Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Make your life easier

I don't know anyone who doesn't want to make life a little easier on themselves. How we go about it tend to differ from person to person, though. Here are a few things I've found to help smooth our family's wrinkles:
  • Don't snack. I have a confession to make - I am a professional snack-er (it's a shame I don't get paid for it). I could eat all. day. long. For real. However, my metabolism isn't what it was 20 years ago and my waist (or current lack thereof) can't cope with the extra food. Then, of course, there's the six little people who call me "mom" - they inherited my love of food and my habits. I was finding it positively stressful to keep them in food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus at least 2 snacks a day! Then I remembered this book I read earlier this year and how the French don't really snack, and I thought, "If a whole country of people can live without snacks, I think we probably can, too." And you know, it's worked! We all eat better at our meals because we're hungrier for them, and there are less food-breaks in the day, which means less food prep, less clean up, and less money at the store! Hopefully, it'll eventually mean less numbers on the scale, too...
  • Meal plan. I know most people know that they should plan dinners and do so, but recently I've been planning our breakfasts and lunches, too. It's a rolling plan - every Monday lunch is this kind of sandwich, Wednesday is soup day, etc. It means less money at the store (again) because you don't need to rely on cereal and lunch meat everyday, and it fosters a little creativity in the kitchen. I know my family appreciates that.
  • Know when to multi-task and when not to. I know there's a lot said about how multitasking is bad for us (like here and here and here), and I know that it's a concept that many of us are somewhat addicted to. So, here's my thought - know when you can spare the mental space to multitask, and when to be fully "in the moment". I've recently been spending 20 - 30 minutes on the exercise bike every morning, so I've been reading on the Kindle while I cycle. It's been a good time for me to get some regular exercise and get some reading in - and I'm more faithful to workout when I've got a book I'm into. That's a good time to multitask. A good time to be fully in the moment is when my child is talking to me. Heaven help me, this isn't easy for me. I have to often stop what I'm doing and look at them. This is especially helpful for me, as I struggle to hear them when there is a lot of background noise, so making eye contact when they are speaking really helps me to tune into what they're saying. Trying to continue typing at the computer while my son is showing me his Lego creation would not be fully engaging and a poor attempt to multitask. Ahem.
What is something you do to make your life a little easier?