Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rebuilding my Routine

This last month has been a major time of adaptation for me. Breaking up, moving, living alone, etc.  But it's also been a time of opportunity, of being able to change some things about my lifestyle in positive ways. I'm now living alone in a little first-floor apartment, having to get used to the noise of the person living above me -sharing walls, floor/ceiling with other people has always made me super crotchety. This time, I'm determined to get used to it, deal with it, and not let it get to me so much. The more I think about it, the more I think I want to just stay put for a good period of time. I've lived in Portland for over ten years (including college), and I've lived in about 8 different places. I seem to move every year and a half or so, and also change jobs pretty regularly. I think a new personal goal of mine is to stay in this apartment for a minimum of two years. Maybe more like three. And to look for a good full-time job as soon as I have my degree, and hold that job down for a similar period of time, if not longer. The plans I used to have for the future are in smithereens, so for now I just want to keep the ground steady under my feet and have some consistency to my life for awhile, rather than continuing my somewhat itinerant ways. Stability. I'm trying to get back into a routine of sorts, and figure out what works in this new phase of my life.

Poor, sad basil plant in my eastern window with the sun blocked by a cedar hedge. Sigh.

One of my biggest lifestyle adjustments right now is not having a garden, or even a yard, or even a lot of windows. I have been so used to being able to pop outside and do some yardwork or have a walk around the garden if I get restless, but I can't do that now. My neighborhood is lovely, and there's a nice big park nearby, so walks are still possible, but I miss having the garden. In the split, I kept the community garden plot for my own, so I will still be able to grow veggies and flowers this summer. That plot is still very near my work, and about a 15-minute bike ride from my apartment. I looked into getting a plot in the community garden that is close to my place, but it has a 3-year waiting list! I have barely given a thought to garden planning yet- there was been so much else to contend with. There won't be much space, but I'll probably still start some veggies in my apartment and transplant them out, and also grow herbs and maybe some veggies in containers out on the sidewalk. That's the north side of the building though, so I'm not sure how good of a spot it will be!

My amaryllis doesn't mind the lack of sunshine. Fun to see it grow at least 1/4 inch per day.

One of my other big changes is that I got a Zipcar membership. I no longer have Matt's car to fall back on, and while I'm very happy to commute and do most errands by bus and bike, occasionally the need for a big grocery run or hauling something larger comes up, and this is a great solution. It was invaluable while moving and shopping for small items of furniture in the last couple of weeks. I paid $60 for a year's membership on the "occasional driving" plan, and used a coupon that got me $75 of free driving right off the bat. After that, it's about $8 an hour for use of a car, and there are lots of cars available close to where I live and work. Plus, it's kind of fun to drive various different types of cars, all of them lovely and new.

My pot of spearmint will move back outside once it's no longer totally freezing out. We've had some snow flurries this week- very wintery for Portland!

Now that school is back in session, my schedule is nuts again, and I'm having to plan things out carefully to make sure I have enough food with me on the days when I'm away from home for 14 hours, and that I have time to get all my schoolwork done and remember to get all my readings downloaded to my laptop while I'm at school, and so on. I'm keeping up my old habit of menu planning, but now I'm only doing it for a week at a time- I think it will give me a little more flexibility based on what ingredients I have available. Since I am not at home for lunch except on weekends, I am planning those lunches too, based on making larger dinners in order to have sufficient leftovers. I've never included lunches in my menu plans before, so we'll see how that goes. I finally got myself a slow cooker, so that's a new (and wonderful!) thing for me too- putting something on to cook in the morning before I leave, and having it ready to eat when I get home. 

In many ways it feels nice to start the new year with new routines and some big lifestyle changes. Are any of you doing similar things this year?

1 comment:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I am proud of you dear Liz and like your positive attitude in spite of loss and upheaval in your life.

I am going through the loss of my dear husband of 43 years so getting into new routines has been rough. Doing for one is not the same as doing for or with two, as you well know.

Love and hugs to you in all that you do this year. May you feel love, peace, joy and strength flowing through and surrounding you.