren’t sufficient to tie me to which day of the week it is, which allows my mind to trick me into thinking it’s Thursday when in fact it’s Monday, and then the next day, of course, I’m stuck in Friday when it’s actually Tuesday.

Is this a sort of freedom? No, I don’t think it is, not in the true sense.

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