My family spends a huge amount of time at the kitchen table. We eat our meals there, make some meals on it and talk about our day. We also do craft projects, homework, play games and science experiments at our kitchen table. This mom even blogs on it at times. So, I suppose you could say this table is the center of much of our family life. It can be a drag at times, as I feel I spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen. The plus side of this is that we spend our time as a family together engaged in different activities. Even if the children are doing homework at the table I can still be there for them while I clean up after dinner. It’s home base.
This Summer I began to slide down a slippery slope of feeling incomplete. When it was time to settle down at the end of the day I was angered by all the work that I failed to complete. Then I began to turn that anger towards my kitchen. I figured that most of my day was lost in the kitchen. Between preparing 3 meals, cleaning up after them, and then any projects that the kids wanted to complete I began to feel like a prisoner. I rebelled. I started to limit my time in the kitchen by serving less than nutritious meals or the same meals over and over again. I let the dishes back up in the sink. I hated this place. What I didn’t realize was that by doing those rebellious things it just made things worse. Now I’d wake up in the morning with a bigger mess to clean and was depressed at the crappy meals I was serving. I became obsessed with thinking about other moms and if they REALLY enjoyed this crap. I had to snap out of this funk, after all this is part of the gig. I needed to do something and something quick. This mom had lost her groove and she wanted it back.
My favorite line is “Your life isn’t going to change if you keep doing the same things that got you there.” Well, I have to cook for these guys and I have to clean. How can I change that or the thought of that? So, for my experiment I moved my kitchen table. I know you are probably thinking I’m a crack pot, but I truly believe there is always something that you can do to change your life. It’s still in my kitchen, I just moved it around to face a different way. I rearranged the chairs and the bench. I added a floral arrangement, napkin holder and condiments to the center. Then I took a breath and attacked my kitchen cabinets. I grabbed a box to fill with items that haven’t been touched in months. (Like that grill cheese maker- really! like I needed another appliance) I just went wild. I pulled all the papers off my fridge, got rid of the play dough containers that have long since dried up. I looked around and it was good.
Sometimes just a small change can make a huge difference in a persons life. My kids loved that I moved the table. I found being in the kitchen to not a burden anymore. My shiny clean counters beckoned me to cook something fabulous on them. The storage containers no longer fell all over the floor when I opened my cabinets. They just sit there all lined up waiting to store leftovers or possibly a freezer meal. The crafts are all organized and nicely tucked into a cabinet all of their own. The baby items are long gone. The kitchen is now once again a place of family, food, and good times. I look forward to keeping this energy flowing for as long as I can. That’s the secret, all things need to change in order to grow.