Dessert Before Dinner and Other Habits To Break

Rules were made to be broken, and so were New Year’s Resolutions right?

This is why I didn’t make any this year. No “do more of this”, or “try harder at that”.  No more results oriented goals. This is why I didn’t pen the typical New Year’s blog post at all either. This year, I’m turning it all on its head. I’m simply trying to do less. Of everything.

I am a habitual ritual follower. A regimen junkie. A self-proclaimed control freak. I have a system for everything, and I mindlessly execute on this pre-ordained path each day. There are rules for everything. I expect people in my life will abide by these as well.

But this year, I’m turning it all on its head. I’m eating dessert before dinner.

So far, it’s working, but doing less is harder than you think. After one decade of momdom, and almost 2 decades of working girldom, you develop a lot of rules and rituals. Here are some things that I’m doing less of (and relishing in every minute):

  • Less Coffee: Not consuming less, simply buying less. I was spending $2-4 daily at coffee vendor of choice to assuage my jonesing for caffeine on my way into the office .  That really adds up. My company offers a free machine, it just takes a little work to make it and put it in the fridge the night before. I love taking their free and not untasty coffee, it feels like a small victory/revenge.
  • Less lunching: Not eating less, simply buying less. I was spending $10-15 to run out and pick up whatever fast casual establishment was offering me the most convenient and healthy pick up option every day at feeding time. The sandwich Gull prepares for me each night (turkey and cheese on whole wheat with – yes- ketchup and pickles) has a cost basis of $3.  That’s several thousand dollars of savings for a working married couple.
  • Less shopping: I unsubscribed to a large majority of the promotional emails I was receiving regularly from the entire mall full of retailers, enticing me to buy buy buy with the big word Sale. My first grader is learning the difference between need to have and nice to have and so should I. No more fancy shoe sample sale twice per year. No more shoppable links via the fashionable influencer on Instagram. I can look great with what I have.
  • Less Worrying: An exorbitant amount of my life is spent in a state of frenzied concern. I go through the what if’s and the why nots and the could’ve beens in a constant stream of thought, and it’s basically in my genes to think if you worry about something enough, it won’t happen. This is a hard habit to break, but I’m focusing a lot more on the positive and the present and the potentials, and it’s helping me drown out the yucky stuff. I’m clenching my jaw a whole lot less, and I’m smiling a whole lot more.
  • Less excuses: I come home from work tired and cranky to a houseful of demanding youths and dirty laundry, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a couple of days per week to sneak down to my basement Shang Ri La, blast Boy Band tunes, and use the idle elliptical I built a small gym room around and squeeze in a couple of dumbbell reps before bedtime. I’m finding time rather than dismaying at my lack thereof and it feels good physically and emotionally.
  • Less Indulgence: See above, but there are ways to feel good about myself without overtly spoiling myself. I canceled the monthly massage membership (they were building up faster than I could use them anyway), Gull’s going to find a parking lot at the train station instead of renting a private one for a fee. We’re trying to order one drink each per dinner out, and a shared appetizer instead of 2, but that’s still a work in progress. And less meals out entirely means less babysitting fees and more family time. I’m ok with that.
  • Less guilt: My kids will blame me for all their sorrows one day no matter what. If I were a stay at home mom, I’d probably yell at them more. I’d still forget to send their lunch once in a while. They’d still be just as needy, if not more. I can’t bear the burden of all their grievances, and I have to let their moods take their course and love them, and myself no matter what. I am doing the best I can. Nothing would ever be enough.

We’re a month into the new year. I still haven’t remembered it’s actually 2018 on a consistent basis. But I’m really enjoying my occasional frozen yogurt on the train ride home so I don’t demolish the leftovers in the fridge when I get home, and I’m finding out that breaking habits- not just bad ones- can be a really healthy exercise. So far my takeaway is that sometimes less truly is more. 


6 thoughts on “Dessert Before Dinner and Other Habits To Break

      1. Hi – just wondered how the new mindset was working out for you? Haven’t seen you post anything new for a while (which is totally understandable considering how much you have to fit into a day) but was concerned. You’re at the toughest stage in life – Work, kids, the whole nine yards to juggle. It does get easier, trust me.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So right you are! As for the kiddos, I felt guilty working, but my kids developed independence and good judgment, and now teach their friends how to fix things and do laundry 😁 cause, unlike their friends, their momma didn’t do everything for them

    Liked by 1 person

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