I was on the fence about whether to choose a word for this year, but this one has been circling around in my mind for weeks. It comes unbidden. A reminder. A desire for more—or less, as it is. Simplify. It’s my intentional focus for this season of my life.
Before we moved to Moose Jaw, Gerry and I went through a sizeable effort to downsize our possessions. There’s the odd thing I’ve thought of since then that I wish I still had, but not enough to go out and purchase another of whatever it is.
There are still things I could, and will, let go of and a smattering of the intangible is on my current metaphorical chopping block. No longer hungry to be busy, I find myself mildly resentful of activities that clamour for my undivided time and attention and draw me away from being present.
This season, things seem to be shifting ever more in the direction of keeping things simple.
Yesterday, I joined Gerry at the Yara Centre for a fitness class. I’m enjoyed it and am going to another one tomorrow. I’m going to attend a couple of classes every week for the next while in an attempt to make it a habit.
I no longer feel guilty for a getting lost in a book for a few hours in the middle of the day.
I’m not going to apologise for using coffee pods in our Keurig (I’m still using refillable ones with Starbucks French Roast ground for my morning coffee, but that might change the next time we do a Costco run. Meanwhile, Gerry’s quite happy with the Kirkland brand we picked up last time we were there.).
I no longer feel the need to cook a big meal every day. Eggs and toast are a perfectly suitable supper now and then, and Gerry’s-night-to-cook happens on a regular basis.
I’m taking advantage of trial offers for a couple of meal delivery services, HelloFresh and Chef’s Plate (I don’t plan to make it a habit, but it’s probable I’ll make a semi-regular practice of doing so when I’m in the meal-planning rut). My first delivery just arrived, and I was as excited as a kid on Christmas morning as I unpacked three meals that translate into three days that I don’t have to think about what to make for dinner. (On the menu tonight: sheet pan salmon and lemon orzo.)
There are a few Epicure products that also simplify meal planning and prep. Their African Sweet Potato Stew (which seems to come in and out of availability) has been a favourite ever since a friend gifted me with a meal when I was recovering from surgery a few years ago. It’s one of my granddaughter’s favourite things for dinner. I’ve also tried their Butter Chicken (good, but I prefer Patak’s) and Homestyle Chicken Stew mixes. I just got some Ramen Broth Mix that I’m looking forward to using. I became addicted to instant noodles when I was in college and, after years of abstaining, I’m back on them now. They’re terrible, I know. It’s the “flavour packet” that’s the worst. The Epicure version seems like a good and guilt-free substitute.
I purchase most of my clothes from one store, ordering online for the most part when the seasons change and sales are offered.
I ordered a package of Molly’s Royal Canin food online and direct from the source this week when I couldn’t find any at the local pet store. It was cheaper and they offered free shipping. This will be my standard practice going forward.
I stopped drinking expensive tea and am enjoying trying different varieties of grocery store brands and flavours. My current favourites are Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Herbal Tea, President’s Choice Chocolatey Chai and Dirty Chai Black Tea with Espresso Coffee, and Tazo Organic Chai.
I unsubscribed from Netflix and cut our cable back to the bare minimum (we’ll cut it out entirely when our contract ends).
Last week, Gerry and I attended an Annual General Meeting for a local society we joined. After years of volunteering, we’re both feeling the same way and promised to stop each other from signing up for anything. Turns out the AGM lasted seven minutes and no volunteers were asked for. (Best AGM ever. 🙂 ) Don’t get me wrong, we’re still volunteering for the select few things we’re passionate about, we’re just choosing not to take on new opportunities at this time.
I have a birthday coming up in a few days making me eligible to begin collecting Old Age Security pension. Old age. That kinda sticks in my craw. I don’t feel like I fall into that category, but if the Canadian government wants to send me a cheque every month for being a woman of a certain age and remaining alive, who am I to argue? Being classified as officially “old age” seems like as good a reason as any to continue simplifying life in all areas, dontcha think?