Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hard day's night

There are moments when you just need to be an adult. While I love being grown up and love being an adult, sometimes I hate the responsibility and the jobs that pile up. I love the freedom that comes with adulthood. I love the things in our life as well, but to make it all keep going it involves discipline and hard work. 

I have a few goals:
  • to be healthy for when I get pregnant
  • to run my home well: creating a comfortable space for those that live there and visit there, feeding my household and friends inexpensive, tasty and healthy food, and keeping a tidy, organized and clean house.
  • to run my life well: not missing deadlines, taking advantage of good opportunities and deals, living with margin and living out of love.
These things bring much joy, but to make them happen I must be disciplined. Oh discipline is hard for me! 

Yesterday I rode my bike to and from work - that choice (to get out of bed and put on my gear and leave) felt so hard. As I rode I could hear Paul's encouraging coaching voice in my head - as I hit hard hills I chose to recall his encouragements from our last joint ride. 
"You can do it! Go baby go! Just to the top of the hill. One more block! Push it!" 

This morning Paul needed to drive in to work - normally I would go with him and not cycle. I decided that's what I would do. I deserve a break, right? I woke up with a sore back and light rain outside. Of course I won't cycle. And then the reminder...my sore back feels better with a bike ride. My choice to not cycle causes me physical discomfort, just as much as the choice to cycle causes my muscles discomfort as they work. The rain will feel great on the bike ride in. And so I grab my things and head to my bike - the ride in is great - I listen to worship music and for a moment, the disciplined choice is only joy. (Note, the ride home [all uphill] will be much harder and less joy filled but still worth it).

I get to work and realize I'd run out of my low calorie but oh so tasty breakfast. Dang it. No replacements in sight. I trek down to the salad bar for a hard boiled egg - no luck, they're not open yet. I pull out Timmies and McDonalds nutrition apps and pick the item that is lowest in calories and eat that - I won't pretend it wasn't tasty, it was. But it wasn't the sausage and egg mcmuffin I wanted - and yet I know that the health feels good. It's not just trying to be skinny or something - it's wanting to be healthy - to be able to walk up stairs without being winded and play with my nephews and be healthy to carry a baby when we're blessed with that. THAT motivation needs to be in the forefront. 

I got home at 6 last night and started pulling dinner together. I took stock of the fridge as I did so - it was a zoo. For the last two weeks I've not had time to organize it - we've had back to back parties with lots of guests putting things away and there is no rhyme or reason for what's going on in there. There's a sinking feeling that tells me that I"ll be staying up late organizing the fridge after grocery shopping to fit the food in it. That's the rub when feeding large groups of people - there are 7 people staying in our home this week - 7 people for dinner, 7 individual lunches, 7 breakfasts and many snacks. That fills up a fridge soundly.

After dinner the gang (our amazing students and my husband) do the dishes and I portion leftovers into lunches thankful that between Sundays greek orzo salad and Mondays Cheesy Noodles with Broccoli there is enough for every single lunch - all 7! Praise the Lord. 

It's then time to make my grocery list. I think through what I need for the next week and a half - including some time away where easy lunches must be made. Stop to pick up the recyclable bags on my way to the car (it's the little things - they are so easy to forget!) and head out with Paul to Richmond - he goes to home depot and I carry on to Costco. I get to buy new knives (woot!) and still hit my budget (well close to it, budget of $250, I spend $251.55). Then it's back to Home Depot to pick up Paul and head to Superstore - $70 dollars later we are headed home and ready for a normal week, and a weekend away. Lots of prep to be done when I leave town. 

We're tired. We don't talk most of the way home. When we arrive I lean my head on Paul's chest and we sit - knowing that there is a mountain of groceries to sort and unpack, food to prep to be put away and Oh how we just want to go to bed. We bump fists and start to work. 

I take the first load up, unlock the back door (so Paul can begin carrying heavy bags up) and then get to work. The fridge is crazy full but so disorganized that I know we're not even remotely optimizing the space. Out came all the condiments and dressings. The door shelves get reorganized - a shelf of condiments for hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches. One shelf of asian spices and other dipping sauces. I fill a fridge container with all of our salad dressings and another container with different pickle types, sundried tomatoes and the like. The slide in easy finally looking like they are home. Immediately there is a ton more space in the fridge. This reminds me that I must label each area so that these things return to these place. Then I begin the Tetris game that is fridge organizing and stocking - things must fit but also be accessible. Things are stored by size but also type. I know, I know it sounds anal....but it's a small fridge and we have a lot of food!

By the time I go to bed the fridge has space even with all the new food added. I've got a plan to take the ground beef I bought and throw it in the crockpot, though that will wait for tuesday night when I'm actually home for 4 hours to do so. One evening this week I'll cook chicken breasts in the crockpot also and then have meat to leave for the weekend. The kitchen is clean (thanks to our amazing housemates) and the fridge is organized. All groceries are put away - phew. 

Oh but then I notice all the asian noodles I bought (you're welcome Jessie!) - I head to the pantry to put them away. Oops...the pantry looks just like the fridge did after weeks of disorganized use. I shove the noodles in and walk away - looks like the pantry will need to be added to Friday's to do list. 

As I go to sleep I'm thankful for the help and support of friends and of Paul. I'm thankful for a full fridge, a clean fridge. I may wish my pantry was less of a disaster, but I know it's only a disaster because we have parties here, and we have life here, and we have way too much food here. This is a good problem to have. And this past week is proof - nobody dies just because my pantry is a mess. In fact, since the doors close, most people don't even know. My dirty little secret is safe....until I post it here :)

Before we go to sleep we pray together. Set my alarm. Insert Ear Plugs. Knowing that tomorrow will be full of more of the same: of the promise of a full life, the reality of the work it takes, and the joy of knowing we've been given another day, another breath, to do it all in.

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