Friday, September 7, 2012

Cravings


I am finding myself being drawn to a simpler, calmer and more peaceful way of life lately. 
It started when I began hanging out the laundry. I realize instead of dreading laundry I am enjoying it. It is a quiet activity, I'm in the sunshine and my attention is focused on just one thing. When I started baking more often I felt the same feeling of peace as I was kneading bread.  These activities require me to focus and engage in just that activity rather than trying to do several things at once. Perhaps that is why I am finding peace in them. My mind calms, some of the constant pain I am in reduces as my body relaxes. Multi-tasking has become such a part of my life I didn't realize how much it increased my stress level.

The craving for peace has taken over my thoughts. I crave the quiet, the time to focus, the calm, the peace. How do I achieve that in a chaotic world in a large and busy family? I believe small steps are the way to go.

Instead of tv shows playing on my laptop in the background as I go about my day I have switched to playing music, often classical. Sometimes I turn off the music and the only sound in the background are those of the activity in the house and the sounds coming from the window. 
I am keeping the air conditioner off unless it gets unbearably hot. I find the noise it makes annoying and unsettling. Better to sweat than having a constant sound grating on my nerves.

Because of our current financial crisis I will be seeking out more ways to simply life and reduces our expenses, I believe these changes will in turn increase my peace.

Carving out a new daily routine now that I have a few days a month without kids home is contributing to me feeling more peaceful. I feel comfort and security in knowing the plan for the next few hours or days. As the days march on a routine for exercise, cleaning, cooking and personal activities is forming. The rhythm of the days and tweaking the routine as needed are having a positive impact on my thought process as I go through the day. 

Peace, it's my craving and my focus. I am enjoying this journey toward a more peaceful and contented life. I look forward to seeing where this will lead me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I get knocked down (but I get up again?)


Why is it every time I think I'm getting a handle on things something comes along to knock me down again? I keep getting knocked down, I keep trying to get up again but it is getting harder and harder to get back up. I feel as though my emotional responses are just shutting down again and I'm going into "robot mode" trying to deal with life.

Due to a cascade of events today I found out our income this month is about half of normal. This was a bit of a shock. (How's that for the understatement of the year?)  We had made a strategy for September to try to simplify and save some money. Now instead of "let's implement these ideas so we can save money" it has now become "let's implement these ideas because having gas to get to work and feeding the kids seems like a good idea".

So as of today I will stepping up the September strategy. Instead of consolidating shopping to one or two days a week we will be avoiding stores as many days as possible, buying only what is absolutely essential that I can't make myself. 
I will be revamping the menu plan so we do not have to buy anything for our meals other than fresh fruit and vegetables and milk. I have a fair amount of baking supplies so hopefully they will last. We will be walking everywhere possible to save on gas. The priority has to be having enough gas for the drive to and from work.  I'll continue to hang out the laundry, though that isn't really saving money in the short term. I'm a little overwhelmed but I know this is doable.

I've been pretty zen about this. Initially I almost fell apart but quickly gathered myself together again and started planning instead.  With one exception, I'm feeling okay with taking up the challenge to live on such a reduced budget for the rest of the month.  Our get away is cancelled, which is sad. We were going to go to Algonquin and spend the weekend hiking. Honestly this is upsetting me the most. We really needed to get away and reconnect. We haven't had time alone at all since we reconciled, we haven't had time together to process everything that has happened this summer. I guess this is another challenge we need to take on...how to connect in the craziness of life. I think I should start brainstorming free date ideas.  
** My fabulous friend Jenn, after reading this post, sent me a couple links to cheap date ideas. Here they are!

20 Pocket-Change Date Night Ideas

and
Free As Can Bee: Creative and FREE Date Night Ideas

Now if only I could get that Chumbawumba song out of my head while I pick myself up again.