I can blame it on a few things, but whatever the cause, our days have been feeling busy. Busier than I like. I have been feeling like I need to channel Whitehorse lately, for its slow pace, easier days and simple priorities. Living in Ottawa with our friends and family means there are more social gatherings to attend and host, and this is something we are so happy about. It's the balance, between Ottawa social life and Whitehorse personal time, that needs to be struck.
So, I am bringing it back to basics. I know now that mama's mood sets the tone for the house. When I feel busy, or crunched for time, I get cranky and snappy, which isn't fair to anyone forced to live with me by marriage or dependence. So, I am making an effort, for them and for me, to slow it down, dial it back a notch. That means focusing on the basics: good food, good sleeps, exercise, and loving on everyone here.
I started my humble vegetable container gardens: so far we have sage, basil, and two kinds of tomatoes started. Maybe some onions in a bit. I am enjoying the process of watching these little plants sprout from their heirloom seeds (I'm only doing heirloom after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last year). Watering them in the quiet of the evening, checking on them in stolen moments from the girls' cacophony, I am still and silent and peaceful.
I am not letting meal planning and grocery shopping fall from my list of things that must get done. They are sometimes tough to fit in, especially when I have a personal rule against going grocery shopping with kids unless it absolutely cannot be avoided. Having a fridge full of fresh food, and planning what we're going to eat are my saviours when it comes to feeling balanced, better. Tonight we're eating some chicken and pasta with cilantro, lime juice and ricotta. Even if the kids mutiny against it, they can pick out what they like!
Another thing I used to do all the time in Whitehorse was bake snacks. I haven't kept this up on a regular basis. I know a homemade muffin or granola bar has lots of healthy stuff I've thrown into it, with limited sugar and no preservatives-- so I don't have to worry about finding a quick snack that will also make the kids hyper and unruly. Cookies and muffins don't last long around here, but I can make time to do a quick batch of ol' reliables here and there.
Ottawa has the advantage of produce from closer to home, and the farmers markets are starting up again. That means I can make sure we have more fruity veggie options around, which is way better on my body than becoming hangry and gorging on Crispers. Or my baking chocolate chips. What? Who does that?
This stuff is all so rudimentary and has been written about here before, but I need these reminders, this re-shifting of focus. I need to slow down, once in a while, and remember what it's all about before I start letting the insignificant things dictate my mood.