As a friend remarked earlier, I thought I better check in to let you know that "living without cheese hadn't done me in". I'm still here - albeit buried under a mountain of paperwork from the last 8 years. You see, on Project:Simplify, week 2's "hotspot" was paper clutter. Once again, Tsh got me - that is one of the very hardest things for me to deal with. And a huge reason it has been difficult was years of subverting the system we had established. Laziness often won out, and our two file cabinets were filled to the brim with all manners of documents needing to be filed, recycled, or shredded.
(Yes, I know that technically week 2 was last week. But with report cards and several nights with activities, it just wasn't happening. Knowing that I had spring break this week allowed me to feel ok with tackling two weeks worth of cleaning in one.)
I have just spent the last 6 hours sorting through two file cabinets, a pile on the desk, and assorted other piles of paperwork. Three box loads in the recycling, two paper bags of shredded paper, and a large box of papers yet to be shredded, and I am nearly done. There are a few files Dan still needs to go through, but in general, it is SOOOOOOO much better. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. (Paper's awfully heavy, you know!) And now we're cleaned out and set up for next January, when the oldest year of records will be moved out to maintain the current cleanliness. I also switched several bills and account statements to paperless billing to reduce the amount of paper clutter that comes into the house. The final step is going to IKEA tomorrow to get document boxes to store the boys' work that comes home form school. There will be a "working" box for the current year, and a permanent box for the top few (3-5 items) from each year. I think this is going to work. Wish me luck!
And then there's the food challenge. I'd be lying if I said that it's been easy. It hasn't. I still have cravings, but am getting better at finding substitutes. The biggest challenge has been in the planning of meals - often one for me and one for the rest of the family. And with everything we had going on last week, that often was too much, and both meals were hurried and less than ideal. I'm learning that whole grains and beans take a lot more time and forethought than I am used to, with the soaking and long cooking times. It will get easier, but for now there's still a steep learning curve. I am, however, still enjoying the food that I am eating, and know that many of these dishes will find their way into our regular rotation even when the 30 days are over.
Overall, this week was one lacking balance. I was trying to do too many things, learn too many things, and accomplish too many things. My sleep, my brain and muscles, and our family suffered for it. But it was a great reminder why we don't live our lives that way most of the time. Every once in a while I worry that I have simplified too much, causing us to miss out on new opportunities. This week reminded me that while we may not get o take advantage of everything presented to us, we are happier when there is less on our plates.