Last week was a doozy. Not just a bad week, but a really bad week.
It started on Sunday, when I shirked my weekly planning session. I’d like to say I was busy, but aren’t we all? No, I just didn’t do it. So I went into the week blind. I even went to the grocery store blind – no list, no menu plan, just a rumble in my tummy and vague memories of what I usually buy every week.
Then on Monday, our dog passed away. Jack was gone. It was sudden and terrible and I had no idea what to do with myself. We were all upset and I gotta tell you, the fact that you just have to keep on moving on with your life when something terrible like that happens just sucks.
After losing Jack, it was all down hill for the rest of the week. Everything was a blur and honestly, the fact that I’d not done my planning became a bigger deal than I had thought it would. I had to think about our meals every day, instead of looking at the plan and executing. I stood in front of the fridge with that blind look on my face not knowing what to prepare for the hungry teenagers for lunch. I’m embarrassed to say that one of our meals was a bucket of fried chicken – on a day that I’d already had fried chicken once for lunch. Definitely not my best hour.
It turns out that my habit of meal planning really could have saved me some pain last week. It certainly wasn’t going to change what happened, but it would have made things easier to deal with. I knew it was going to be hard already – it was the first week of lacrosse games, I was attending a 2-day conference instead of going to work, and there were three other extra items scheduled for the week as well (a piano recital, lacrosse tryouts and Ash Wednesday services.) I mean, look at our March calendar – there are 4 days without something to do or somewhere to be.
What in the world was I thinking by not doing my weekly planning?
My only saving grace was that I had somehow scheduled a few weeks ago to receive a Home Chef box on Wednesday. Without that, who knows what we would have eaten. We had a balanced meal on Wednesday, and then on Saturday, a yummy steak dinner.
My point with this story is that planning ahead for what you and your family will be eating for the week can really change things. I’ve made a habit out of it, and I rarely go a week without a menu plan and structured trip to the grocery store. Everyone in my family is hungry pretty much all the time, so knowing what the answer is when I get that question, “Mom! What’s for dinner?!” is very satisfying. And also knowing that there are snacks, breakfast and healthy lunch items to send out the door with them is huge.
So with that said, I’m going to do a reprise of my menu planning system for anyone who is interested in it.
I’ll cover one topic at a time, and eventually end up with a 10-step plan to getting yourself onto a food and menu planning system. If you find that food stresses you out – and it can especially if you have several mouths to feed – this is a series for you. And if you have your own system, I’d love to hear about it. I’m not perfect (yes, I said it) and there’s always room for improvement.
And thanks for all the kind words about Jack that you all posted on my and Pete’s FB page. He was a constant in our lives more than we knew and we miss him terribly. Daisy misses him also, but she’s getting some extra love and treats these days that I’m sure she is enjoying!