February 15, 2014

Life continues to swirl at warp speed these days. I remember a time when January and February seemed to go on forever. I enjoyed all kinds of slow Saturday and Sunday afternoons writing poetry or knitting or reading or organizing the entire rest of the year. This is when I had three young daughters at home, so you would think now that I have no daughters at home most of the time I would be awash in even slower days full of all kinds of highly personalized pursuits. But no. I seem to fly by the seat of my pants and think off the top of my head nearly every swiftly passing moment. What’s up with that? I know I’m older and for some reason time seems to pass more quickly as we age, but really I think there’s more to it than that. Life is just busier.

In my pursuit of **FREE**dom this year I have come up with some grand ideas for making life simpler. The first one was to rid myself of all the sundry cookbooks I had acquired over 35 years by making copies of favorite and enticing untried recipes, then organizing them in plastic sleeves in a binder. I finished Phase 1 of this chore early in January. Most of my cookbooks went to recycling and I now have the three most important of six sections completed in my binder, along with a list of old favorites as well as new recipes to try at the beginning of each section. The rest of the recipes have been sitting in a heap on the kitchen table for over a month. The oomph I had on that one day in January unfortunately hit the road for who knows how long. On that same day I also made a basic meal plan for every day of the week.

>**Convenient Monday**–easy convenience foods
>**Crockpot Tuesday**
>**Whatever Wednesday**–we eat on our own since we aren’t together
>**Cook It Up Thursday**–stovetop or oven main dish
>**Frozen Leftover Friday**
>**Date the Mate Saturday**–OUT!
>**Soup/Sandwich/Salad Sunday**

Basically I choose meals from the lists of recipes for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and leave the rest to our moods. Leftovers are frozen in individual servings so the hubby and I don’t even have to eat the same thing on Fridays. Making the weekly grocery list is simpler with this system, but I seem to be developing a bad habit of using a barebones list to fly by the store on the run, picking up extras as I see them. This tends to negate the other meal related chore-simplifier I have put into effect–clipping coupons every Monday night so they don’t pile up and make me crazy.

Freedom is never free, as we have all heard, even on such a basic level as this.

I also decided to force myself to do some of those niggling chores that never seem to get done by placing them smack dab in my face. For me that smack dab place is the kitchen table. A piled up table distresses me. Or at least that’s how it used to affect me. Evidently somewhere along the line I overcame my tendency toward hissification over such things as evidenced by the pile of recipes that continue to sit there like a beached whale– a beached whale whose suffering blubber I pat once or twice a week with a whispered “I really ought to take care of you” as I trot on by. A week or so after depositing said recipe whale at one end of the table, I rounded up all my broken moose and placed them in the very center of that same table to annoy me until I mended them. (For those who may not know, I have been collecting moose for nearly 30 years–I have over 450 now–and antlers tend to break off rather easily.)

Once again the pitiful broken moosies caused nary an upturned eyebrow for three solid weeks! Last Monday I challenged myself to glue one moose every evening until all were mended, and that night I did indeed glue a moose. Such determination and discipline! Such a warm glow of accomplishment! Yes! I had this thing licked! On Tuesday I told the cleaning lady where I work about my grand achievement after so many weeks of being a lazy blob. I told her that “Glue a Moose!” had become my new rallying cry for life lived on purpose. She gave me an even better one, **”Read a Verse, Glue a Moose!”** Wow! Every cleaning lady I’ve ever known has been deeply endowed with proverbial wisdom. So with that great nugget of spiritual fortitude emblazoned on my brain, I went home that night, stared at the broken antlers, grabbed some cookies and hightailed it to the other end of the house. Finally on Friday I grabbed the glue and squirted away on the remaining four dismembered creatures. All but one have been returned to their rightful habitat in the living room. One refused to cooperate with the super glue. He must be holding out for one of those multitudinous odd gluing concoctions that only men understand. Oh pardon, that was a sexist thing to say. He’s holding out for a concoction that I personally do not understand. If super glue doesn’t work, I don’t see how anything else would.

So that’s where my head is at the moment. Lots of projects I want to do. Lots of projects I need to do. Not that many that I want **and** need to do. We’ll see how this all washes out in the end. In the meantime I am trying to be more Maryish and less Marthaish by simplifying my life toward **FREE**dom, but the simplification process is complicated! It seems to require the Martha part of me to get with the program and get some things done so I can move onto the Mary part. Good ole Martha hasn’t hidden herself away in a closet full of cookies just yet, thank goodness. She comes out screaming like a banshee when I get behind on my “Read Through the Bible In A Year” assignments. I haven’t tried this in decades because every time I took on this noble pursuit in the past it became an obsessive obligation, rather than a blessing in growth. So last weekend I read through most of Leviticus in one sitting in preparation for this week and now this weekend I have read ahead about four days worth in case the coming week goes kersproing with busyness. Oh, how I make myself tired!

Come back next month for another episode of “Life With Moose-Gluing Martha” or “How To Read A Whole Bunch of Verses While Ignoring The Whale on the Table.”