I’m having a tough time trying to find something to write about today. I’ve got a ton of ideas, but nothing is coming out right. I get going with something and delete it all.
I’ve been listing again. It started with the grocery list. I have a system that I have been perfecting since the kids were babies and making it through the store with the least amount of hassle was my goal. I make a list of meals that I want to make throughout the next two weeks (I use to shop weekly, but currently it’s biweekly). About 8 dinners, a few lunch ideas, and a couple breakfast ideas. Some dinners can be reheated, or turned into something else. I also give myself wiggle room to make stuff up. If I give myself too strict of a schedule I just get stubborn, or forgetful and waste a lot of food.
Then I go through the meals and check what I already have and make a list of what I’ll need to make everything. Then I add the kitchen staples that need replenishing and snacks. Then, I rewrite my list into groups and put them in order of how I move through the store. This has been my system for years. Once I’m home, I make sure to cook the meals with the most perishable ingredients first and work through the week. I keep the more labor intensive meals for earlier in the week, and the really lazy meals I save for later in the week.
After all that was done, I had to make a list of everything that needs to be done around the house. Room by room, I break down all the details of cleaning the room. I have to be able to check items off my list as I go or I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything. Have I mentioned I have OCD and anxiety? Lists help soothe my anxiety so I can put order to the chaos. Making them so meticulously calms my OCD and gives me the sense of control the disorder craves. Then I begin to work my way through the impossible task of organizing our house.
If I think about the whole project, I panic. I clam up and surrender. That’s not what this past month has been though, I swear. Life has been one impossible task on top of another on top of another. Making sure I could keep going to take care of my family involved a lot of shoving things aside and not dealing with it. I didn’t have time to fall apart. Years of some really challenging stuff, which I’m sure I’ll delve into little by little. The point is, this past month and a half has been the rest that I’ve been craving. The rest that I’ve been needing. That my kids have needed. And even though my husband is still working from home, it’s been the rest that he’s needed too. It has been really nice. (Even with the kids bickering). (Ok, even with us bickering with our kids sometimes too).
So now that I can breathe a little better, and my muscles are craving movement, and my mind is racing with inspiration, the house is an utter disaster. It puts us all on edge and I usually get about a week of ‘conquer the world’ energy and motivation every month. Now the shopping is done and I’m making a to-do list every night before bed, trying to think realistically of what I can accomplish. I’m in a hurry to create space for my kids to do their school work, as well as play and create stuff. I’m trying to bring the order back that we all crave right now.
To the side of the house chores I list out the meals for the next day and make sure I get anything I need to ready. I set out stuff for waffles in the morning. We have strawberries, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar. I’m excited. Plus the waffle iron is fun. It also takes away any anxiety I might have about trying to figure it out what to make when I might be caught off guard that it’s already lunch time. This way, I’m ready, and I can enjoy cooking; which I do.
Lastly, I’m adding yoga and ten minutes of focused workouts. Mostly body weight stuff. Pilates. I’m trying to re-teach my body proper form after a month of curling up to read and knit, or rough house with the kids. The youngest still crawls into bed with us most nights, and sometimes our middle one does too. It makes for some achy places in the morning.
Writing this makes me think of an episode of The Storyteller by Jim Henson called ‘A Story Short’. We’ve been watching it with the kids recently. Yet another show or movie that my husband and I both grew up with. We get excited about that stuff. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend looking for it. Jim Henson is an amazing storyteller himself. John Hurt is wonderful and all the puppeteers, the sets, the way the stories are told. It’s a must see at any age.
The last two days have been filled with much cleaning and sorting and getting rid of things that have been taking up space. It feels good, but it’s also good to take a break and enjoy the simple things. The little things that make up the big things. And most importantly, I am grateful for these moments with my kids and my husband.