The disorganized doctor

I am not, by anyone's estimation, organized. I think sometimes people think that everyone who goes to medical school is a type-A, uber-controlled, checklist-making robot who plans down their days to the last half-hour.

That's not me. If you don't believe me, just ask my husband. Or my mom. Or any one of the residents who walk by my desk every day. That said, I do recognize that it is a problem. Although I do sometimes enjoy being a fly-by-the-pants, spur-of-the-moment kind of person, I realize that there are times when that does not really work.

Case in point: Every day recently, Jeff and I have been playing this game:

Me: What should we eat for dinner?
Him: I don't know. What do you feel like?
Me: I don't know. What's in the fridge?
Him: Um...eggs, spinach, and mushrooms that are brown and moldy.
Me: oh. Well, I'm tired/post-call/don't feel like cooking. I'm eating cereal.

I realize that I'm tired of a) eating cereal (though it is the perfect post-call meal) and b) getting frustrated with Jeff for not having something in mind to eat when I am post call or tired. I guess I realize that the food is one area that I am and should be more responsible for, since most all other areas seem to be falling on and be well taken care of by my wonderful husband.

This week we are starting a little experiment. I'm going to try actualy planning ahead for meals. This is a big step for me, the ultimate, last-minute, roll-with-the-punches girl. Last night, I even got on my computer and used Word to make a cute little chart (complete with some nice clip art) to post on the fridge so everyone in our house knows what we'll eat for dinner. Because having a cute thing to put on the fridge might make me more prone to use it. And maybe, just maybe, we'll have all the ingredients we need from the grocery store, and simultaneously avoid bags of brown and mushy vegetables.

So without further ado, here is our dinner menu for the next two weeks:
(I only planned out dinners since I eat both breakfast and lunch at work everyday, and Jeff loves cereal for breakfast and manages to find things to eat for lunch without much help from me.)
Monday - CALL - eat at hospital

Tuesday - Grilled pizza, salad, mango

Wednesday - steaks on the grill with grilled squash and zuchinni

Thursday - Onion pasta with salad

Friday - CALL - eat at hospital

Saturday - leftovers (which might be cereal for me)

Sunday - CALL - eat at hospital

Monday - Quiche - to be made on Saturday

Tuesday - bacon, pea, and onion pasta with salad (I can't remember the real name, but I know where the recipe is at my house)

Wednesday - Chicken parmigiana

Thursday - CALL - eat at hospital

Friday - in CHARLESTON

Saturday - in CHARLESTON

Sunday - Jeff's homemade veggie sandwiches

We'll see how this little experiment works. I still have some changes to make to my little menu planner, but perhaps when I'm happy with it, I can upload it here if anyone would be interested.

Maybe one day, I'll even manage to make an organized grocery list that goes along with this, or -gasp- try to plan my meals around what's on sale or what I have coupons for.

But first, steps, Aubrey, baby steps.

(For the ultimate guide to menu planning and other organized gurus, go here.)


Sonshine said…
welcome to MPM!!

Baby steps is the right thinking to have when starting a new habit. Just a little bit at time will do the trick. :)

Your menu sounds yummy!!

Enjoy your week!
Melanie said…
I'm so proud of you :)
Lindsay said…
I've been participating in MPM for a couple of months, and it is helpful. I **think** I spend less on groceries, and it give me a more focused outlook on the week's meals. I always allow for changes, but I try to stick to it as best as possible.

Good luck!
Stephanie said…
Welcome! I am pretty disorganized, too, but knowing what I am supposed to have for dinner is a big help. Somehow it helped relieve a little stress. And I am spending less at the grocery store. Added bonus - I have gotten some great recipes from other people. HUGE help with my picky husband.
Doctor S. said…
AT: I had a post back in '06 on my blog about New Recruits. The picture was a 'light at the end of the tunnel.' I really see the light now! Good job at getting started with the planning. I think we all struggle with organization to some degree. I'm sure my wife would have some ideas about the meal planning, but I thought of some things too. You can plan themes for certain days of the week. i.e. Thursday is Italian. That is easier to plan I think, because it's either pasta, lasagna, or whatever to pick for that day. Monday is beef day, so you can shop for 4 different Mondays at once: i.e. chuck steak, rib eye, hamburger, and liver for this month! Another method some people use is to cook for a whole month on once Saturday. With only 2 people, one lasagna can be frozen and served once in a while over 2 months. You can freeze everything in little freezer containers and have a variety of cheaper, tastier, and healthy foods to eat post call, than what you could buy. I also have a small chest freezer to sell you ;) There are professionals who will come in to your house one day a week and cook this all up for you. Enjoy!
mom t said…
Great idea Aubrey

One thing that has helped me is having one day a week I don't have to think about!! Used to be Pizza Sat. Now it's burgers Sat. And if were not home on Sat, then burgers get moved to another night. So I'm never thinking of more than 6 meals. mom
Cheryl said…
I feel for you. My life is very organized in every area except menu planning and grocery shopping. I actually really like to cook, but I hate going to the grocery store for some reason.... I suddenly get all confused when I go in there and forget my own name. But like you, I have recently made a pact with myself to start pre-planning meals (I am now doing well with consistently cooking 3 times a week), and to always have a list, however meager, when I go food shopping. Shopping with a 9 month old is good for forcing you to have a list ;-) Oh, and to cook more vegetables. Anyway, good luck and I'd be interested in seeing your menu planner.

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