I love holidays, but they are a bit of work to pull off. I often wonder if I like the aftermath of holidays better. Things are still relatively neat, everyone is still feeling the happy after effects of a nice holiday, and the to do list is shorter. It feels as though I can slow down a bit and take a breath.
Usually after that breath, though, I look around to discover all the things that got pushed to the sidelines while I focused on holiday preparations. Monday was spent writing a story that was ridiculously late and while my editor likes me, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be that late again for a good long time. Oh, and there was that neurosurgeon appointment, too. Yesterday was laundry. Well, actually, every day is laundry usually, but I gave myself a holiday from it, so when I went downstairs yesterday to finally deal with it, it was a pile of magnificent proportions. It's all sorted now, and should be back to manageable proportions in a couple of days.
Today? Well, besides a couple of errands, I plan on spending some time doing advance food preparation. As we slowly crawl back from the chaos of the past year and as our new normal, I'm realizing that part of my grocery budget problems are that I have done very little cooking from scratch this past year. (Well, that and the fact I recently read a newspaper article showing how the cost of staples, the groceries I usually buy, have indeed increased in price considerably.) This doesn't mean that I've been buying a lot of processed food, but there are different levels of processing and I certainly haven't been buying the least processed options for a while.
So what will I be working on? Well, we already need more hot cocoa mix, and currently that falls into the 'need' category for many small people. I've also been asked more than once to make a bunch of instant oatmeal mix. This makes for an easy and healthy breakfast, so I think I'll also work on making a few different types. When I'm really at the top of my game, I will spend a day a week making things that can go in the freezer... English muffins, other baked goods, stocks, etc. Usually this is more cost effective than buying these things and, especially in the case of stock, uses up food that wouldn't have been used.
I need to work on creating some new habits that will make the house run more smoothly and make me feel a little more in control. When there is so much out-of-control-ness swirling around me, it is important to find those little oases of order. It's a slow process, this carving out habits of regularity in the midst of chaos. To make it work, I also have to be willing to let the item on the schedule go when the chaos I live with loses its collective mind and needs me to help them calm down rather than go on with my to do list.
It's a tricky tightrope, this creating order and being able to release it for the greater good. I'm pretty sure it's why it's important I keep a large supply of cocoa mix on hand. It's always good for calming the chaos.
Oh, and that article that was so late? It's already published. Feel free to read and share... a lot. 6 Times My Adoption Support System was Awesome