Go Big or Go Home?

Go big or go home. Words I lived by.

I could recognize the benefits of thinking smaller when it came to my animals. Small dogs have less joint problems, they have a lower center of gravity so they’re better on rocky scrambles, they eat less, and they’re travel size. Bantam chickens are less destructive on grass, they eat less, they poop less, they need less space. Think bigger, go smaller is my mantra with my animals. But that hadn’t carried over to the rest of my life.

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I used to meal plan an entire month in one sitting. It was okay at first, but it quickly became a huge and frustrating chore. After spending hours trying to think of 30 meals, we would then need to buy and prepare everything that could be prepared ahead. It was terrible. I ended up burning out and had to quit when the rest of my life reached peak stress. I’ve started up again, but I’ve cut the planning to each week and we only shop for a few days at a time. It’s so much nicer this way.

I made dog food two weeks at a time. It was okay when it was just Suki, but when Roe joined us that meant I was preparing over 40 cups of food in one sitting. Making enough food to last that long also meant I needed a larger variety of vegetables. I’ve now scaled this back to just three days each batch, although I do pre-prepare the meat for the month. It’s easier to plan out my recipes and quicker to throw together. The dogs are actually getting more variety this way too. It’s also much easier to plan their vegetables to coincide with ours, streamlining the shopping and meal prep for both of us.

Hiking was about doing as much as we could. Pushing as far as we could go. The complications we ran into with Suki’s Addison’s Disease put a halt to that, at one point leaving us yard-bound when she became resistant to her first medication. Her adrenals had failed the rest of the way, but she wasn’t metabolizing the meds she needed to replace that. There was no way I was going out without her, and she just didn’t have the energy to do anything. So we hit pause, and I had to learn to take it easy. Now that we’re easing back into hiking it just doesn’t seem as important to check off distance accomplishments or breaking our average minutes per kilometer. I’m just enjoying seeing her enjoy herself. I’m rediscovering the joy of just exploring.

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So for the rest of this year I’m going to take a page from my dogs: Go smaller, have more fun, and maybe even end up accomplishing more because of it.

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