Monday, January 27, 2020

Meal planning woes in the existential search for structure

Hyrdation. Markers. Bullet Journal. #smug
I've been grasping at planners -- planners because I've always enjoyed filling out forms and grasping because I feel like implementing some structure will make everything okay.

David and I laughed about us doing all the major life-stressors just back to back to back. We got married in Kentucky one July, moved to Scotland the very next month, had a baby twelve months later, did another international move when said baby was seven weeks old, were unemployed for a year, got back on track, then decided to have another baby, who is a total delight, but I'm only learning about him now because shortly after he was born, both my parents got cancer and I nursed them to their home deaths, and then we moved again, but have been living out of suitcases since May 24, and basically, everything is really weird.

I recap all of this for you, mostly for me, to type out that, yes, I've been through a LOT recently, and it is okay to feel like I'm slowly emerging from a decade of stress and chaos. Anxiety tells me not to get complacent because control is an illusion, etc. 


I'm trying to focus on things I can control. Which I guess is my actions, and only my actions? Did I get that right? (Still hunting for a therapist who can prescribe and who takes my insurance, but I read a lot of novels, so I feel like I'm pretty good at extracting life lessons.)

For some reason, meal planning feels like it would solve all of my problems.

I used Fresh20 for three years, and I really liked it. Eighty percent of the meals were yummy (all of them needed salt), and it was nice knowing I always had the ingredients for supper in the kitchen on any given day.

When our au pair moved in, we stopped doing Fresh 20 because she loved to cook and her diet was drastically different. I really enjoyed having family dinners, but then life got too complex. Now our au pair keeps to herself, and I'm trying to figure out what home life will look like when she departs. (We will miss her terribly!)

I tried The Fresh20 again last week. It didn't work out for me because of schedule changes (maybe it's my weird last-minute gig schedule that makes structure difficult to apply?). I tried two of the mail-order meal kit things, and was just too freaked out by the amount of packaging to continue them (though it's a cool idea).

What do you families out there do? Do you just have Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Watermelon Wednesday, or whatever? And repeat the same dishes every week?

Who's got it all organized?

Of all the meal kits I tried, I liked the Purple Carrot recipes best (I need meals that are healthy), but I really really can't stand the plastic and the oil miles. I'd love to be able to create the perfect week of meals without any food waste AND without any plastic. I think I'm going to have to sit down some time, get all the recipes I liked and figure out how to buy a Purple Carrot-style meal-plan, but order it from Kroger. It may involved having a neighbor share with me because what if I only need one stalk of celery??? I'll report back with a grocery list and recipe cards if I ever get that organized.

Ugh. This just leads me to wondering why I didn't take HomeEc instead of IB Calculus? Harumph.

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