Archive for October, 2013

Last year I started creating monthly meal plans so that we weren’t eating spaghetti every night as I rushed in the door and had to throw together something quick and nutritious. When I began, I thought I would abandon it quickly (as I do most other “organize your life!!! tools). Instead, it made such a huge difference in my stress levels that I am now slightly evangelical about the joys of meal planning, to my family’s amusement. I don’t mind their teasing though, because it really does make a huge difference in how our household functions, and in my daily stress levels. Not having to decide what to make each night, and having the ingredients on hand for healthy meals (or even better, having a nice crock pot meal waiting when we arrive home), has made the difference between me resenting food and me feeling good about feeding my family well. It’s almost impossible for me to explain the difference it has made to my soul – even a year later I often find myself thinking about HOW MUCH BETTER LIFE IS WITH MEAL PLANS!!!

I’ve thought many times about blogging about how great meal planning has been for me, but it seemed kind of strange to post something like that as a one-off, when I haven’t posted anything else since just before Anwen was born. However, I recently stumbled across something else that has had an almost equally profound effect on my daily stress, and every time I think about it I feel like shouting from the rooftops. So I thought I would start a list, and add things to it when I have those experiences. Maybe someone who reads this (so basically, just you, Auri) will find that one or two of them works a little magic in their lives too.

So simple thing that makes my life better #2? A parking pass. I finally took the plunge and am paying $92/month for a parking pass for an on-campus parking spot. For $92 I have the privilege of parking half a kilometre away from my building and no plug in. In all my previous years of attending U of C, I’ve paid the daily rates at the cheap lots and taken my chances on actually finding a spot. This year I decided it was financially more sensible to pay monthly. What I didn’t realize, in making that purely financial decision, was that I was also going to reduce my (previously unacknowledged)  daily travel anxiety tremendously. Two things are at play: 1) Not having to search the nooks and crannies of my purse for $6 or get out and use the machine to use my credit card each time I park is a huge time saver as well as a huge stress reducer. Lump sum payments all the way! and 2) I can now plan my travel time much more precisely. Knowing where I’ll park each time and that it won’t take any time to search for a spot (not to mention that my new lot is almost half the distance closer than the old one was), means I can plan my time much more efficiently. When it feels like every 15 minutes is a prize, my new parking pass is the winning ticket. /cheesy metaphor

I hope I do stumble upon things to add to this list in time. Two a year is a pretty good discovery rate at least 😀

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