Broken wrists and grocery shopping are hard, but not really that hard, and books are boring, but not too boring. And every day, life slips away

Yesterday was six weeks since I broke my wrist; today is six weeks since I came home from the hospital after midnight surgery (11 PM to 1 AM) to repair it. Six weeks for the bone to heal sounded so long, but in hindsight it doesn’t seem to have been too terribly long.

I do hate that I didn’t get to use those weeks to catch up on cleaning and organizing before the next round of birthdays and holidays. The next couple of months will bring Hazel’s 3rd birthday, Rose’s 8th, Mabel’s 12th, as well as Easter and Rose’s baptism. And the kids have lots of school projects. It’s always a busy time of year for us.

I have an idea to have a weekly “moving day,” when I pretend I’ll be moving soon, and try to get rid of unneeded things with as much abandon as if the alternative were to load them on a truck. The idea is that by doing this, someday when we actually do move, the process will be a little less wretched. But somehow the bare minimum of things that have to get done seems to take up all the time, week after week, and I never get around to my fake moving days. I guess that’s why actual moving days are so loathsome; we never really have time to move, but sometimes have to anyway.

Does anyone else feel overwhelmed by grocery shopping? Grocery stores make me extremely grateful that so much good food is so readily available so cheaply (I’ve heard that Americans spend 7% of their income on food, an unprecedentedly small percentage) and I’m all the more grateful after I get the food home. But in the store, I’m overwhelmed by all the decisions to make. Shall I pick up Valentines and candy for the kids’ classes now, and run the risk that the kids don’t like what I get, or wait and take the kids with me on a separate trip? (This time, I opted to buy now–wish me luck that the kids will be happy with what I chose.) How many canned goods can I fit in my cart and still have room for produce and bread? Should I wait to stock up on canned goods until a really good sale?

I always think I could (and should) be doing better at shopping cheaply, buying a good variety of nutritious foods, and building up an expansive and varied food storage for emergencies. My problem is probably that I have a detail-oriented mind AND a mind that tries to see the big picture, so the grocery store is just over-stimulating for me.

It’s silly, really, because even if I don’t do the best job ever at economizing, we’re doing fine. I’ll always hear stories of people who feed their families on a smaller budget than I do or are really good at finding deals and shopping sales– but we’re not going bankrupt on food, so my anxiety is based more on fear of failure, or the thought that I could do much better, than on actual harm befalling my family.

(I do need to keep building our food storage. And rotating it. And cooking more often–now that my broken wrist is nearly healed. But all that can be done a little at a time.) (Right?)

Hazel said something really cute and funny this morning, and I can’t remember what it was. Every day brings fresh losses.

I just finished reading Anne Perry’s “Death of a Stranger,” which is something like the 12th book in her William Monk series. I think I started reading this one before I broke my wrist, and then I just could not get back into it. Her books always start slow, and this one still hadn’t really caught my interest halfway in. I almost gave up on it. And then, finally, about two-thirds through, it got interesting and stayed interesting right to the last page. It even had a few plot twists I didn’t guess, and an exciting action sequence. So that was fun. I also liked that this book harked back to the first book of the series, “The Face of a Stranger,” and finally resolved some questions from that one.

It’s a little surprising to me that these books haven’t been made into movies or a TV series. Get on that, ITV.

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11 Responses to Broken wrists and grocery shopping are hard, but not really that hard, and books are boring, but not too boring. And every day, life slips away

  1. Jason says:

    I hear you.

  2. Holly says:

    I totally agree that the grocery store is overstimulating- and that it’s hard to find a balance between stocking up for food storage, getting a good deal and eating healthy. I like your idea of having a pretend “moving day.” Good luck making it happen!

  3. Trina says:

    I fully relate to “the bare minimum” taking up all the time, and I’ve come to dread grocery shopping–for similar reasons to what you describe. So, no helpful thoughts, just sympathy.

    • zstitches says:

      I love sympathy! Thank you! Now that I’m emerging back into contact with the outside world, I think it’s time for us to do lunch again (or some such thing).

      • Trina says:

        Lunch (or some such thing) would be fabulous. Wednesdays (music classes) are the only days I really can’t, though Fridays get a little tricky with early out for one of mine. When is good for you? (I guess we could actually have this coversation via email or even the-gasp-phone and not in blog comments :-).

  4. the MomB says:

    I’m so blown away by your shopping-bunny graphic that I can hardly respond to all the other things I liked about this post.
    I used to feel guilty about loathing grocery shopping for a large family (because, as you say, I always realized how blessed we are to have access to such variety and plenty); now I dread it for other reasons. There’s a lot more I could say, but it’s late and I’m tired and I’m still blown away by that bunny and have to keep going back and looking at it, but I will add this: I SYMPATHIZE!!

  5. Andy says:

    How fascinating–It had never occurred to me to be overwhelmed at the grocery store, though I DEFINITELY have the same detail-oriented-AND-trying-to-see-the-big-picture brain. Granted, I’ve never been the one responsible for shopping for a large family. I DO feel that kind of anxiety shopping for things like a new computer, where it has to be the very best AND the very best value (Apple products are Right Out in that regard).

    In many ways, I’m still riding the high of having My Very Own Money and getting to buy However Much I Want of Whatever I want (after growing up the next-to-youngest of nine kids and being told, “you may have seven or eight Cheese Nips crackers, and I’d fantasize about owning my very own box of Cheese Nips).

    I’m an I-like-new-hyphenated-adjectives kind of person today.

    • zstitches says:

      Yesterday I let Rose pick out a bag of Circus Animal cookies when I took her to the store to get a birthday gift for her friend. On the way home she and I each ate six, then Dean let each kid eat one before dinner, then everyone who hadn’t had any got five after dinner–and then there were just a few left in the bag.

      I can remember enjoying grocery shopping before I had to shop for a big family.

  6. Hannah Holt says:

    The grocery store is overwhelming to me because I usually have three or more children with me. It’s really hard to compare base unit pricing when someone is screaming. Also I can only shop at stores with two infant grocery carts. It’s no fun when I get there, and they only have the single seaters left.
    My Valentines candy dilemma is this: Do I buy the candy now and risk that it will all be eaten by Valentines Day? Or do I risk shopping at the last minute and risk not making to the store at all?

    • zstitches says:

      Why don’t you just leave your kids at home to tend themselves? Easy solution. (I imagine you’ll be able to detect the sarcasm in the the previous suggestion.)

      I bought Dum-Dum lollipops for the kids to give with their valentines because they were relatively cheap, and not tempting to me. But now Mabel wants jelly beans for an inside joke she has with her classmates, and I’ll probably indulge her and make a separate trip. (I’m a sucker for inside jokes.) (Or should I say a jelly bean for them?)

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