The Plan: Month Two, Week Five

(Don’t forget to check my itty bitty giveaway…)

I am the world’s worst housekeeper. I really am. And somehow I got myself married to a man who likes to clean, so he’s a total enabler.

It isn’t actually that I won’t clean. It’s that I have a really high tolerance for disorder and chaos. I’m the oldest (by a lot) of nine kids. I have six…yes SIX…little brothers, five of whom are from ten to thirteen years younger than me. It was either gain a tolerance for chaos or lose my mind, right? (Interestingly, the library that resides in my bathroom is the one real strong remainder from my growing up years. The bathroom was literally the only place where I could be alone for a few minutes. So I read there. Curled up in the bathtub a lot of the time.)

My progress toward my housekeeping theme this month has been subtle, but I think significant. I’ve made an effort to do the dishes every night. We don’t have a dishwasher, and Kevin will wash them if I don’t (without complaining much. His OCD streak actually makes him think they’re cleaner if he does them himself.) And really, since we both work and I do all the cooking, I think him doing the dishes is fair. But I’ve still made an effort. They aren’t always all done, but at least they aren’t piled to the faucet.

Because my small change for February is to make my own cleaning supplies, I’ve been busy since yesterday getting that done. Or trying to. One part of it is turning into a Lucy-and-Ethyl type fiasco. I’ll post about it tomorrow. But in the name of testing things out, every flat surface in my kitchen is shimmering and shiny clean right now. And I’ve done three loads of laundry.

I’m loving how The Plan is evolving for me. I’ve been reading Cold Antler Farm lately. And I’m seeing how each part of my plan can move me closer to what I want. How spending a morning, like I did today, making marmalade out of carrots that I rescued by grating and freezing when they started to wilt, is as much a part of my plan as anything else. I’m not sure what I expected when I first came up with the idea for The Plan. Maybe just a way to organize my thoughts and goals. But it’s becoming something more to me. It’s taking shape and molding to fit my life, and I love it.

If I see my little farm in front of me, not abstract but something concrete and a finite distance away, then every step I take from here to there is a step closer. Every wash cloth I crochet to put in my Etsy store when I get it open again, every researched recipe for goats milk soap or thrifted vintage dress, it all brings me closer. It brings my whole family closer. And giving up gluten, so that I actually have the energy to take care of the goats when I get them, is important. Decluttering my house is important. And it all moves us forward.

And you know what the sugar on my cake is? The comments from you guys. Or seeing on my site tracking page that someone has come to my blog and read through a bunch of my posts. That makes me so happy that I sometimes actually dance (which does illicit comment from the peanut gallery, but that’s okay. I like to dance!) I have a tendency to isolate myself, to not let people outside my family get close to me. Thank you for not letting me feel alone.

Here is the progress I made on my mini-goals this week:

  • Self-care (Bake one batch of perfect Gluten-free cookies.) I need to order flours, because we decided not to go to Vegas. I haven’t baked cookies. But I did put the rest of the flour I did have into pre-made bread and pizza dough packets so that all I have to do is add wet ingredients and yeast and I’m good to go. I made some bread today.
  • Frugality (Don’t waste any food for the month of February.) I’ve done well with this. The key for us is to try to avoid a lot of left overs, and to not forget what produce I have in the  fridge.
  • Simplicity (Figure out three stressors in my life, and three ways to minimize them.) I think I’m avoiding this goal, because my main stressor, by far is my work and I’m not ready to face that yet.
  • Sustainability (Buy higher-quality, ethically-sound meat and eat less of it. Also, continue to participate in the One Small Change challenge. This month’s change is to use natural, homemade cleaners.) I’ve done real well here. I have avoided buying the meats that give me the skeeves. The only meat I’ve bought this week is polish sausage from Falls Brand, which is a nearly-local independent farmer that ensures me that their products, while not organic, are also not disgusting. Before I would have paid $3 or so for one of those one-pound packages of polish sausage that has two big links in it. This was a 24-ounce package of eight smaller sausages (smoked) for $7. The frugalista in me tried to rebel. But in the end, the sausages tasted really good. And I was way more mindful of how much I put in my recipe. So we’ll get two meals out of that package.
  • Life-long learning (Make a project out of the fantastic book I have to review for you (I’m such a tease!) and review the book.) Yay! This is already done. And I’ve donated a set of the little bag-recycler bags to Hip Mountain Mama to use as a prize for the small change challenge. I have at least one more sewing project up my sleeve for February. Stay tuned.
  • Joy  (To earn enough from freelance writing to pay my $250 fee to Goddard that’s due on Valentine’s Day and to pay for my plane ticket to Vermont for my residency in April.) Slowing plugging along here. I plan on doing some writing this weekend.
  • Forgiveness (To practice thought-stopping techinques (visualization especially) when I find myself getting in a loop of anger over something I should have forgiven.) I’ve really tried to do a mind-over-matter techniques this week when I felt my job starting to overwhelm me. I’m really struggling with some things that happened at my job at the end of December that have to be forgiven or they will make me crazy.
  • Housekeeping (Complete my February challenges!) Working on it.
  • Career (Write for pleasure two hours a week.) I am really looking forward to doing this on Sunday. In fact, I’ve decided that Sunday mornings are my write for pleasure mornings.
  • Spirituality (I’m going to look for an online UU community.) I still haven’t done this. What is making me resist it?
  • Relationships (Write a letter to mail to each of my brothers and sisters during this month.) I need to start collecting up all their addresses (yes, it’s very sad that I don’t already have them!)

    Filed under body, mind

    4 responses to “The Plan: Month Two, Week Five

    1. What a great post! Sounds like things are going well!! You go girl!

    2. ephemere17

      I love how organized you are in your planning, and how you have specific goals. You are very inspiring!

      I just love this blog! It is so a reflection of the things I am trying to do in my own life–you just elucidate so much better than I could!!

      Devon @Defining Devon

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