I read somewhere that the key to having a sucessful life was to reduce the amount of decisions that you needed to make in the course of a day. The theory is that you have a limited amount of brain capacity that you can devote to decisions and if you start off by making lots of them, you lose that capacity and that leads to chaos. Ok maybe not actual chaos, maybe more “I can’t decide what to cook for dinner, let’s order in” type chaos.
I don’t know if the theory is accurate or rubbish, but I notice that if I set up my day in advance (if I know what I’m wearing, where my keys are and what the plan for breakfast is) then I don’t feel that I spend the day feeling behind.Everyone knows this. There are people who can be effective, creative, happy and chaotic, but I am not one of those people, I am like a toddler, I need routine and certainty to function properly and thrive.
The only downside to this is that because I’m an adult, I have to enforce the routine and certainty upon myself because I don’t have a parent to do it for me (she retired, exhausted after years in the field with me, Ben and my Dad!). This means that I need to make time to do the things that will make my weekdays less stressful. This is the worst thing about being an adult, it’s that you have to show up and do the work. Things won’t work unless you do. Things can go wrong sure but all of adult life involves getting the hell on with it.
I’ve been open about how menu planning keeps me on track financially and stops food waste and it’s been fairly clear in the last 8 months that all the produce coming off the allotment saw my strict menu planning relax a little bit. But the allotment has stopped producing, there are things growing but very, very slowly. So I need to get back to effective menu planning because I no longer have 24 courgettes a week to turn into food!Which is why on Sunday night my fridge contained all my lunches and breakfast for this week and why they are all the same thing. Lunches are leftovers from Saturday night, dahl, rice and chana masala and flatbreads. Breakfast will be an egg roll. All of this can be heated up in a microwave at the office and I chopped a load of carrots and peppers to go with it. This week the only cooking I’ve had to do has been dinner. New recipes are always fun and cooking can be creative but sometimes (and for me that time is almost always in November!) feeding yourself is effort and frontloading the week is what works.