When I was in grade school all those years ago, there were a lot of rules.
I guess the teachers worried that we eight-year-olds would revolt and run wild in the halls. So to counter that possibility, there were “hall monitors.” It was usually a teacher, though sometimes an upper- grade student who walked the halls, checking to make sure any student wandering outside of class had a hall pass.
Are you with me here?
Now that I think of it, there were also lunchroom monitors, playground monitors, and classroom monitors. There may have even been schoolbus monitors, though I never rode the bus so can’t say for sure.
I just know there were a lot of dang monitors.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like the food monitor.
It seems I spend an inordinate amount of my energy making sure horses, cat and humans are eating right. We’re all at that age where it matters.
But I’ll tell you what: I’m tired of it.
Maybe I’m just feeling cranky today. I’m sure you can relate.
Bud and Pepper have to eat because of the meds mixed in their food. And they need the nutrition and calories to make it through the winter in the best shape possible for two sweet, but definitely old horses. Thing is these days Pepper would rather eat hay than her grain. (See proof in photo above)
And Mija, our little earless senior citizen cat also has medicine mixed in her food. She’s got the feeding schedule emblazoned in her brain and won’t allow me to forget it. Or even get off schedule by even a few minutes. She demands that her world be regular and complete. Problem is I’m not such a “regular and complete” kind of person. But for Mija I really do try to be.
Then there’s the humans.
This business of eating well has gotten out of hand. We have to read labels and compute things like calories, sodium, and saturated fat. And half the time I can’t even read the teensy print. Are we getting enough protein? Do we eat sugar or not? And what about wheat? Can’t forget about cholesterol. More veggies, fewer carbs, right? And eat more kale, and the other superfoods. Plant based? Vegan? Raw? Organic or not? Grass fed beef. Free range chickens. Low fat, no fat, low carb, no carb?
I’m the one in charge of food at our house, though I probably don’t have to actually tell you that. You can guess it quite nicely from the rant I just laid on you. You see every darned day for at least two meals, and sometimes three, I am charged with the task of wandering through this nutrition maze and coming up with tasty, healthy food for two horses, one cat and two aging humans. It’s on my shoulders if our blood sugar rises or our bad cholesterol gets out of control. Are we thriving on five vegetables or living in a food desert?
Don’t misunderstand. I like to cook and I think I’m pretty good at it.
I love reading food magazines, cookbooks and food blogs. And most of the time, I like the challenge of making delicious, healthy food for us.
But it does get to be somewhat of a grind.
When I think of the hours I’ve spent over my adult lifetime planning meals, going to the grocery store, putting groceries away, cooking, and cleaning up, it frightens me a little. If I actually did the math, it would turn out to be years that I’ve done doing nothing but feed us.
So I don’t do the math.
But I am thinking of resigning as food monitor. Or at the very least job sharing.
Thank you for listening.
P.S. Do you think someone needs a vacation?