Today is my friend's birthday. I wonder if she's still my friend as we haven't spoken in years. When she was expecting her first we threw a shower for her. My feelings were deeply hurt when she didn't inform me that the baby had been born. I've never met either of her children and I believe it's been about a decade since her oldest arrived. I went on Facebook and left without wishing her a happy birthday. Today I'm letting go of the past hurt. She has her life and I have mine. We had some good times together, perhaps our paths will cross at some future point in time, but today is not that day for me. There were times when we shared things and I thought that she was a friend, but there were several other times when our behaviors were immature. Sometimes letting go is the right thing to do.
Yesterday we worked on a menu for the week. At first there was resistance. The girls complained about having to decide in advance what they were going to eat. I felt like giving up, but stuck with it. Next time I'll go into the kitchen, open up the fridge and pantry to see what we have in there that we can use. My plan was to go grocery shopping after the girls finished the dishes, but they're still sitting on the counter. I didn't plan that very well. Next time I'll ask if they want help with the dishes or if they'd rather do them by themselves. After walking the neighbor's dog I read an article about recharging and the importance of taking breaks to improve resiliency.
I laid down on the couch, slept for several hours, and dreamt about events that I can no longer remember. Far too often I get stressed out, bogged down, and turn to unhealthy coping habits. It's a gorgeous day here. The skies are blue with fluffy white clouds, there's a bit of a breeze blowing the tree leaves around. Friday evening I was telling my neighbor how I had always had a vision of myself living in an old farmhouse or cottage with a large garden in back. The mosquitoes have been terrible this year, but if I had the hobby farm life I would have to get up every morning to do chores regardless of the weather. I've failed my children by allowing us to sit at home in front of electronics rather than getting out and exploring the world. Last night we took a very short walk around the block which was welcome progress.
It took me a while to wake up and move away from the couch. My daughter came to ask where the menu was, talking to me when I still had my eyes closed. I consider this behavior to be very rude. Sleep is a precious commodity to me, particularly the needed deep and refreshing kind I was currently indulging in while on the couch. When I first laid on the couch I asked her to turn off the fan which I had forgotten to do. She moved the remote away from me, and then laid on top of me. We snuggled for a few minutes before she laid next to me. Sometimes she surprises me by doing things like that. I've had several dreams lately, this is encouraging because for a long time I didn't remember any of my dreams.
The menu is very important because I was able to include my children in the planning process. It gave us some time together, and as we know there's a famous quote about failure to plan. It may not seem as if it's linked to saving money initially, but if you go to the store armed with a list of things you need, and you stick to the list, you will be better off than if you head to the store armed with your debit card and no plan. Trust me on this one. Multiply by some factor if you take children with you as most of them will lobby for items you wouldn't be purchasing without them. Another cool thing about the menu was plugging the nutrition gaps.
As an example, my daughter was going to have a sandwich, chips, and an apple for lunch. I told her I felt she was light on veggies and persuaded her to add a carrot to that meal. A major obstacle that the menu prevents is being overly restrictive as I've done so often in the past. I want to be done fighting about food. Yesterday my oldest asked if we could buy cream cheese for fruit dip. I love cream cheese and fruit dip, but Jill and I both have dairy allergies. She threw the phrase about me not caring what she ate in my face to which I responded that while I can't control what she chooses to eat outside of the house, I have the power to limit my purchases to categories that are safe for me.
It was kind of a lot of work to write out three different meal plans for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the time and energy investment was well worth it even if we end up varying from the plan which is likely inevitable as it's new and we'll be learning as we go. I found myself agreeing to have what the kids did at times when they were eating foods I can have. Might as well make two smoothies as long as the blender is out. My oldest was better about this than my youngest, but she did a bit of this too. We were able to talk through things like was there enough pasta in the fridge to feed three people for a meal? We decided there wasn't and were able to come up with some solutions. Make more, have someone eat something else, etc...
I want similar schedules for chores. I'm also going to talk to the girls about game time and a craft/art schedule in addition to an activity/exercise plan. We're way too passive when it comes to our lives. We eat whatever whenever and drift along in front of our various screens. I feel like I've done and discovered something significant and cool which is exciting. I'm still tired today, drowsy is probably the better word for it. In many ways it's a great feeling, much of the anxiety I normally have is gone. I spent way too much on groceries these past few months and am hoping that this helps counter that. Apparently writing things down does something to my brain, so I guess that while I wish it was otherwise, I'm going to celebrate this success and look forward to reaping the rewards of a better system.