As a reader of this blog, beware that you are about to dive head-first into the depths of my neurosis. But please understand something about me: in order to make something work effectively and efficiently, I have to first make a rotten mess of it. Shotgun-blast-the-hell-out-of-it is always my first step.

I have said on many posts that I am going to need a lot of help with such-and-such, or that a particular change was going to present a particular challenge. Three words sum up this one…

Pray. For. Me.

A residual result of all my changes, this one presents my biggest problem: In order to be a good time-manager, I have to plan the menu. In order to serve good meals, I have to plan the ingredients. In order to plan the ingredients, I have to plan the grocery list. In order to plan the grocery list, I have to know the menu. And in order to plan the menu, I have to know our evening plans.

Can you see my head starting to spin? My goal of preparing a month of menus at a time was manageable before all this natural/organic, oh-my-gosh-will-my-family-actually-eat-that, Holy-Mother-of-Pearl CHANGE was set into motion. I have to get a handle on this, and fast. Yesterday had me spinning so far out of control with my grocery trips, that I started to wonder if I was going to set out to prepare the first meal and have a breakdown over breadcrumbs. Hey, I’ve been hormonally emotional lately. It could happen.

So today, for what little time I can afford to invest in this thought process, I will try to wrap my head around not only what I plan to be doing for the next two weeks, but also for what I need to do next month, so I’m not rushing around like this two weeks from now when I grocery shop. To my credit (what little I am allowed in this experiment), I have identified one source of chaos for myself: After I plan the meals, I forget where I put the recipes. Are they in this book, or that one? Did I rip it out of the Southern Living, or do I need to rifle through the magazine rack?

Here’s my rough outline of a solution: I need more lists. I should have an alphabetical list of all the recipes and where to find them. I should also have four rotating grocery lists, one for each week, so I can buy fresher ingredients and adapt for changing menus and schedules. (Seriously. I used to have two rotating grocery lists and it was a beautiful system, even if not quite so complex.) That’s my starting point. Every project needs a starting point, right? Hear me out…if I have a list for each week, and I know when certain items are going to be consumed, then I can plan when to buy them. Better yet, I can extend this to my non-food consumables and plan when to buy them too. Whoa…I might even be able to predict our consumption so well that I could systematically identify when to go to which store, and lessen the burden on any particular week. For instance, I can get all dry and paper goods on a monthly schedule and only have to deal with Wal Mart on a limited basis.

Time for four new words, my friends: Send. Me. To. Counseling.

Before I can wrap my head around my next move, I have to come to terms with what I did yesterday…I think I’ll re-organize the refrigerators today. That always gives me a fresh perspective. Yeah, I’m odd like that.

But after 62 days, you probably knew that already.