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Archive for the ‘Family Meals’ Category

One of my favourite hobbies is list making. The New Year always makes me itch to write down all the many things I would like to change about myself and exactly how that should be done.

Those lists have never lead to anything but disappointment and a lingering sense of failure, and yet I just can’t give up. Not to make any goals seems like I’ve just given up trying and accepted that I’ll never change and I’m too optimistic for that.

However, since writing lists of commandments hasn’t gotten me anywhere, this year I’m going for New Year’s Suggestions.

Suggestion 1: Increase my physical activity.
This really shouldn’t be hard. Compared to the last few years, anything will be an increase. Santa very helpfully left a Wii for Christmas, complete with Balance Board, Wii Fit, and Active Sports. So far, they are proving the perfect solution for a geek who thrives on competition.
I do have another, more specific goal that ties in with this: my brother is getting married in 9 weeks, and I’d like to have made some improvement to my shape by then. (Fortuitously, Active 2 has a 9 week program that ends the week of the wedding!)

Suggestion 2: Eat more family meals.
It was VERY hard not to get more specific about this. I want to plan a year’s worth of meals complete with shopping guide and decree that we will eat together nightly at 6pm, and we’ll all enjoy eating healthful meals and wash and dry the dishes as a family before retiring to play a board game together. (Which is very similar to the resolutions I’ve been making from 2006 onward.) But this week, I had the immense pleasure of discovering Ellyn Satter, and the relief I felt at reading her family meal instructions is indescribable. I have struggled for years with trying to serve a perfectly balanced meal every night for my family and then despairing when they wouldn’t eat it. I felt so guilty compromising, as though I was shirking my responsibility to ensure my children were as healthy as they could possibly be. (OH has no such qualms though, and would happily serve frozen pizza and oven chips while I wrung my hands at the beige-ness.) Thanks to Ellyn’s wisdom, I’ve already begun making family meals that we’ve all enjoyed – simple meals, like grilled chicken breasts with pasta primavera and bread rolls. I admit that I’m still bothered by the carb to vegie ratio, but a) it was quick and easy and on the table by 6pm, and b) everyone ate all of it, and that’s good enough for me.
To further inspire this suggestion, I purchased this bus roll print. It’s now framed (in a Ribba frame from Ikea) and hanging in the kitchen. The kids are quite delighted by it, and also the Mr and Ms Food Face plates that Santa brought, and have cheekily pointed out that the rules don’t forbid playing with your food!

Suggestion 3: Find time to read.
Reading itself isn’t the problem – I love to read. I read 40 books in 2010, and I’d like to increase that to 50 this year. I know, it’s a lofty goal and extremely specific, but in this case I feel it’s necessary. Life’s too short to leave a good book unread! I already have a long list of books that I want to read before I die, and I’ll need to read at least fifty a year to even come close. The real issue is finding the right time to read. I’ll watch TV or visit facebook in my free time instead of reading, but then I’ll spend a whole weekend reading and neglecting family, friends and household chores. Maybe I need to allocate reading time, like the kids with their school readers. (Maybe we can all read together in the evenings, after our family meals!) I don’t have a definite answer for that at this stage, but it’s something I’m going to keep working at.

So those are the three main areas I’d like to improve on this year. Of course, I’d also like to spend more time with the kids, be more patient, more organised and a better wife, mother, daughter, friend and housekeeper. But I am hoping that by following those three main suggestions there will be a trickle down effect and I’ll find it easier to do all those other things.

(I intend to track my progress on this blog, which is something of a resolution in itself, I guess. No expectations on posting frequency though.)

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