Ha! It is preposterous: I meant to talk about goals sooner than almost-the-end of the month. But you know, I’m busy and I’m practicing a nonjudgmental stance. I’m doing the best that I can with the skills that I possess. These are the intentions I’ve been holding this month:
- Use at least one new recipe a week. So far, so good! I was thinking that I wanted to do more cooking out of my cookbooks, but there have definitely been some pinterest recipes in the mix. So far we’ve done this spaghetti squash recipe, the two delicious soups I mentioned last time, a “tamale pie” from this cookbook that came out weird but was delicious, and these turkey burgers. For a potluck, I made this bangin’ flannel hash. My goal was not to photograph my food, so I did not do so, but our meals were awesome.
- Only buy groceries once a week as needed for recipes. This represents a shift in the way I’ve tended to buy groceries, which has been somewhat haphazardly or on-the-spot according to my mood. I believe that it will save us money in the long-run, but we’ll see how that goes when we add it all up. In any case, it feels very sane and orderly.
- Refrain from eating out. I’ve got to say, I’ve done pretty well with this. We did get biscuits for breakfast one crazy Saturday morning, but other than that, we’ve eaten at home for the most part. Next month I might see if I can refrain from buying lattes also. Having delicious leftovers at home has made it a lot easier to stay home and eat. (Also fun: “leftovers buffet” with a friend. A thrifty pal was happy to support my desire not to buy dinner at a restaurant meeting we were both attending, so she brought over some of her leftovers and helped us have a leftovers party. And then we bought beer at that meeting–I felt like that was an okay compromise.)
- Walk or bike to campus unless it’s raining. I have only had two opportunities to do this because classes just started back last week (and I’m only on campus twice a week). I am one for two on this one and will probably not make it tomorrow either because of my schedule. However, I think it’s a worthy goal and I will continue to aspire to it.
- Articulate my limits–say “no” to some things. I have done this! I backed off from a commitment I’d made in December to tutor a new student. I felt able to do that because I knew I wasn’t leaving the kid high and dry because I could recommend another tutor. I would like to get better at saying “no” even in the absence of a rescue plan. I
am genuinely horrible at itcould be more effective at practicing self care by limiting my obligations.
I like the idea of having time-limited monthly goals to “try on” and see if I’d like to incorporate for a longer amount of time. I think that I will definitely keep these and probably add one about my sugar intake for February. I’ve also been keeping up with my 365 project of mandala-doodling, with an almost-perfect record (not that perfection is the point). It’s been a good month! I would like to remember these things when I’m feeling overwhelmed with my last semester of grad school (which, to be fair to myself, is legitimately overwhelming for lots of reasons).
On the non-grad-school reading list is You Grow Girl by the same fabulous woman (Gayla Trail) who wrote Grow Great Grub, which I talked about last time. I am really stoked to start my garden. Last week–four days before we had a wintry mix–it was seventy degrees outside, so I spent some time mulching and generally tidying up my space. I’ve sent out an email to my fellow community gardeners to see if anyone wants to go in on a seeds order, but I haven’t heard from anyone yet. It’s not too long before I need to start up some seedlings, so I hope that someone bites soon before I buy way too many seeds just to get a variety.
And today I received Peace is Every Step in the mail, which is honestly not strictly “non-grad-school” reading (since I bought it to share pieces of it with a group I’m running this semester), but I figure a little mindfulness reading, no matter how requisite, is good for the soul. That is much of what I’m trying to make this blog about, anyway!
I feel good and whole.