When I Move to Whistler, I Will…

(my oldest, in the air)

Here’s what I’m telling myself:

When I move to Whistler I will:

– cook more

– do yoga

– make the kids turn off their iPods

– ride my bike

– start my writing career (doesn’t that sound cheesy – I mean, who just decides to start a writing career)

– walk everywhere

– shop less

– worry less

– start back to work a few hours a week

– spend more time with Squirrel

– train the kids to sleep in their own beds all night

Here’s the truth:

None of that is going to happen if I don’t start now.

But, I’m getting ready to put our house on the market! I have to power wash, mow the lawn, organize my drawers, wash the walls, weed the garden and fluff the pillows. I have to worry, feel guilty, exhaust myself and get ill. I have to counsel the kids, apologize to the neighbours, scream at Squirrel, meet with the realtor, stage the house and sell on Craigslist.

I’m a busy girl, don’t you know.

Or, maybe I’m just anxious and that anxiety is causing me to micro focus on shit that doesn’t really matter. Unfortunately, that anxiety moves with me.

I guarantee there will be new dramas to micro manage in Whistler. Unpacking, settling in, getting used to a new school and new neighbours, making new friends, finding part-time work.

These things are all inherently stressful and require a great deal of energy, but it’s my anxiety about them that really exhausts me.

The truth is  there’s no reason I can’t:

– do a five minute meditation every morning

– throw down a sun salutation while I’m packing or playing with the kids

– go back to my simple rice, pasta, two veggie dinner plan

– start a simple, private blog for my children’s chapter book and type a sentence or two a day

– ease the kids back into a bedroom routine

None of this requires any more energy than my anxiety is sucking out of me. And, maybe if I lay the groundwork, I’ll take a little less fear and a little more focus with me when we make our move at the end of the summer.

What little thing are you telling yourself you can’t start right now?

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In a Renting State of Mind

(image source)

We haven’t found our dream home in Whistler yet. Perhaps because our dreams are quite different. A suite at the Chateau Whistler has enough square footage for my needs. Squirrel still covets a slopeside mansion. Our nine-year old would be quite happy camping under a jump in the bike park, and our five-year old just wants everyone trapped in the same room so he can torture us all with his non-stop rapid fire questions.

Renting has come across our radar as a very good possibility. There is a 3 bedroom town home listed for rent walking distance from both the school and a grocery store. However, because it’s a resort town, most rentals in Whistler are rented furnished. And that changes everything.

It’s one thing to speculate about how much an object costs you to store, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually have to pay per square foot to store it.

The flood gates have opened.

Here’s what I donated or listed for sale this week:

Donated:

– lamp

– kids table and chairs

– kids plastic shopping cart

another garbage bag full of clothes and toys

Listed (on Craigslist or eBay):

– china

– entryway table

– nursing glider and ottoman

– chair and ottoman

– wardrobe storage cabinet

–  set of speakers

– coffee table

to go:

– fertilizer spreader

– broken lawn mower

– leather couch

– tv cabinet

And we still have way more stuff than we’d like to pay to store! Ideally, and I say ideally knowing it will likely end up much less than ideal, I would only like to pay to store the following:

– sectional couch

– love seat

– kitchen table and bench

– king bed, side tables, dresser (our bedroom set)

– coffee table set (4 pcs. glass)

…which means the china cabinet, the kid’s bunk beds which they’ve almost outgrown, 4 dining chairs, and 3 bar stools need to be reconsidered.

We hired a real estate agent this week and I’ve been able to channel some of my moving angst into sending her non-stop e-mails and calling twice daily. Poor unsuspecting woman.

We also talked my Dad into coming straight from helping my sister paint her kitchen to our house to help with touch-ups. The term elder abuse came up, but we conveniently assumed he was kidding.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to list the house by next weekend. If my agent is reading this she’ll be laughing hysterically, but I have high hopes and lofty expectations. A dream client, no?

If anyone has some advice for me on how to stay sane during a move, I need to hear it!

Would You Like Rice And Pasta With That?

I composed this post last week but got derailed by a couple of unexpected calamities.

What a relief to be back!

Here’s what I meant to post last week:

I read two blog posts this week that inspired me for two completely different reasons.

The first is Eco Cat Lady‘s post on New Year’s resolutions. I laughed out loud at myself as I fulfilled all of her prophecies:

The way I see it, people pretty much always do what they want to do. So whatever dysfunctional things you’re doing must be serving some sort of purpose in your life. And until you uncover what that purpose is, there is just no way that you’re gonna be able to muscle your way into changing your behavior.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with her, you will laugh reading her post: Thoughts On Simplicity.

Then there’s blogger Julien Smith’s post  The Complete Guide To Snapping The @#$% Out Of It. Here, he takes issue not with New Year’s Resolutions but with our insistence on implementing them in the same unsuccessful way year after year. His advice:

Get yourself a goddamn system.

So, I applied a system to meal planning this week but first, I had to forget everything I’d ever learned about nutrition.

I started by making meal plans around what my family actually eats and not around what they should eat. Since two of us eat rice and two of us eat pasta, I decided to make both instead of wracking my brain for a rice based meal to appeal to Squirrel and our youngest or a pasta based meal to appeal to me and our oldest.

I became the much maligned family short order cook! Did I mention I had to forget everything I learned in parenting books too?

Fortunately, it worked! The rice and pasta lured them to the table where I ambushed them with peas (oldest loves, youngest hates) and carrots (oldest dislikes, youngest tolerates). I tossed a protein on the plate (not touching the rest of the food, of course) chicken, hot dogs, beans or eggs and Bam! we’re all at the table eating something every night at six o’clock.

So we’re not eating the delicious, well-balanced, organic vegetarian meals I fantasize about and no one ever eats. We’re also not eating pizza twice a week, peanut butter sandwiches in the car, at McDonald’s, or with someone screaming maniacally: “I don’t care if you don’t like it – just eat it!”

The added bonus is that since I know there is something on the plate everyone likes, I have no qualms about leaving it on the table for the inevitable cry of: “I’m hungry!” after dinner. And that, my friends, saves me more back and forths to the kitchen for yogurt, cheese sticks, and granola bars than you can begin to imagine.

Added bonus: It turns out that this meal can be prepared using very little brain power in the midst of a calamity.

Do you have any calamity proof systems in place?