Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Week In - Feeling Adult

My living room/studio after a good clean,
but before organizing.
So, it's one week in to the living simply challenge I started... about 2% of the way. The house looks better than it did, I feel better than I did, and because I'm shuffling priorities off of leisure, I'm actually getting things done.

One major step forward was actually getting the house and the finances under control. Once I set a limit that my to-do list had to be cleared on Wednesday before I did anything digital, I actually got quite a bit done to set my life back in order.

Now, of course, the computer is back to being one of the first things done in my house. Breakfast looks like a folger's commercial, except that before I pour the hot water into my tea kettle, I slap the power button on the desktop. I handle silence poorly when I'm half asleep, and throwing up a random youtube video can set the whole tone for the day. But it was good that one day, and, to be fair, I'm actually staying on top of my housework.

Now, because my physical space is organized, I feel a little more organized mentally, too. The challenge started the week after I worked my first set of full-time hours in quite a while, and I wanted to find a way to feel as productive as I did that week while I languished in part-time limbo. Having things where I want them and where I can see them makes them easier to use. Important things like my day-spectrum bulb (useful in the winter) and my pills, but also fun things like my 3DS, a few favourite novels, and the fish tank. To be honest, while I use watching movies on my computer as an excuse to have moved the couch, I actually did it to both make room for a table I keep meaning to pick up (put that on the list, if it still exists) and to give me a spot and watch my betta, as we young men say, "herp the derps".

The First Meal - Ultrasimplistic
Eating better is always a bonus. With a singular exception today (when I was caught unprepared), I've been eating home-cooked meals for a week, and more of them. Having enough food in my body's probably a big part of the reason I'm feeling productive and having it be more than oil bound with starches and sugars is certainly helping my mood and my energy level. I shouldn't brag, but I'm also managing to do it with what I consider to be the absolute minimum a kitchen can be stocked and still call it healthy. Two months of bungled spending and high expenses do not a happy fridge make.

Making meals simply was something I always had a hard time doing - after I learned to cook, I wanted to wrap as many tricks as possible into each dish, which usually turned around to bite me in the end. This last week saw my cooking take a return to the basics. Though it probably looks complex, this photo of my supper mise en place is easily as simple as I can make something that isn't a soup or a stew.

Of course, what I've always really liked about simple is that it can still be made... nicely, I guess is the word. While it's certainly no Sakai-Plate, this isn't exactly cafeteria food. Simple is elegant, and we are often richer for the result.

In fact, I've been so inspired by the return to basics in my cooking, and in my life, that I'm seriously considering cooking for a living again. It's a casual search more than an urgent job hunt... but I think wandering back in the general direction of my hopes and dreams is a good step to take.

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