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I skipped making resolutions and goals for 2016. When the year started, I was overwhelmed by our move to Australia and setting up a house yet again. I didn’t have brain space to know what I wanted to do for the year, but I knew what I wanted for January. I wanted my family and I to stop reflexively grabbing McDonalds while we were out, and I wanted to wake up before the boys.

Maybe you’re in the same place, frustrated by the list of big goals but wanting to seize your life and change? Small goals are for the rest of us, the ones whose dreams mock us from the sidelines, the ones who yearn for change but know they can’t just shove everything to one side. We do it bit by bit, piece by piece, and we believe that each piece is making a difference.

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Here are three small changes that have made a bit difference in the past weeks.

1 Simple meal planning. I cook the same food now week after week after week. What this means is that I have essentially the same grocery list, and I use up all of my ingredients because what doesn’t get finished can be re-used on the same recipe the next week (hi there, anchovies). So I save time when it comes to planning meals for the week and writing shopping lists, and I’ve also started memorising the recipes, so I can cook them fast and make adjustments as I wish. I try to cook double so that dinners become our lunches, and I keep it very simple like Mexican for Monday, stir fry for Tuesday, soup for Wednesday, salad for Thursday, curry for Friday.

These are a few of the recipes that have been making our rotations:

Italian Wedding Soup from Edie Wadsworth

Simple 5-Ingredient Falafel and Winter Bliss Bowl (because it’s winter in Australia!!) from Pinch of Yum

Warm Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas and Pomegranates from Nigella Lawson

2 Maintaining my bedroom. I’m happy to report that two months after redoing our master bedroom, it is still a clean, neat and beautiful space. And I still make the bed every morning. Knowing that no matter what happens to the rest of our house, I have one space that is visually peaceful, makes a huge difference to me during the day. Everyone is different, and I’ve noticed that a mess is a stress trigger for me, but I have kids. And I want our kids to have the freedom to create in messy spaces. I won’t be a mother who is forever nagging or requiring completely neat living rooms and dining tables. It has been great to reclaim our bedroom for ourselves and for order.

3 Phone boundaries. I’m still struggling through this one, but the little changes do make a difference. I’ve made these rules for myself:

I can use the phone before 7am (when the boys wake up), but after that it goes away.

I can use it for fun for 30 minutes in the middle of the day.

The phone goes away from 5pm until the boys’ bedtime (6:30-7pm).

At 8pm, the phone is turned off and put away.

I turn the phone off from Saturday evening to Sunday evening as we celebrate Sabbath.

I bought an alarm clock, so the phone is also not with me is in a drawer in the living room and not next to my bed. I use the phone for calls and texting during the day of course, but I get no notifications on my phone for social media, and this is what I wanted to curb. I love Instagram, but I don’t want to be “on” it at random points in the day, only when I want to be there, and only for a purpose. No more mindless scrolling. Or less mindless scrolling anyway.

There you have it. Now tell me, what small changes are making a big impact in your life? 

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Several weeks ago, I was sitting on the grass watching the light shine on the Baltic Sea and the words write themselves on my heart, Get off social media, and it feels like freedom. It feels really, really good. That was July, and I deactivated Facebook a week ago and deleted Instagram and Twitter from my phone. What does it feel like in reality? I still can’t decide.

I walked into the kitchen of our AirBnB host in Helsingør, and my first thought was, I need to post a photo of this. These are the thoughts perhaps that concerned me about my social media intake and output. I could see that I wasn’t appreciating life’s little moments for the sake of appreciating them but I was looking for what to share. There’s nothing wrong with sharing, but I cannot help myself. I am an in real life sort of person. The virtual thing has never appealed to me. Blogging only works because it is a means to share words and ideas, if it wasn’t for that, I would probably quit this space, too.

So hello there, the handful of you who are reading this now that I can’t share this post on any platform. It feels good to “see” you a bit more clearly perhaps? I’m typing on Husband’s laptop by the way, and it’s a Swedish keyboard and a PC, basically I am really struggling. And apologies for some weird text things and typos.

I know that most of the posts I’ve written lately are of the more reflective, heavy nature, but I am hoping in the next weeks and maybe months that there will be more every day writing happening here, not just the serious things, but also the fun, quirky and every day stuff and perhaps a rant or two. Ok, probably more than just two. There are a few soapboxes I’ve been itching to stand on, and I will probably go ahead and do that. Likely the PC typing is going to keep me a bit shorter as well, and that is probably a good thing.

Whoever you are and whatever reason you come here to read, just know that I am thankful for you, and I am hoping to honor your presence with more words here in the weeks to come, and if you want to tell me who you are in the comments,  I promise I will say hi back.