There is a large empty spot on the counter where our microwave should go. Granted, the counter is so small that our old microwave would have covered the whole thing! This is likely the reason it was so easy for us to let it go when we moved. We had plans to buy a new, smaller one, but then a week, two weeks, a month went by and we didn’t even notice it was gone. A few months after we moved in, it came up in conversation and we realized that we’d been living fine without it.
It was like anything else we’ve decided to do without since we’ve simplified. There’s the initial disbelief that you can live without it, the resolution, the removal, and then the assimilation to life after it’s gone until you barely remember it used to be a part of your life. I’ve done it with television, screen time, those extra clothes that didn’t quite fit but just in case, anything that I’ve donated that I can barely remember I used to own.
The microwave was no exception to this pattern. On occasion, there is an “Ooh, popcorn sounds really good,” or the fact that I love making s’mores in the microwave (though it’s probably good I don’t do that anymore), but honestly, if I really wanted those things, I could do them on the stove with no problem.
We use our stove and oven more than ever now, and it’s nice putting the extra bit of effort into preparing your food. I really do take more time to think about what I’m eating.
Additionally, it keeps us from taking leftovers home from restaurants. To some people, that won’t seem like a positive thing, but it is a good thing to enjoy a nice meal out and order only what’ll you eat.
It is also a great way to ensure that your family is eating fresher foods. Without a microwave, those instant pizza pockets and taquitos don’t really work, and they’ll quickly be replaced with a piece of fruit or other sweet foods. You are essentially the last word in the type of food that enters your home, but the relative ease of the microwave can be very seductive when you are tired, cranky, and just want something for dinner that you didn’t have to cook.
But living without a microwave has taught us to be creative (and a little lazy) at the same time. We eat more fresh foods because they come ready made: bananas, grapes, cheese. We also buy a lot of pre-made foods, but we try to choose healthier versions of them: kettle chips, peanut butter, nutella (that’s healthy, right?). So now, instead of getting out the graham crackers and marshmallows, my favorite desert is a banana dipped in nutella.
And when I do cook, I’m purposeful about it. It’s teaching me more about the pace of cooking, which was never meant to be instant. Just like most things in life, it takes time to become something worth having.