In which I reflect on the past week for a challenge I issued to myself, Katie W., and the best friend.
This has been a particularly busy and hectic week, so I welcome the chance to reflect on it and see things in terms other than progress on a to-do list. Since we began house-hunting back in August, my time has been consumed with lists and projects, stress and anxiety. I attempted to be more mindful and enjoy the changes and challenges, but I haven’t thought of things in the larger vision I have for my life.
Of course, the whole 101 is a challenge for personal improvement, but I also like to focus on where I hope all these small steps are getting me. Here’s five moments from my last week that are in line with my larger goals:
At the end of the week, the hubs and I moved into the first house we’ve purchased. We have been working to make the physical house reflect our personalities and relationship, but I think I’m most excited about the fact that it has been a truly collaborative process. We are both extremely invested in the look and functionality of our new place. The process hasn’t always gone easily or smoothly, but in the end, we’re starting a new stage of life (and expenses!) in a place that is representative of our style and our ability to work through differences of opinion or interpretation. I love the visual reminders of the best of us that I can see (or envision) all around me.
I feel like I was able to impact the price of our move through a lot of hard work and planning. I packed the vast majority of our books, my office paper and magazines, and our clothes. The hubs and I moved as much as we could by ourselves, often when I needed a break from the stress of moving. Though I didn’t always feel (or act) awesome during the week leading up to our move, in the end I believe that my hard work tipped the balance on the moving expenses — we were able to save 48% of the estimate they gave us. That gives us money that we can put into much more interesting projects around the house. I really feel like I’ve kept a handle on our finances through the long weeks from closing to moving, but this was just the cherry on top that made me feel like I could take on the world.
The closest I can come to a routine moment in the last week was a big grocery trip that I made with the hubs and my parents, who were visiting and kindly offered to share their access to the commissary so that we could restock our depleted pantry in the new house. I have a regular grocery list on a spreadsheet, and when life is calm, we keep a list on-going through the week and do one large grocery shopping trip on the weekend. We haven’t had a real grocery run in over a month — at best, I was managing to get frozen skillet meals for more than one day at a time. But I now have a stocked pantry, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my supportive routines of regular grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking dinner with the hubs each night. I have certainly felt the lack of those routines lately.
I have been cultivating mindfulness through my daily photos, and I love how that has been going. It has allowed me to step back and see my life and my actions in a difference perspective. It really helps me be present as I go through each day. I think about what I am most excited about each day in order to choose a picture or choose something to document after the fact in a picture. I have certainly been active in the house projects and move planning, but being present has been so much more of a challenge lately. The photos have really helped me keep action and mindfulness in balance.