Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Finding Peace in Chaos

My third daughter helped to take care of the little things
I've decided to give myself a break.  It wasn't an easy decision, but I knew that something had to give.  I decided it wouldn't be my sanity.

It started as we finished rehabbing Dad's house for sale.  At the time, we had finished most of the bedrooms and the office.  As rooms were being finished and preparations were being made for staging, the kitchen became more and more cluttered.  The right way to do the project would be to sort the items and bring them to their final destination, but in the hurry toward the finish line it was simpler to just dump it all into the kitchen.  Dad's house boasts a large amount of counter space and a sizable kitchen table (I wish I could keep them.  I definitely have counter-space envy), but both were quickly filled to the overflow.  Somehow we managed to find enough room to eat our meals and educate the children, but it took more and more effort to do so every day. 

Tools, fabrics, and herbs over here
From early morning to late at night we worked.  Breaks were few and far between. 

Through it all, I struggled to eat traditionally.  It's difficult to choose otherwise after being educated.  Yet, I knew that I had a choice.  I could either give my all to the project, or I could give my all to educating my children and feeding my family.  I knew that if I wasn't working full-time on the project it would take longer to move home and return to our normal life.

Banished to the laundry room and still content--that's why I love my toddler girl
Then came the day that we started working on the kitchen itself.  The refrigerator spent several weeks in the living room.  The stove spent a few days in the laundry room.  So did the high chair, but my toddler didn't seem to mind since she could never wait until the meal was served anyway.  We no longer had the ability to eat at the kitchen table every night.

I chose sanity.  I knowingly set aside what I knew about the links between food and health and chose to turn back to the standard American diet.  We still made wise choices for fats, meats, dairy, produce, and eggs, but it was filled out with boxed cereals, boughten breads, lunch meats, deli food, pizza, and even (gasp!) a frozen dinner or two. 

Managed to eke out some kefir and broth over there
Sadly, my children were in heaven.  I didn't worry too much about it though.  I knew that they were just happy because it was new and unusual.

Even after we moved home it took a few weeks before we fully returned to traditional cooking.  By then there were three more mammoth projects that needed to be done.  It was still all-consuming and unrelenting.  At first, I continued to need the respite of using some ready-made foods.

Breakfast o "champions" in the living room
Even after going back to a more normal food cycle, I still haven't fully transitioned back to normal entirely.  My laundry room has been filled with at least 6-8 loads of clean laundry.  (Okay, maybe that's a little normal, but still it's a little over the top.)  My kitchen table has more than the normal amount of clutter.

But the most important thing is that I'm okay with all of that.  I've given myself permission to be imperfect.  The truth is that I'll be imperfect no matter what my opinion is, so I may as well find peace in it all.

Shared with Simple Lives Thursday and Traditional Tuesdays.

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