January 30, 2013 Monday morning the kids had a 2 hour delay due to serious ice on the roads. In all likelihood, the best call would have been a three hour delay, but if they do that they might as well call school off since that doesn't leave long enough of a school day to count. The morning was gross, cold and rainy and freezing rainy. Maybe 35 degrees. Everything I hate about winter in Virginia.
Yesterday (Tuesday) was about 70 degrees or more, and bright sunshine. Everything I love about winter in Virginia.
My scheduled workout was Les Mills Combat, a mixed-martial arts program (kick boxing, to me!) - 60 minutes of sweating and kicking and generally feeling my muscles get sore as I work. I was supposed to do that at 5:30 in the morning, but Sadie (almost 15-year-old beagle) was up 4 times in the middle of the night. Worse than having an infant. 5:30 was not physically possible for me.
After 4 hours of desk work in town, I hopped in my car to head home and PUSH PLAY. On the drive, though, I longed for sunshine on my face. I wrestled with the idea of taking a walk instead of jabbing air in my living room. "I'm supposed to do it. My group is counting on me. I love Dan and Rach and their banter. I LOVE the way I feel when I'm done!" The other voice told me, "It's gorgeous out. It's going to snow later this week. It's January. Go walk."
I listened to the other voice. Changed into shorts and a tank top, found my headphones, strapped on my knee brace, tied my shoes. It was GLORIOUS. I walked fast and pushed myself hard, and reveled in the fact that I could, actually, choose this as my plan for the day. Was it as good a workout physically as 60 minutes of Combat would have been? No. Was it what I needed for myself psychologically, and maybe even spiritually? Yes. I spoke to neighbors, waved at playing kids. I engaged with my community, even as I was playing air drums to music.
The night before, I made chicken curry for dinner. I marinated the meat, caramelized the onions, and realized I had a half a carton of vegetable stock and an open can of coconut milk in the fridge. I don't normally use those items in my curry, but hey - they were open, and the flavors work.
My family ate it all. Barely enough for lunch the next day. Clearly, using up what was in the fridge did that curry no harm at all.
Like being able to look at the weather and decide what I need physically and mentally, being able to think on the fly and give myself permission to do things a little differently in the kitchen can reap unexpected benefits.
Give yourself permission to step out of the plan, to go with the flow. And don't apologize for it either.