Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Letting Go...

Are there any things in your life that you have had to let go of or at least scale back on to relieve your stress level??  I know I sure have!!  Back when we only had 1 child, I was sure to return EVERY. SINGLE. Little People person, animal, & accessory back to the play set it came with... yep, really! LOL  Now I am just glad if they all make it off the floor, ideally into their designated compartment, but I will accept off the floor.... and I used to have play dishes & food all set up for "cooking" fun w/the play kitchen... little pots & pans hanging... salt & pepper shaker on the "counter"... phone in its cradle (hey, our REAL phone doesn't always make it back to the cradle, but THAT phone did... EVERY. SINGLE. DAY... or at least when I helped w/tidying it did!)... books were all tidy... everything in its place.  I scoff at that now!! LOL   

I wasn't just particular w/toys... the stove was always cleaned right after using it... sometimes while still hot & I would burn myself, but hey, it was clean!  Once a week the house was cleaned spotless top to bottom, while Mr. Lee played w/the kiddo.  It wasn't a long process (a couple of hours at best) since I kept up on the chores every day, but it was what I did & I liked having a nice clean house and a great start to the upcoming week.

After being blessed w/more children I had to let go of some things... okay, a lot of things... & my very clean house was one of them.  No, my house is never gross or dangerous, but lived in w/disheveled beds (I have joined the thought of why bother making the bed when it is just going to get used again... so we only make them for company... & usually only when someone is coming over that hasn't seen our house & may ask to see it... if someone has been over before then the beds do not get officially made), sticky floors, a messy desk, laundry needing to be put away, & happy kids! 

It is funny how our perspective can change about things over the years... whether it be based upon life changes in family size, having to take on a new job, etc.  After more blessings came along, the only time our house was spotless top to bottom (besides for company) was when it was for sale... & I was a bundle of nerves then trying to keep everything spotless w/children & pets... EVERY showing I was literally heaving 2 laundry baskets full of papers, etc. I needed to sort / keep out of sight because it looked cluttered (if you have ever tried to sell a house, especially in this brutal real estate market, you know what I mean about no clutter allowed... in fact they advise to depersonalize, which basically means to make your house feel like you don't even live there any more by taking down personal pix, kids' artwork, etc.) which is a BIG no-no, into my vehicle every time we had to vacate for a showing... then I would bring it back in the house, get it all sorted into piles of "to read", "to file", "to shred", etc. only to have to throw it all back into the laundry baskets & heave them back into my trunk for another showing... for nearly a year!     

My messy stove...
When the house was sale, I also had to back track a bit on my more laid back stove cleaning habit, because over the years I had adapted the clean it once a week or wait for someone else to clean it routine... it really made sense & I never realized how much I HATED to clean the stove until I had to clean it at least 1x a day for showings for a year. 

What induced my laid back approach to stove cleaning was having to eat gluten free, which required that I start cooking EVERYTHING from scratch... in order to conserve my time to spend it cooking & washing the endless dishes while I figured out our new eating situation, I came up w/the ingenious idea (or lazy according to some people! LOL) about not cleaning the stove after every single meal... it also saved me from burning my hand as much because I always insisted on cleaning it while it was still hot before sitting down to eat so I didn't have to clean after the meal... I hated having to spend the time trying to clean it once it all dried on... no fun at all! 

So, now that we have long since moved, are unpacked, etc. I am back to my wait & see approach w/the stove... wait & see if anybody else cleans it before I get to it! LOL  Hey, cooking 2-3 meals every day is a lot of cooking & I find that if I just let it go I don't feel the urge to wipe up the spilled rice while the grates are still glowing anymore... saving myself many blisters & burns! 

Mr. Lee often jokes that people can tell what we have eaten for the past couple of meals by looking at our stove.  Being gluten free there is almost always a bit of rice on the stove, no matter how hard I try to keep it contained in the pan... especially if I have a helper stirring the rice... then it is pretty much a given it will be spilled on the stove top...or if it was just cleaned... then no matter what, something will get spilled on the stove!  Cleaning the stove less often may not seem like it would save time, but for me it does, especially when like I said, I have to cook 2-3 times a day 7 days a week... & don't get me wrong, it is never a fire risk, health risk, etc. it is just not ALWAYS spotless like it used to be... did I say I have HAPPY kids?!

Are there any things YOU have had to scale back on??  Do you cook a lot??  What are some things you do (or don't do) so you have more time to get other things done that must come first??  Is your stove always spotless??  Do you insist on making beds every day??  Do you have any other time saving suggestions to share??