Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taking Inventory

When I worked at the coffeehouse in college, one of my oh-so-important managerial duties was to handle the weekly inventory of pastries, coffee, to-go supplies and retail goods. My parents had purchased their very first PC at home, so I laid out spreadsheets on the computer and took them into work to make my task more official and efficient.

Sure, there were days when we would find ourselves devoid of blueberry bagels, or running to the store for more dijon mustard, but for the most part, me and my sheets kept everything well stocked and running smoothly.

Last weekend, I found myself thinking of those old days as I pored over our pantry contents and wrote up my grocery list. Again, I am the taker of inventory. With Mr. W working such crazy hours, it is my sole responsibility to make sure our kitchen runs smoothly.

But how about our marriage? Should we have an inventory checklist there as well?

I think the answer is Yes.

Next Monday is our one-year anniversary. I can't believe how quickly the year has passed, yet when I think back to that special day, it feels like an eternity ago. And when I open our relationship cupboards and start tallying up the contents, I'm happy to say we seem to be balancing supply and demand quite well.

If I take a step back and look at an even wider perspective of my life, I can see that I'm also amply stocked when it comes to family, friends, free time, creative projects, house projects, and new dining experiences. The travel column could probably use a couple more tic marks in it. And although exercise is happening regularly, I could certainly do more—particularly because my circle of activity every day exists within the space between our driveway and backyard. Money could use a little restocking, as well, but right now I'm willing to trade smaller checks for bigger chunks of downtime.

Just as the coffeehouse depended on me to keep it filled and functioning, I think I have a personal responsibility to keep my life full and humming with the things that make me happy. I'm the only one who can see when supplies are running low, and I'll only notice if I regularly complete my inventory sheets. Thankfully, I've learned how to keep track of them in my head instead of having to deal with those pesky Excel documents.


  1. I like the idea of taking inventory of one's life every so often. It gives us good reason to make sure our lives are headed in the intended direction and not veering too far off course.

  2. Oh, I love this idea! What an eloquent way of exploring how we think of our marriages as well as our happiness scale. I need to be reminded that while I spend a great deal of time thinking/working/adding to my marriage, I am sorely lacking in checking on myself. While I intellectually know that our family needs me to be happy--it's rarely a top priority. (those are things like kids and laundry and dog and husband and lunches and laundry and...)

    I think I need to spend some time on my own inventory. :)

  3. Is this your way of saying I need to pay you to manage our inventory??

    I look forward to taking back some of those responsibilities you've taken on for me in my absence.

  4. I love a good spreadsheet. ;-)

    Glad things are lining up for you.

  5. I love your newer header picture. Anything with wine is great.

    I love spreadsheets too. And taking inventory and appreciating things in your life and having balance is so important.

    Like balancing out the nights you have red wine with nights drinking white wine:)

  6. Nicely written. Except for that part about exercise. I didn't understand that at all.

  7. I think personal inventory is a great habit to get into. It can also make you realize what you've been holding onto that you don't really need any more, and therefore can make space to fit something better in.

  8. Nilsa - Absolutely. Gotta keep it all in check.

    Chantel - How does the saying go? "If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy." Self has to come first whenever possible as far as I see it.

    Mr. W - You don't have to pay me - you just have to make sure you're keeping certain things stocked. Like back rubs.

    Sizzle - Why does it not surprise me that you love spreadsheets, Polly Planner? :)

    Suzy - You completely crack me up. Yes! One must always balance white nights with red.

    Jeff - But you can't get pulled over when you're getting places on foot. Exercise might work well for your wallet.

    Lesley - That's a really good point! Shoot that could be a whole other post.

  9. you are so creative! I love this idea and think I shall steal it when I meet my own Mr. Something Special


Well, whatdya think?