30 December 2013

Finding your Clean Sink


As I've turned into an old woman (which I clearly am), I've discovered patterins (not a typo, just quoting my child) in my world and in the world of those around me.  One of the ones I continue to see is that when life is insane, the way out of that external insanity and the way to hold on to some inner peace - is to find your regulating activity that makes it all better. 

For some, this is exercise.  The world may be falling down around a person, but if he can get in his morning run, he can begin to regain control or, at the least, not lose his mind to the crumbling columns.   For some, this is folded laundry.  For some, a regular reading quiet time.  For some, it is prayer and meditation. 

There is a woman on the internet - the fly lady, I believe - who says that if you'll just go to bed every night with a clean sink, you'll be able to begin to form new habits that will save you from chaos.  There is something to that - there has to be an external reality to make us all feel better.

There are three things I do when I need to regain control:

1) Pray a rosary.
2) Purge / fill my calendar.
3)  Plan my meals. 

When I was pregnant with Ada Brooks, I took on praying an Anglican rosary based on the work of Julian of Norwich.  It was a great spiritual discipline and still is my go-to (the Anglican rosary, not necessarily the one based on Julian) when I don't know where to turn.  You can pray anything in rosary format - the Psalms are especially wonderful for this. It's repetitive and structured and God has faithfully used it to restore my soul. 

When the calendar has wrong events on it or is missing right ones, I feel out of control.  So, when I feel out of control, after I've prayed, I sit down and make sure the next week is correct.  It makes everything go so much more smoothly - both internally and externally - when the calendar is right.  My friends poke fun at me about this (I do take it a bit too far...), but with four (!) little ones and a busy husband and many a project going, it is important for us to all be able to see a schedule. 

And, then, finally, and that is the point of this post - when meals are planned in advance, everyone is happier.  We eat more healthfully, we spend less money, and, and this is the point, we begin to restore order.  Again, both internal and external order.  If a menu is posted - somewhere - somehow - we will do better.  It is an inescapable reality of the Forster home.  And I'd venture we aren't alone.  Americans are undernourished and overfed and always running and never being still.  Eating at home is the solution to so much of this.  And, it doesn't have to be fayncee.  In fact, it's best not, right?  Foodies don't make great family feeders.  They often make great entertainers, but when I begin to foodie it up, my family doesn't benefit.  I regularly ask them what they'd like and all four of the ones who can talk request the basics.  Bean Burritos, Spaghetti, Grilled Chicken.  

So, it is important to figure out what your Clean Sink is exactly -  is it some piece of devotional life?  Is it reading the paper?  Is it making sure at least the math homework gets done?

Is it meal planning? 

If so, join me as we get back to responsible lives of one-trip-to-the-grocery-per-week, a budget - both in calories and in cash, and discipline. 

Over the next four weeks, I'm challenging myself to a menu planning discipline.  I'd love for anyone to join me.  If you want to join, just send me an email -  ann dot lowrey at gmail dot com. 

Each Wednesday evening -  01/01, 01/08, 01/15, 01/22, you'll send a menu plan to me via email.  It will include the plan for your family to eat supper - even if one of those says "Thursday - pizza from Papa Johns"  -

Just looks like this:

Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday - Gumbo, french bread, green salad, chocolate pie (company)
Saturday  - Cheese Soup and big green salad
Sunday - Pick up Chinese for adults / mac and cheese for kids
Monday - Bean Burritos
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Wednesday - Pizza at Church

My goals for myself are going to be healthier, quicker, cheaper.  You might have different ones.  But, the real goal is just to get it done. 

I'll compile them, anonymously, and we can all benefit the following week from our friends' work the week before.  I'll also try to work on some tips that have helped me and send them out as well.  I'll also send an email to all the participants saying who all managed to get theirs done on time...  ;) 

My thought is that if you commit to do it, it will be like having a workout buddy - you'll feel worse if you fail to show up than if you just fail to do it for your own household. 

Let me know by Wednesday! 

Cheers to a productive new year! 

(Now...who is going to do this for exercise regimen?)

No comments:

Post a Comment