Off-Topic Tuesday :: Minimalism / Vegetarianism May Update

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of what we most value and the removal of anything that distracts from it.”
–Joshua Becker

So we are halfway through the month of May and my twin journeys of minimalism and vegetarianism are going rather well!

To help me through Minimalism May, I found a 30-day minimalism task calendar on Pinterest that I started following.  Well I only got a few days into it before I abandoned it and started doing my own thing.  Oops.  The issue with it was that there was a day where the task was one thing, but I didn’t have enough time that night to do it.  And there was another day where it was like a ‘digital cleanse’ where you turn off all your electronic devices for the day, but I couldn’t do that, because all the recipes I was making that day were on Pinterest, so I NEEDED to use my electronic devices.  So by the time the weekend rolled around, and I was cleaning out my third bedroom (playroom/home office) so I could begin unpacking my barn, I decided I would attempt to do as many of the tasks on the calendar as possible, just maybe not on the day specified.  For example, maybe I can do my digital cleanse on a day that I’m home and will be busy doing other things and not need to access my phone for recipes or whatnot.

So with that said, I’d like to pat myself on the back for the progress I made so far with unpacking my barn!!  There are four ‘bays’ in my barn.  The first weekend of May, I was focused on the boxes in ‘bay 2’, which had mostly kitchen boxes and office boxes (boxes of books, photo albums, photography equipment, etc).  I unpacked my mason jars!!!  And even though I’d been wanting to do that, I was wondering where I was going to store them all.  I have a pantry at the top of my basement steps, but it’s pretty gross, and I try not to store stuff there.  I really only store canned goods and jarred goods in there, you know, things that farmhouse crawlspace basement creepy crawlies can’t find their way into.  BUT.  I had a ton of bags of specialty ‘things’ hanging out in there.  Bags of almond flour, arrowroot powder, dried chilies, etc.  I decided all those things would be so much safer in mason jars!  Killed two birds with one stone, woop!  Bonus: I discovered that some of those bags of ‘things’ were expired, so I tossed them.  Yay!  Maybe I killed three birds with one stone there.

As for the office/playroom stuff, my daughter and I spent an entire afternoon cleaning up that room together.  I helped her make decisions on what she should toss and what she should keep.  There were plenty of things (ahem ARTWORK!) she wanted to keep that I thought would be better off tossed, but we decided to give it a week or so until we get to the playroom boxes in the barn.  That’s when we’ll bring in that artwork storage box I told you about a couple weeks ago, the one that is already overflowing?  The one I told her I would never buy another one and she would have to fit everything she’d ever want to keep in this one box?  So yeah.  She’s gonna have some hard decisions to make once she has to start going through that.  But we DID manage to throw out a huge trash bag full of crap and clean the room up and organize it nicely.  (Side note:  I can’t wait till she’s old enough that I can get rid of some of these toys.  She never even plays with her kitchen set anymore but WE MUST KEEP IT.  Eventually though, she will be old enough that she will no longer even need a playroom, and then it will just be my office, and I will be sad, because she won’t be my little girl anymore.  Wah.  🙁)

I didn’t get to unpack the barn over this past weekend though because we were too busy with Mother’s Day and stuff.  I hope to get back to it this weekend, because I don’t want to give up now!!

I also signed us up for a donations porch pickup later this month.  So that’s my deadline to get all kinds of stuff out of my house – clothes, shoes, books, kitchenwares, etc.  I’ll be chipping away at that list over the next several days, and set it all outside my door and someone will come get it!  I don’t even have to lug it to a Goodwill!  #score

So, we are making progress with minimalism!!

As for vegetarianism, WOW.  I only have to say that I am SHOCKED that I have not yet missed meat – NOT ONCE.  In fact, just the other day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw someone cooking a cheeseburger, and he sort of shoved his spatula into the middle of it to push it apart to show it being cooked to a perfect medium, and I kind of got sick to my stomach.  🙁  I quickly kept scrolling.  But Aaron and I were talking about how neither of us have really missed meat; the recipes we’ve tried have all been very good, I have at least 3-4 new keepers so far; and wouldn’t it be nice if we could adopt a mostly-plant-based diet?  What if we could follow an 80/20 vegetarian rule?  I’ve all but given up on eating pork chops, and I may occasionally eat a single piece of bacon, on something.  We pretty much never eat chicken anymore.  If anything, we are big red meat eaters.  Steaks, cheeseburgers, tacos, etc.  But even then, it’s only a few times a week, tops.  I don’t see me ever giving up 100% on meat.  Sometimes you just want a basket of chicken fingers, ya know?  And it does help to add variety to our diets.  I made a sincere effort to make sure we were not eating pasta every single night during this month, and it hasn’t been as hard as I’ve thought.  I do feel as though the food I eat is more satisfying, somehow, too.  Bonus: I’ve been eating A LOT of Mexican food 🙂 there are so many vegetarian options in Mexican cuisine!

I am a little worried about what will happen to my digestive system the first time I eat meat again after not having eaten it for a whole month.  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  I’m normally the kind of person where, if I’m depriving myself of something I love, I start to envision what it will be like when I can have it again.  But I haven’t done that yet this month.  So I don’t know, what will I eat to break my vegetarianism?  A steak?  A cheeseburger?  A cheesesteak?  I don’t really know.  I don’t really miss meat enough yet to be salivating after something specific.  Maybe that will change though.  We shall see!

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