I actually quite adore January. It is my birthday month, the beginning of a new year for both me and the calendar.
We make all sorts of resolutions, January and I, most of which we will either forget about or cast aside as being too ambitious, or ill-thought-out in the early glare of a hungover January 1st.
But one thing I can always count on is the need to re-organize and put some order back in both the house and myself.
I am genuinely kind to myself, so my resolutions are gentle, whispers of sweet nothings about health and vitality.
I focus on small steps. For example, I have vowed to do yoga ever day for the month of January. I am now 7 days in and feeling like a million bucks. I know if I can stick it out I will be all limbered up by the end of the month and will keep it going, since by then it will be a habit.
As for diet, I am denying myself nothing (except for alcohol on the VERY odd Saturday this month and even then only 1.5 glasses.) but I am committed to eating at least 3 different vegetables each day, 2 different fruits and to eat a varied and interesting diet. I am not snacking between meals. I only drink tea in the evenings. I am giving my system a well deserved break in some areas and a jolt in others and am already feeling the positive effects of doing so. And yet, and yet....oh I do miss you Christmas cakes!
And I am doing a couple of little things each day, a la the January Cure. The other day, like my friend Dani, I took on the spice and the baking drawers in the my kitchen cupboard.
It is an interesting experience to clean out one's cupboards. I discovered I have a
I reordered all of my spices, put them in alphabetical order and was gobsmacked to discover that I had 3 little boxes of saffron. Given the price of saffron, finding three is the equivalent of finding a $20 bill lying around and now I must look up some more recipes with saffron as a reward.
This is only a fraction of the spices, only to letter K - we are spice fiends and I have never met a spice I didn't like and want to bring home and put in a jar...
We have also done a year-end look at the budget.
As my one of my favourite Dickens Characters, Mr. Micawber, was wont to say:
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."I believe Barry and I fell squarely within the former category, but still see room for improvement, including our food consumption. Healthy food is indeed expensive, but so is not being as good at managing the food one has and I am committed, from both a moral and a financial perspective, to do better in this area. I will keep you posted!
There is a tremendous groundswell recently of educating people of how much food they actually toss. You can read more about it here, but there is lots of great information on the web about this. I am committed to being very judicious about my grocery shopping in 2014 so that we throw away very little, which will involve more and better organization and more trips to the grocers, but I am confident that we will see a huge difference with a little more attention. I think it is especially difficult for families with children, and while this is a rationalization on my part, I am convinced of it!
What's next? Oh the tedium of a good fridge clean, a cupboard go-through in the family room, none of which I will continue to bore you with. Just know that I am out there, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. And still reading the bloody Goldfinch, which while excellent, has made me crave a short magazine or a chapbook as my next read!!!!
How about you? How are you spending these cold days? Stay Safe out there!