16 December 2008

A Return to the "Zen"....

I know I'm being extremely negligent in not getting back to my recipe promises. I've heard from people with Thanksgiving success stories (definitely listen to Bon Appetit and salt rather than brine the turkey, for example) and some not so successful endeavors (a dense corn pudding will not cook through when sharing the oven with sweet potatoes and stuffing, for another example). I think my brainstorm to include all holiday recipe recaps together after Christmas will work best. Again - I need some holiday shopping stories as well. Or - do you have an opinion on the current state of the economy and evidence for or against the glum predictions or hopeful news that prices are coming down (where? I see free shipping - I see sale items - in general, on the stuff I want, no price markdowns - still the same ... but that's my off the cuff two cents).....???

Anyway, I think, in the spirit of, yes, the holidays and the usual ensuing reflection that occurs, but also in the spirit of the chaos that reigns prevalent in households with ... well.... I was going to say kids, but.... any household - really at the holidays..... that I will provide a quick rant in favor of the simple life. Or - a simple thought process for once - something.... Here's what I mean.... I remember when I used to get up in the morning, dress all in black, choose carefully between my riding boots and my combat boots, put on the same hat, scarf, gloves and coat combo, and... head to class - or work - or out - whatever - everyday. My friends and I smoked cigarettes, drank coffee at crappy, cool little coffee shops - straight up or just milk and sugar (which is pretty bare bones now - given all the treats people pour into their coffee now) - we either went to class or we didn't - we either worked late or we didn't. I cut my hair when I wanted to - dyed it too - never an "appropriate" color - but I did it - stress-free (once it looked green - another time "like a penny" in the wise words of my roommate - but it was all good ... no worries). I don't do anything stress-free anymore. Even Facebook gives me pause. Am I following protocol? Do I look "normal" or even remotely successful next to "everybody else" (whoever that is, right?).

I guess I'm tired of sorting mail - filing investment papers - following up on school tuition. And... I'm tired of organizing clothing - what goes to Goodwill - what did the kids outgrow - what did they get for their birthdays that needs to go in their armoires. I'm also tired of deciding such mundane (and OMG - odd) things like which towels are worthy to keep - do I need to buy all new kitchen towels to look even remotely organized or - yikes - clean? We prune hedges, build retaining walls and mow the lawn, organize and prioritize Halloween treat baskets, Christmas decorations and even dishes and silverware - the "to do" list goes on.... Storage is an issue - accessibility another - and necessity is... well ..... out the window - true organization and utility gone. Where is the Zen in the house? I'm looking.... I'm working.... Maybe I'm just not good at it.

1 comment:

Michele James-Parham said...

Drag out your boots, cut and dye your hair (a dark red is always nice) and invest in some really nice coffee. You'll 'look' and feel better while you are doing all the other things...I promise :)

Mail: if it's a bill or holiday card, keep it and recycle the rest.

Clothes: when you notice the shirt or pants to be too short on the your kid, put a safety pin on the tag and you'll know when it comes out of the dryer that it goes out of the house or to the next youngest child.

Towels: do they smell bad, look horrible or not absorb anymore? If the answer is 'yes' to one or more of those then use it for a cleaning rag or toss it. Nobody who matters cares if your towels match or feel like clouds!

Holiday stuff: it all just sucks, so do as little as you can get away with. Only do what makes you happy and what the kids can't live without.

Dishes: is it clean, can it be cleaned in the dishwasher (if you have one) and can it be eaten off of? If the answer is 'no' then it is no longer a dish! Again, they don't have to match...really!

No one who has children who are free to be children in their house can have high expectations for order and Zen. Find a way to admire and love the grape juice stains, the frayed edges of towels and chipped coffee mugs...then you'll find your Zen :)