Even though I didn’t take a break over Christmas/New Year, almost everyone else I work with did so it’s been quiet in the day job. Like being on holiday without using your holiday entitlements (just don’t tell my boss). This week though everyone was back at work – and had come back ready to (and I hate this term) hit the ground running (yes, I went there…).
I had, however, anticipated that – and the resultant lack of brain space I’d have at the end of each day for dinner decisions – so my “just one thing” this week was to get back into meal planning.
If I had to nominate just one thing that had helped me on previous quests to reduce excess baggage, it would be this. And, conversely, each time I’ve fallen off the wagon a lack of meal planning has been the catalyst.
I’m not a planner by nature but am a project manager by profession, so planning is a learned behaviour for me – and one that has served me well over the years.
I’ve mentioned before how I have the focus of…something which has very little focus… and it’s not unusual for me to declare something at 6am on Monday morning only to have forgotten all about it by 10am. Planning keeps me focused and organised and allows me to do what I need to do. There’s a joke in our house that if it isn’t in Mum’s calendar it doesn’t exist.
Because it’s so far removed from my drifty nature, however, planning is also something that I rebel against from time to time – and that’s usually where I come undone. That’s why I’ve learnt to keep some flexibility in my plans.
Take holidays for example. When I plan a big holiday – such as the one we had last year – I’ll concentrate on the structure and the big-ticket items. I have a spreadsheet (of course I do) that tracks what we’ve spent and what still needs to be paid so at any time when Grant asks that question (which he does at least weekly leading up to departure) I can tell him. It details flights, accommodation, and car hire and as long as I keep it up to date, we’re on track. (Spoiler alert – you’ll read in an upcoming post what happens when that spreadsheet isn’t updated…)
Even though I’ve always done my research, the stuff in the middle – what we do, where we go, where we eat – is mostly left up to chance and how we feel on the day. It means that while we mightn’t see everything that should be seen or tick every box that needs to be ticked in a destination, we’ve had other accidental experiences that we otherwise wouldn’t have.
The same goes for my writing. At the beginning of the year I’ll map out what I’m writing and when it’s due to my editors or for cover design etc etc. Once I have my deadlines the writing itself is done with very little plotting or planning. For example, the new Philly Barker I’m working on has begun with me knowing only what the murder weapon will be.
The same goes for meal planning. While I’ve mapped out meals for the next few weeks, it’s not set in stone and allows some flexibility.
The idea is that I’ll plan healthy meals Monday to Thursday, with Friday either fakeaway (homemade takeaway) or we go out. This year the destination bowl (where we draw a cuisine or theme from the bowl) is making a return for Saturday “date” nights, and Sundays very much depend on if we’ve gone out for lunch.
Anyways, this is what last week and the next two weeks look like – at this stage. The structure is there so if I want to move things around or change them up we can do so, but at least we have a plan.
The Morning pics
Sunrise is getting later – and I was happy to see colour like this at the beginning of our walk the other day. Other than that, a mixed bag this week…
Healthy recipe of the week
This week’s winner winner healthy dinner is another salmon dish – courtesy of Donna – chilli lime salmon with potatoes and capsicum. The recipe is here. I changed it up just a little – adding some ground coriander to the mix and instead of coating the salmon in the spice mix, I tossed the potatoes and the capsicum in it, keeping the salmon plain. We also served it with a simple raita – plain Greek yoghurt with diced cucumber – on the side. Pic not great but we’ll definitely be having this one again.
I’m off to Sydney this week to see my parents and duck into the office… so that will be challenging to my routines. My “just one thing” will be about meditation…one of those things I know I should be doing, but… anyways, I’m giving it a go.