Simplification Week in Review 6-26-11

The yard a couple of weeks ago – hshawjr


This has been the first week of the rest of my life.  It seems strange to look at it that way, but in reality that is what it is for all of us, but it is just that some of us are beginning to look at things differently than we have in the past.
Looking back it was an extremely busy week:
We paid off the three major bills we had left: car, property taxes and our furniture purchase from last December. The only large bill that we have left is pre-paying for our oil for next winter. This means we are essentially debt free, with the exception of the monthly stuff: food, gas, electricity, phone (we get rid of my iPhone 6/30) and cable/internet (looking at getting rid of cable in a couple of months).
The biggest change here is I have to remember that good enough is good enough.  We don’t have to go out and buy something new, just to have an extra “thingamajing”, we have plenty and can get by with what we have.  My wife is better at this part than I am, but I am getting there with her help.
Finished up seeing my “Knee” doctor and got a clean bill of health from him.  However, he is not thrilled by me (or anyone else I gathered from talking to him) running again, but says to do stuff as long as it isn’t painful. Physical therapy went well and she kicks my butt – a good thing.  

I enjoy running too much not to run again, but will try to be smart about it (something different for me) and not go overboard and try too run fast or far anytime soon.  One mile a day is a good distance for a while with all the other stuff I do.  I probably will do a lot more walking and hiking than running in the long term, I just want the option to be able to run and do it relatively pain-free.  I just have to remember to have rest days built into the weekly schedule, so I don’t break down as quickly.

Now if I could just get myself to go in the back of the garage more often to life weights.  I have always hated lifting weights, even though I know that it is good for me and that I should do it more than once or twice a week.  Oh well, maybe that is something as I relax a bit more and figure out that I have more time than I used to, that I make time for.

One thing that being home is letting me do more is healthy eating and helping my wife put up fruits and vegetables for healthier eating later.   

I am not hitting the geejunk machine at work with all those unhealthy choices.  I have cut waaaayyyyy back on my potato chip eating (my addiction), by having a small bowl instead of the whole bag, when I had them this week, and putting them on the grocery list – see my I ADMIT IT – I AM A CHIPAHOLIC post from June 16, 2009 (it is still pretty accurate).  I have been eating salads fresh from our garden, eating less meat and trying to avoid pre-processed foods whenever possible.  

The other thing is that I am not trying to wolf down my food in less than 18 minutes at lunch time. This is what happened during lunch when school was in session, there was no time to relax, just wolf your food and get back to it. I had just enough time to walk to the teacher’s room, heat up my lunch, walk back to my room, eat my food and have a couple of minutes to screw my head back on, then students started to show back up. Now I am taking my time, eating in a relaxed manner and feeling a lot less stressed about lunch.

This past week we processed about 50 pounds of rhubarb into non-alcoholic cordial, sauce, and freezer chunks, it will taste great during the winter. See Rhubarb Processing is Finished post.

Over the course of the summer we plan to do strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, along with our garden and whatever else we can glean from the local area.  So we have a lot of food processing left to do. We started buying our eggs from a neighbor this week, there is a noticeable difference, between the fresh eggs and the one you get at the store, plus we are supporting a local small business this way. The quiche that Mary made from those eggs was very different tasting (for the better in my opinion) and had a lot more color than we were used to.

I also need to start getting ready for hunting season.  I have all of my archery equipment in good shape and just need to get muscled into doing it. I started shooting some in April, I even got my range all setup, then with the surgery and everything, it just kind of got put on the back burner, now it is time to pick it up again.  I know that I can hit what I aim at from 20 yards, I just have to get my muscle memory back to where I can hit from longer distances consistently i.e. most every time.
My archery range as seen from 20 yards
I enjoy archery and the challenge it provides along with the mental aspect that you have to focus only on shooting and hitting the target.  If you are not focused you will not hit what you are aiming at.

I need to put a couple of stands up and get permission from the local land owners to go out back to do some still hunting.  Eating stuff I kill in the woods during hunting season has to be healthier alternative, than the mass farm raised meat that we get at the store, with all of the medications and additives to their food that those animals have.  I have a feeling that I will need to improve my hunting skills a great deal to provide much meat for the table though, but that is something that I will have time for.

No I do not ever see me ever becoming completely vegan, so hunting will be a part eating healthier and hopefully help lower our food costs for meat.

General Stuff

I finished going through all my books and have another large pile to give away to one of the local book sales.  Heck I even got my desk area semi-cleaned up so that it looks presentable when someone come around or if I “heaven forbid” have to work at my desk.

My desk, still got some work to do here – hshawjr

Finally, I re-imaged my MacBook Pro and got rid of several programs, files and assorted junk on the machine. Re-imaging my Mac has really helped its performance and forced me to look at what software I really need instead of just keep putting “stuff” on my Mac.  See my Re-Imaging My MacBook Pro post.

The Reality is that
downsizing and simplifying my life is not something that we just started this week, but this is the first week of my being home to start many of the things we want to do.   Simplification and minimalizing how you do things is a journey, not a weekend activity where you throw out everything and live with nothing.  There is a definite mind-shift necessary and I want to move in this direction a pace that is comfortable for us, not based on what “others” recommend or say is the right way to do something.

Although my resignation is not effective until August 17th and it has been an extremely busy week, even so I have noticed that there has been a significant reduction in the stress levels that I was feeling.  Who knows, I might finally loose a pound or two as my stress levels go down. After next week, I see my/our life starting to slow down a lot more.

We will always be busy doing something, but the only difference is that it is things that we want to do.
Which to me is all the difference.

2 thoughts on “Simplification Week in Review 6-26-11

  1. I am all for simplification and think it is easier done in the country by far.It must be nice to be debt-free. I cut off cable and really do not miss the TV for the most part. It looks like you know what you're doing.

  2. Hi Linda – It has taken us 10 years to reach this point. It helps that I retired from the Coast Guard, otherwise we couldn't do this. I let my wife do the money end and I am the grunt labor :-)ThanksHarold

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