Friday, August 31, 2012

September's strategy

There has been a lot of talk around here that begins with "we should". Since September is like the beginning of another new year we decided to make September 1st the day to put these "shoulds" into action and we have come up with a plan.

We need to overhaul our finances, food and habits. It's a lot to take on but it's just for a month so we can do it. Hopefully some new habits will stick and we will continue them after the month is up.

Here's our September plan:

* Follow this month's menu plan. Substitutions made from what we already have in the freezers or cupboards to use what we have rather than buying more

* No restaurants, take out, junk food snack runs except for one dinner date night and one dessert date night.

* Consolidate shopping to two days per week or to times we are already out for another reason

* Have at least eight no spend days during the month

* Hang out the laundry to dry as often as weather permits

* Donate at least one garbage bag of items from the house

* Walk the Littles to and from school as often as time and weather permit

* Walk to and from the gym on days that time and weather allow

I feel that all of our goals are interlinked and each will have a cascade effect. Hopefully by the end of September we will be healthier, the house will be emptier and we'll have saved a little bit of money!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aftermath... new focus...striving for balance

The aftermath of losing the baby has not been pretty. It's been hell on earth. Since my miscarriage I feel like my world, once again, has been thrown off its axis. I've been reeling. I have gone into a dark and terrifying place where I feel like I've been wandering in a fog with no idea how to escape. Little by little I am escaping.The shock of the pregnancy threw me, the shock and devastation of the miscarriage almost destroyed me. The guilt and pain overwhelmed me. The resulting surgery and infection took a toll physically. But now each day I find myself physically stronger and slowly crawling from the fog. This time of year helps. It's my favourite "new year" of the year. The first cool days of August arrive and I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose. I find myself motivated to make changes and move forward.  I'm adjusting and finding new focus every area of my life, not forcing anything, just letting it progress naturally.

This time of year I get more organized. Starting with the first cool days in August I start cooking more and baking bread and snacks. I always say I'm a better mom once the weather cools down because I will start using the stove and oven again. Every fall I start a new menu plan and actually stick with it. I dust off my housework schedule that was ignored during the hot weather. This year I think I'll make a home management binder in my quest for more organization.

For some unknown reason at the end of August I start hanging my laundry out to dry again. Why I don't do it all summer I'm not quite sure. Most likely the main reason is I despise heat. I don't like hanging out laundry only to come in so sweaty I've just created more laundry. In the last three days I've done six loads of laundry and only used the dryer for about ten minutes. I like that.

I'm back at the gym almost every day. Actually, this morning I am not going to the gym to work out. As everyone who knows me well utters a communal gasp of shock I will explain. Yesterday I did a killer workout for an hour and a half. Today my hips and lower back are screaming in protest. Normally I would push myself and go to the gym anyway but I am trying to find balance in my life. What good will all these workouts do if I injure myself and can't walk for several weeks? So this morning I am home stretching and breathing. I'm more active in every day life and trying to be more realistic in my workouts.

Last night I issued a new rule: At ten p.m. our door is closed. We will only answer it (or answer texts) if it is a 911 worthy emergency. If you walk in you might find yourself in need of therapy so don't come in.  I'm hoping this will give us some more time alone to reconnect since the events of the summer have put such a strain on us each individually and as a couple. I am mulling over ideas for cheap dates and ways to connect daily.

In less than two weeks all five kids will be in school. Since Junior Kindergarten is a part time program of full days every-other-day-ish I will be given a gift of nine days a month with no kids at home. At first this freedom put me into a panic. Now I choose to embrace it. Between September and June I have been given the gift of approximately eighty days (give or take for holidays) of time to work on myself. I've been a stay at home mom for seventeen years and now I get some time to work on me. I'm not entirely sure what that looks like. I've been looking after everyone else for so long it feels selfish to look after myself. If any of my friends suggested such a thing I would shoot them an incredulous look and explain to them that it's not selfish, it's necessary. I'd give that speech about putting on your own oxygen mask on a plane before helping others. I need to start talking to myself apparently. I want to work on my writing. I'd like to learn my fancy camera properly since right now it's being used as a cumbersome point and shoot. I want to get the house organzied yet again. I'm actually getting excited at the prospect of having enough time to do what I need to do and have time for what I want to do.

This is the beginning of a new year. It's the beginning of another new chapter in my life. I wonder where life will send me now.