Monday, February 20, 2012


We've been making some significant (at least for us) strides toward simplifying and downsizing our stuff in order to super-size our lives and live more fully, more intentionally, and better overall. Today we took the next big step.

We removed the microwave from our kitchen.

Now you see it... you don't!
This is a move that I've been pushing to make for at least 6 months, but we decided today to just go for it. The microwave's only purpose is to make food preparation faster, not better. Fifty years ago a microwave was not a staple in American kitchens. Is the overall health and quality of the food we eat today better or worse, on a whole, than the food our grandparents prepared? We may be more efficient, but in this instance, efficient does not necessarily mean better.

Bear with me for a moment as I rant crazy--I'll try to bring it back around. I first became suspicious of the microwave when I learned what you can and cannot cook in a microwave, and the types of dishes that you should and should never use in a microwave. Then there's the whole "I just don't get how it works" part that makes me skeptical. I understand how and why my oven, stove top, grill, and even my toaster work--but I just don't understand how the microwave works. And I like to know how things work--especially things surrounding my food and what my family consumes. So, after a few months of non-scientific research and taking mental stock of what and how often I use the microwave, I realized that I primarily use it for 3 things: boiling water, melting butter, and reheating leftovers.

Since we conveniently have a tea kettle to boil water, saucepans to melt butter and a stove/oven to reheat leftovers, I determined that I could easily live without the microwave and enjoy the extra space in my kitchen instead--with the added bonus of being forced to live a little slower. I just needed to convince Jason that we can do it.

Lucky for me, he's really getting into the whole purging part of down-sizing, so he was game to give it a try. This morning he wiped it down and relegated it to a newly-opened spot on the garage shelf where an item we recently sold had been sitting.

What was this other item, you ask?
Well, I'm sooooo glad that you asked. It was our spare microwave, of course! Sold last week for $10 on Craigslist.

So, when it came time to make lunch, our adventure began. We were re-heating some taco meat for taco salads for our lunch today, and instead of instinctively plopping the dishes into the microwave and waiting impatiently for 90 seconds for them to be heated, we pulled out a pan, fired up the stove, and waited almost 5 minutes for the meat to reheat while preparing the rest of our dishes and playing with the kids. All at once. Like it was a real meal or something. Crazy, I know! It was a welcome change to treat reheating yesterday's dinner for today's lunch as a proper meal instead of a fast food experience.

I know that I'm in the honeymoon period right now, and I know that I will be so mad that I will want to scream bad words (yes, that's actually what I shout when I'm mad--"Bad words, bad words, BAD WORDS!!!"--try it sometime, it helps a lot more to bring you back around than actually cussing) when I'm hungry right NOW and have to either practice patience or choose something different. But, that's part of the process. That experience will help me to live better and grow my character, and teach me more fully to live as I want to live.

The microwave is still hanging out in the garage, in case this experiment appears to fail. I say appears, because if we do bring it back into our home, it means that doing without, in this instance, doesn't contribute to a better life. And maybe it won't. Who knows--that's part of the mystery of experiments. You never know until you try. I'm certain that the experiment will succeed, and I'm hopeful that success also means one less non-essential "thing" in our lives that opens the door to a richer, better life.

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