Monday, July 12, 2010

Change really DOES happen

It is me -- the one who used to flop on the couch after work & think..."oh, what we will have for dinner?" and fall asleep. My new (at the time) husband would come home from work and find me there. Every day. "Do you take a nap every day?" We would deliberate about what to eat for dinner. There's nothing in the cupboard to make & it would take too long. After a l o o o n g time, we would often drive off to get something to eat.

Now, look, I make menu plans and actually assign what we'll eat to SPECIFIC days, such as Tacos on Tuesday. Yes, me? Can you believe it? Yes, I Miss-creative-non-domesticated-this is TOO-HARD-for-me-I-would-rather-nap-on-the-couch-Woman -- have been writing down a weekly meal plan for over a year now.... and I LOVE it ?!? And the weeks I don't have a plan. I miss my plan. It is CRAZY actually.

But it gives me hope. Hope that I can keep on changing in other areas, too.

Over the course of years (I have been married 17 years now, you know), I moved from no plan at all. To going grocery shopping every other week. To following the detailed once-a-month cookbook plan. To having on-hand ingredients to make specific meals (and still retaining that freedom, oh that delicious freedom, of deciding each day WHAT I would feel like eating because, come on now, I mean, how could I possibly know in advance that I would want Tacos on Tuesday and not Porkchop Romance? Ridiculous! I needed food freedom.) To... finally.... making a Weekly Meal Plan.

How did this free-flowing mama get from not wanting to assign food to a particular day to feeling giddy about the return of my Weekly Meal Plan?

What happened? (I mean, besides the embracing of life's duties as not-so-bad, gaining skills, and growing up into the responsible human being my parents trained me to be? addition to all that...) I read this:

"In many ways, a schedule can relieve stress from your life. When tasks become routine, they require much less physical and emotional energy. A normal day is easier to get through without having to make numerous draining decisions"...from The Managers of Their Homes by Steven and Teri Maxwell

And so it began: The beginning of The Weekly Menu Plan in an effort for less draining decisions in my day. (Click on the Grocery Cart Challenge for more inspiration. I use her menu plan template.) At first, I had to MAKE myself follow my own decisions. (Silly but true.) That first week, we ate dinner late a lot of nights (which isn't terribly unusual for us but it was still later than normal). But I stuck with it for several months. No grocery shopping until I had made The Plan.

And you know what I found? That the Food Freedom that I tenaciously clung to was NOT worth the Free Brain Space. It's rather remarkable how much time was taken up thinking: "What's for dinner? What will the children not complain about? What is in the cupboard? What would I like to have? What would hubby like? Do I have all the ingredients? Do I have enough time to make that?"

Now I have more space in my brain to make decisions about other equally important all-consuming things. . . like. . . what are we going to do today?

Those pesky little --- I mean BIG -- feelings just need to be ignored sometimes and duty embraced. And I will gain skill. And I will little baby step at a time...over the course of many years. Change really DOES happen sometimes so there is hope for those other bad habits!

Oh, and for the curious, here is my After A Long Hiatus ((because I was in Minnesota for 3 weeks in May and hauling a piano to our house (which is now updated with a photo), among other things lately) Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday: Broccoli pasta (originally found through the Grocery Cart Challenge website)

Tuesday: Sausage & wild rice casserole (my own original recipe inspired from MN-made ingredients)

Wednesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches & Parmesan garlic broccoli, carrots & cauliflower bake

Thursday: Cold tuna pasta & bread (church has been giving away lots of yummy bread)

Friday: Pancakes & eggs (I'm off to dinner with some friends that night & this is a great meal for hubby & kids to make.)

Really, that wasn't so hard, was it? Sigh. So perhaps the other things won't be so hard, either!

Are there long-term changes you have seen in your life?


1 comment:

  1. Very inspiring post! One thing that took me awhile (but that I've been doing for many years now) was to get up and make my bed first thing in the morning. Now I cannot imagine NOT making it. I'm gonna check that website out. I only have myself and my son at home, but I'm sure it would still be helpful.

    Be blessed my friend.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...