It is alright to find four simple, inexpensive meals to cook and make them over and over again. It may not be alright to make those same four meals with the same two ingredients over and over and over and...over again. This week we have have eaten shredded chicken five ways (Shredded Chicken with Green Chile! Shredded Chicken with Tomato sauce! Shredded Chicken on Tortilla! Shredded Chicken over Rice! Shredded Chicken with Shredded Chicken!) and pinto beans one way (Ranch Style, Extra Salt Pork). The situation has become so dire that Margaret's eyes become round with worry anytime I open the fridge. Today at lunch over a bowl of pinto beans she said, "Oh, more beans! Someday will there be something else?"
No. No there will not
A clean house makes for a happy home. I am not talking eat off the baseboards, my that fan has never seen an ounce of dust clean. That is territory this adventurer has never explored. This clean is of the happy to ignore the toys under the kids bed, no dishes in the sink variety. I know. Aim high, Meg. But here is the thing, it is working for me. Beautifully. I cannot create school lunches in an excessively messy world, let alone anything of a lasting nature. Sometimes the relief from a mental block can be found in simply rearranging the pillows and rinsing some flatware.
I can do that.
And finally, sometimes we just need someone to show us the possibility in a seemingly impossible situation. I have had a bit of a rough patch trying to figure out the logistics behind a four person family living in a 2 bedroom, 900 square foot home. In my head and heart I am happy with our decision to live a bit smaller right now. I like putting money into our savings account. The constrained space has taught me about the importance of deliberate living. Theoretically, I am happy to accept the challenge of doll house sized living. And then. I can't figure out how to make the girls itty bitty room a space for sleeping and playing. There is always the classic (and recurring) crisis of one person in the restroom while two others really, really need to go. And then of course, we have Sunday afternoons when I can't seem to get away from anyone and I swear if I have to sit and look at the faces of the people dearest to me for one more instant I might scream.
My parents know that I have been struggling. (They may have been tipped off my my bi-weekly hysterical crying phone calls about the matter, but really...who's to say.) Last Friday night they showed up on our doorstep with boxes of miniature house sized IKEA kids furniture. A roomful of cute and practical solutions packaged with hard to read instructions. Riley spent the next day putting it all together.( I didn't hear him curse once. Can we all just sigh and admire his restraint?) After some rearranging and giving away and hmmmm, maybe the bed would look better here, I stood in the door of my babies room and breathed. Everything had a place. The toys had a box, the clothes had their shelves and my girls sleepy heads had their pillows. For the first time in months my home didn't feel too small. Sometimes the space we are in- physically, mentally, spiritually- really is enough. We just need to get in there and reorganize, refresh, look at the same old thing with new eyes. And then breathe.
Don't forget to breathe.
Have a great weekend.