My resolution this year was just to keep it simple. Here's how I managed to work that into my life in January:
Firstly, I opted to stay as close to home as possible. Since dropping the Captain off in the capital on January 4th, I have not set foot in a city at all. I did this because a trip to Booming Metropolis for me usually ends up looking like an episode of The Amazing Race, but without the beautiful backdrop. I tear around the city trying to squeeze in as many errands as I possibly can, spend hundreds of dollars, and return home with my blood pressure sky-high. As well, at this time of year, I have to worry about sliding right off the road on my way home. Staying local gives me cabin fever, no question. But it's much more relaxing. We have a grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store and a thrift store 7 minutes down the road. They're all tiny, but they do the job. Instead of shopping at big-box stores to save 18 cents on a can of beans, I stayed local and shopped the sales. And guess what happened? I saved almost $200 on my grocery bill this month and only put gas in the car once (it's still more than half-full!). Turns out when you shop somewhere that's a bit more expensive, but that also doesn't tempt you with housewares, electronics, and a full clothing section, you save money!
The second area I kept it simple was on my dining room renovation. This was hard for me. We've had our dining room stripped down to subfloor, drywall and plywood ceiling for longer than I'd like to admit, and I've had such a hard time getting anything done with it. The reason for this is that when I attempt any kind of home improvement, I always, always try to do way too much at once, get exhausted and frustrated and then abandon it for months. In January, I got the ball rolling by hiring someone to put drywall on the ceiling and a first coat of plaster on the seams. The rest was up to me. It's been slow-going, but I'm finally getting into the habit of taking a free ten minutes here and there to slap a little more drywall mud up. And this weekend, I finished my first coat and managed to sand a small corner. What a mess! But I don't want to quit yet, so I'm calling it progress!
And finally, exercise. Getting on the treadmill is a boring chore and it makes my knees hurt. Trying to do it when my kids are in bed, after a full day of playing single mom/dining room contractor is miserable, and an easy thing to talk myself out of. My simple solution? A minimum 30-minute game of Just Dance with Firstborn (he usually pushes me to keep going for 45) before bed. We have some fun together, and I swear I'm getting a better workout than on my sad little run/walk. My evening is suddenly free for other pursuits, and best of all, my pants are feeling less snug!
To keep myself in the mindset, I've pulled out a fun book I read last summer called "Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl". I highly recommend it. No one simplifies life like the French!
So that's my first month of keeping it simple. January is my least favourite month of the year, and it's over. That alone is something to celebrate. Here's to keeping it simple in February!
Hang in there everyone. We get hearts and flowers and candy this month, and spring is just around the corner!!