Some may call it blessing, others may call it a curse. But the truth is, my preferred way of living is a all-consuming balancing act between loving spontaneity and chaos, yet being an absolute stickler for the rules. I’m not sure where the lines are – and they constantly shift – but right now, I’m in a rules place. I’m enjoying stability, order, structure and routine. I’m loving the fact that I start work at 9am, have a tea break at 11, lunch at 12, and dead on 5, I leave. I am comforted by the knowledge that I have enough bread to last me until Thursday, when like clockwork, I will have some more delivered. The fact that my wardrobe is currently orderly is giving me inner peace.
In around a month’s time, there’s a chance that my life may be in utter chaos. I’ll be craving the life of a freelancer, out of bread and wading through a heavy sea of discarded garments in my bedroom. I don’t know when the tipping point will come (or indeed whether it will come) but when it does, I’ll be ready and waiting.
So, as I’m calm and collected and organised, this week I’ve decided to go with the grid.
I first saw the grid at my friend Hannah’s house (she must also take the credit for the name). You’ll have seen them too. The grid was pinned to a corkboard in her kitchen. An elegantly formatted word document, all clean lines and crisp edges. It was a table of stability and order; a table of comfort; a table which said ‘It’s cool. I’ve got this shit covered’. It was a table which stopped me in my tracks and made me think about the world in a different way. It made me reassess. It made me feel warm. It was the grid.
The grid is a weekly plan of one’s food, based on the contents of one’s fridge, freezer and cupboards. It is organisation and economy. It’s a challenge to one’s rebellious nature. It’s mother’s comforting hand on your arm. It knows what’s best for you. Gently, it whispers ‘it’s OK’.
The grid also has practical uses. By planning your food ahead you save time and money. It’s an undeniable fact. Secondly, you waste less. By taking stock on a Sunday of all of your chattels, you can make sure that the old stuff gets used first. You can check use by dates and sniff suspicious jars. If you need extra ingredients, the grid will ensure that you can make shopping lists which say things on them like ‘thyme’ or ‘carrots’, as opposed to ‘dinner for Thursday’ or ‘stuff to make cake’.
As I am currently all about order and organisation (and I have a really full fridge of veg which I need to use up. And I’m skint), I’m ready to take on the grid this week. It’s actually not the best week to be doing it, as we’re away from Thursday evening to Monday (this trip away is a blog post in itself – all will be revealed). However, I’m going to try very very hard to stick to this little feller. And if I do, I’ll be on top of the blimmin’ world.