|my system - taping to the cabinet|
I hit a serious funk. I went back to work this year and just sank into it. As a teacher, there is just so.much.work. Add to that little people waiting for you to pick them up and feed them and, ugh, things are crazy. I managed to keep it together for most of this year - just a few sniffles here and there when I felt quite stressed. But this past 4-day weekend with the kids was my breaking point. Teddy spiked a fever and Sam was just being Sam, which is especially needy in the wintertime, for whatever reason. Josh was out of town, and I just wasn't my best self. It all came to a head and I spent Tuesday evening, after the boys went to bed, bawling my eyes out. Catharsis.
|Sam said, "This isn't junk food, right?"|
|peppers before breadcrumbs|
So I wrote "Be better" on our family whiteboard and just stopped yelling and feeling frustrated.
I also recommitted to dinner. See, the other thing is that I'm not doing what I enjoy most: writing and cooking and writing about cooking. And I am not enjoying my family. Basically, I wondered, "What am I doing that brings me joy?" And I came up with goose egg. And it felt lousy.
I checked a book out from the library, "Dinner: the playbook." I read the introduction in its entirety (!) and committed to doing the same sort of thing that the author did. That is: 30 days, 30 different homemade meals that I haven't made before. I eagerly went to my folders with magazine cutouts and my cookbooks and marked several recipes for the week. I made a shopping list. I organized the fridge. And I announced my plan to my husband because Family Dinner at 6:30 requires a family. He was in ... except for nights with meetings and calls. But that's okay; we'll take what we can get.
|peppers with breacrumbs|
I don't know if there is a trick to sticking to this, though. I do know that my tendency is to get too big for my britches. So I have to keep the goals manageable. I also have to keep my eye on the prize, which is just having the family together. I have to have a backup plan that is in the spirit of the Family Dinner - so maybe ordering out from a place we haven't eaten at?? Dunno. What I do know is that I can't hit this point again. It wasn't certifiable. It wasn't commit-able. It was just lots of sobbing and puffy eyes in the morning. That's no fun.
|overcooked steak with herb sauce and peppers with breadcrumbs|