To find a balance

What do I have to do to find a balance?

Work <> Home
Family <> Friends
Future Security <> Fun Now
Possessions <> Breathing Space

I start all Gung-Ho to clear it out, clean the house, win the war on clutter... then I get hung-up on each item as I sort, and the accumulating grit and grime and then get interrupted before I even get a good start by clients, family, friends or my daily chores that can't be ignored.

As much as I want MEASURABLE IMPROVEMENT every day, sometimes I just have to find peace in the knowledge that life is good. REALLY GOOD even with the clutter, even with the dirt and chores and even with the endless interruptions and distractions.

Now less take time to put it into perspective:

I have family that is close enough to ask for my time
I have clients that pay me to help them
I have friends that want me around
I have a house to clean
I have food to eat, people to cook for, clothes to wash, and more things than I even want!

As I look at these roadblocks to my perfectly decluttered life, I must see them for what they are.
These distractions are truly blessings. And that is the balance I am looking for.


Clean Living

January is traditionally a time for resetting the calendar and making promises to be a better person.

I am no exception. After the excess of the holiday I usually suffer a hangover of sorts from the buying frenzy, excess socializing and big foods. I don't want to sound like Scrooge here… I do enjoy it all -- in moderation.

I am keeping a food diary again….   It is a revealing exercise into my habits and encourages me to make better choices if I'm writing it down!

Focussing on the evening family meal, this is what we've done lately:

Moroccan rice stuffed tomatoes
Marinara Spaghetti
Cauliflower Cheese Soup (original Moosewood Cookbook version)
Pork Stirfry on noodles with LOADS of bright veggies)
Homemade Chili
BLT's with tomato soup and green salad
Fish tacos (soft)
Easy Quiche with cheddar, bacon, peppers, tomatoes (affectionate nicknamed "egg pie")
Stinging Nettle Basil Gnocchi
Calamari rings sauteed in garlic lemon served on wilted spinach with a side of brown rice

Sunday was a special event, my Father in Law brought dinner over: Braised lamb shanks with an amazing pureed vegetable sauce, sheeps-cheese & parsley mashed potatoes, herbed cauliflower and greek style green salad.

I prefer to look at my favourite grocery store sales flyer and make meal plans. But often to save a bit of money I will pick up on-date discounted meat and throw it right into the freezer and integrate those items into the menu too. So I have bought and tried some interesting things over the years. Good thing there are no picky eaters in this house!

The grocery store is like travelling the world! Products from around the globe to explore. A few inspirational ingredients and a quick search on the internet for the best recipe is my idea of a good time in the kitchen!


Bath time

Confession : I have 3 bathrobes.
A winter weight terry cloth one, a light short summer one and a modest between season one.
They.   Are.   All.  Hand-Me-downs. (from my sister)

The winter one was black with gold trim, it surely was elegant when it was new, but the black has faded and pilled and the gold is a bit frayed. It is so COMFY and very modest for lounging around with the kids so I have ignored its shortcomings - until now. I was suffering the stores out getting a pair of jeans for my growing teen and happened past a clearance rack with bathrobes. I found one that was ridiculously soft and cozy for under $15 at a store that I feel good about.

Long story short I have a new winter robe, brand new.

The old winter one is off to a different life as super-absorbent garage rags.

PS I did a deep sort of my youngest son's room yesterday and removed 2 grocery bags of broken bits and paper, as well as 2 decent boxes of forgotten toys that will be going to charity. His room functions better, and the dust rhinoceroses have been slain for now.