The past couple weeks I’ve had so much more time off than I am used to. Last year for most of the year I would regularly have one day off sometimes 2 and if I was really lucky I might be able to take a long weekend off. Now with the change in my job situation I have 3-4 days off at a time and it is glorious! I’m still a bit stressed about a lack of shifts at work but I’m counteracting that stress with being very intentional with my spending and time.
For groceries I try and make our meal plans for the week out of what we already have here. It takes the question from “what do I want to make for supper?” to “what do we have in the house that I can make for supper?” It’s really amazing what you can make – whole nutritious meals – with what you already have on hand. It does require a small amount of creativity and improvisation sometimes but 90% of the time it works just fine. Over the last year I’ve transitioned most of our foods to organic when possible which means that it is more expensive to buy. Admittedly we spend quite a bit of our budget on food but when I’ve thought about this recently I can’t imagine not buying the quality we buy just to save money. So that means I just need to make some sacrifices else where – no more buying daily coffees (it really helps that I bought myself a Chemex last year), I think twice even three times before buying ANYTHING (do I need it? Do I really need it? Will I use it this week? – if not then I don’t REALLY need it).
Along with being careful about our food budget I’m finding on my days off that I’m just not going out all the time. On my days off before I would be out and about, usually spending money somewhere. The past couple weeks I’ve only wanted to stay home, I can’t even think of something I’d like to do instead. I was thinking about this this morning because when I talk to new moms I always say – “make sure you get out everyday, even just for a walk. It’ll be so good for your mental health.” I wondered where I was mentally because I have no desire to leave the house – it’s usually a red flag for me. I did a quick self evaluation of my own mental health compared to a few weeks ago just before writing this post and the difference really is night and day. Mentally I’m in such a better place, instead of needing to go, go, go and do, do, do I’m content to just BE. I think mentally and physically I’ve just been subconsciously using this time off to recover from the past year of insaneness. I’ve been soaking in every second I can with Ezekiel and usually just staring in wonder at the creation he is, thankful for each moment spent with him. Oh I still have so much to do even at home and slowly I’m tackling those projects (2 years of filing oy!) but I am just so content.
Sometimes we need to be forced out of what we think is the best situation for ourselves in order to see how destructive it really was, or maybe it’s not completely destructive but there’s something so much better out there. I’m so thankful for the past year – even though there were so many difficulties. In the day to day moments I really enjoyed what I was doing and most importantly I was able to provide for my family. I expanded my knowledge and experience as well as learned new things about myself (clinic nursing is not my favourite, I still want to pursue my dreams etc.). It’s hard to see the 360 degree view when we have our blinders on to get through the days.
There’s a theme in my life (and in yours) that I keep seeing time and time again.
God is here, He cares, and He’s in control.