Family Restructuring Plan

Recently, my friend Jen told me about The Anyway Project she read about on a blog she follows called The Chatelaine’s Keys. Her family decided to do the project along with blogger Sharon Astyk. My husband and I, along with Darla and her family whom we met through the same homebirth class (which I highly suggest), have decided to undertake this venture with Jen’s family.  To me, this project basically helps focus energy on areas of life that usually get away from us in the workaday, parenting world by taking small bites and creating realistic goals. Though my family’s objectives for this first month are small, they already feel momentous in the positive structures they would create for my family. I am grateful for the support and companionship of Jen and her blog Suburban Salmon and Darla and her blog Darlahood along on this journey. Reading Sharon Astyk’s descriptions of categories made my life aspirations seem at once more urgent and more doable:

Domestic Infrastructure – these are the realities of home life, including making your home work better with less, getting organized, dealing with domestic life, etc…

Household Economy: Financial goals, making ends meet, saving, barter etc…

Resource Consumption : in which we use less of stuff, and strive to live in a way that has an actual future.

Cottage Industry and Subsistence:: The things we do that prevent us from needing to buy things, and the things we produce that go out into the world and provide for others. Not everyone will do both, but it is worth encouraging.

Family and Community: Pretty much what it sounds like. How do we enable those to take the place of collapsing infrastructure?

Outside Work: Finding a balance, doing good work, serving the larger community as much as we can, within our need to make a living.

Time and Happiness: Those things without which there’s really no point.

The project technically started in November, but my family’s first goals are through December. I figured that would give us time to actually do this and start out right with clear goals. It actually wasn’t that difficult to make goals. Having read Darla’s Anyway Project goals and realizing ours were so similar, my husband and I had a conversation about tweaks here and there and any goals that feel pressing and pertinent to our family in particular. So, without much editing or explanation, here are my family’s goals for the year-long implementation of what I am calling The Family Restructuring Plan.

Domestic Infrastructure

Through December: Weatherproofing

  • Insulation in attic and basement
  • Door replacement (in motion already)
  • Windows — something on some of them at least

Household Economy:

Through December: Reduce discretionary spending on food

  • Eat out less
    • Take lunches to school
    • Make meals/food in bigger batches
    • Use less canned foods and more dry goods
  • Buy fewer goodies
  • Waste less food
  • Get to Bryn Athyn Organic Produce Cooperative for groceries and bulk items at least once a month

Resource Consumption:

Through December:  Use Less

  • Above goals apply to this — more motivation to focus on those
  • Gasoline and Oil
    • Seal A/C vents
    • Drive less by being conscious of consolidating trips

Cottage Industry and Subsistence:

Through December:  Homestead Preparation

  • Clear garden beds
  • Begin stocking goods
    • Decide on and clean a space for food storage
    • Look into companies to order from through Coop
    • Order beans, chickpeas, quinoa, rice

Family and Community:

Through December:  Consciously Create Family

  • More face-to-face time (See Time and Happiness)
  • Organize monthly Family Fest with Darla and Jen
    • at our house — food and sleepover
    • one couple each month goes on a date at some point in the sleepover

Outside Work:

Through December

  • Sheila: Put together Life Restructuring Plan
  • Radha: Winter House Concert

Time and Happiness: Those things without which there’s really no point.

Through December: More face to face time

  • Sheila — Take one night a week completely off from work
  • Radha Gopinath — Less computer time

See what I mean? Lofty but doable. Now that I’ve told everyone the goal, I feel more motivated (through imagined peer pressure) to follow through. Here we go!

One response to this post.

  1. […] What I appreciate most about her blog is how she lays it all out for the world to see. Her goals and progress, or lack thereof, are no secret. So, I am combining Mom of 6’s ‘How do you do […]


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