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I’m tempted to make this a week of music videos.  I’ve been thinking about a version of this post for over a week.

One of the things I hate about yearly goals is that, no matter how much I try to control my life, I am derailed by things that are not only out of my control but completely unpredictable.  Well, somethings could be a little bit but never enough that I can plan for those bumps in the road.  I had such plans this year.  This was going to be “the” summer.  I was going to have so many adventures to share.  Then our tight budget became tighter due to some bills increasing (really?!)

Then to add to the chaos – my father announced he was dating, then getting married and moving all in the same week.  We’ve been helping him the past few weekends.  While that may not seem like a huge upset, it has been.  We’ve, gladly, given him our time to help move but it’s impacted our budget.  It was completely unexpected.  You see for the past few years we’ve had 2 dinners a week with my father.  That’s 2 more dinners every week that we are completely responsible which means our groceries are not stretching as much as we’d like.

The reality is this – we are broke all the time.  It’s very frustrating.  Our, already tight, grocery budget has been cut by a hundred dollars each month.  I’m not going to tell you what we are down to but I will tell you that we’ve had to really make some sacrifices.

The worst part is that we’ve just been coasting this summer.  It’s like I can’t get a handle on it.  I don’t know if it’s because I am not eating as well as before or if it’s stress but I’m almost praying for summer to be over.  I want to wish away this year with such desperation that I have fallen into a bit of a depression – it’s not huge nor is it unmanageable.  I just struggle with not wanting to wish my days away.  I fight that trap that someday it will be better.  In this case, we have a bit of date in mind since next year we will have all our credit cards paid off.

So, I have decided to rally.  Take back control (this is that wonderful thing that happens when you are getting over being sick – that I must change everything feeling).  It’s not going to be huge changes but it is a shift in my thinking.  Instead of focusing on all the things we are missing and all the struggles, I am going to focus on things I can control.  I may not be able to afford great adventures so we’ll start having them even closer to home.  Take time to rediscover those free things in our community as well as those adventures just waiting for us in our pantry.  Yes, I said pantry.

Do you know there is nothing more difficult than being excited about a pantry that never changes?  Almost every night we struggle with what are we going to eat.  We dream about all the things we can’t have and forget there are some wonderful things hidden in our own home.  We have foods in our pantry and freezer that are probably older than they should be.  I know we have some canned goods that moved into our home with us many, many years ago (mostly jelly) that we can do something with.

So, that is where things will be changing.  Yes, the blog will be more random because what I will be cooking may be out of season, may not.  Who knows?  I don’t think it will really do any harm because I am certain there are a number of you out there in similar situations.  We’ve never been the sort of people who eat extravagantly but we eat well.  It’s time to remember that we can still eat well with what we have.

What is the saying – it’s not about having what you love but loving what you have.