Tiny Sparks of (Christmas) Joy

A day of loveliness on Saturday, two great meals with family and friends and a lot of catching up and making new memories.

Making gingerbread and eating it while watching the Snowman.

A nap on Sunday. I needed it; I’ve been running on about six hours’ worth of sleep a night.

Having almost all of what’s not a lot of Christmas shopping done.

Planning our time for Christmas day. Spending time with our families no matter what happens is always the most important thing.

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Tiny Sparks of (Christmas) Joy

On Planning

I am still musing over needing a plan. This week is not going to be a good one for me, but I’m making the best of it and I’ve planned to get to the gym every morning if possible. I’ve planned something for Friday, Saturday was booked up long ago and Sunday still needs a plan. I already feel a little better about things when I’m grabbing some control.

I should have heeded Marjorie’s sage advice, namely, to make plans because weeks have a habit of drifting by and planning stops that from happening too often. She also regularly espoused the need for hobbies. I’m planning on planning for this. I feel more in control when I’m making decisions.

On Planning

I need a plan

When I was younger, I don’t think I ever had a real plan. I had vague ambitions about getting into a certain university to do a certain course of study. Beyond that, I didn’t have a plan. I never planned my career and I ambled and drifter after graduation. Fear meant I stayed in jobs and work situations that weren’t ideal or that deep down I knew weren’t really what I wanted to do.

But I didn’t know what I wanted to do!

I thought my current job was my plan, but it isn’t. It happens to suit me for various reasons and in terms of efficiency its a pretty good way to use my main skill set to earn money in a secure sector. I realised this week I don’t love it. Sometimes, I don’t even like it.

I don’t want to quit on a bad day and, quite frankly, I don’t have the courage to quit without having some sort of plan. So I need a plan! For once in my life I want to have a plan that I know is the route for me and that isn’t mainly centred on the fact that I am afraid of what will happen if I don’t take this safe path.

I’m going to use my time to figure out what I should do. I’m going to try to use my time more efficiently (like not obsessively checking twitter to see what fresh hell Trump is creating) and try to get familiar with myself again.

I need a plan

Back to School(ish)

My work mirrors the school year, in that September is a time where things start getting back into gear. I’ve had a great summer, with nearly a month away from the office, and plenty of long evenings in our garden and time for other projects. This week it will be back to normal and I’ve cleaned and tidied my desk in readiness.

As part of an overall plan for our finances and lives, we’ve both been bringing lunches to work every day in an effort to trim some of our expenditure. I love cooking and want to eat the healthy things I know are better for my body and my wallet. I’ve acquired a small lunch-sized cool bag and I’m going to be realistic about what I need to eat to keep me going, especially on those days where I’m at my desk for the guts of 12 hours.

I’ve realised I don’t need any new clothes for the work year ahead. My self-imposed clothes buying ban continues, and just this morning I realised I had two dresses I had completely forgotten about – it’s like having something new without having to buy it. I’ll probably have to get my two pairs of winter boots resoled at some point, but they’re comfortable and solid so I’m happy to bear that expense.

Back to School(ish)

Planning A Zero Waste Holiday

After some weeks of mainly pointless research and reading of reviews, we’ve decided to return to the same place we holidayed in last year. This will be our third year of the same sort of holiday and I feel like this year is the one we’ll nail it. We’ll be travelling on a ferry and staying at a campsite in Brittany.

Last year, having started on a zero waste approach, I noticed some of the supermarkets in France had dispenser like things for putting nuts, pulses and pasta into your own containers. I plan on bringing some of our own containers this year to take full advantage. There’s also an excellent deli about five minutes’ walk from where we’re staying, so the containers will come in handy there too.

We eschewed suitcases last year for reasons of space in the car and in the mobile home. Packing everything into vacuum bags, even if they’re not actually vacuumed out and fill with air before you even drive onto the ferry, was a revelation. We also brought about half of what we did the year before. I plan on bringing a capsule wardrobe of whatever worked last year, including two pairs of my trusty Saltwater sandals, and washing everything half way through the holiday. Fingers crossed the sunshine will do the drying.

I never liked waste even before trying to go zero waste. Therefore, it came naturally to me to pack a box of things we know we’ll use while away. We tended to eat in most days, a BBQ and a glass of Crement de Loire being as relaxing as any dinner out after a long day of sitting on the beach reading. So packing a box with staples from home, including our salt and pepper grinders, condiments we like and our own linen napkins and tea towels is a must. We shop while away, but knowing we have the basics to tide us over saves time, hassle and money.

This year I’m going to do a little more research into local caves and see what’s on offer. We always leave room for plenty of wine and sourcing amazing finds locally, as we did on our first holiday like this, is even better than a large supermarket run.

Sometimes I think planning is the best part.

 

Planning A Zero Waste Holiday