Sunday, January 4, 2009
Dawn and Direction
It has long been a philosophy of mine to never have too many concrete plans, because nothing ever goes the way you plan it anyway. On the other hand, I feel you should always have some direction to your life, because without a direction, you can't get anywhere. This is something that comes to the front of my mind as I'm sure it does for many as the new year turns over. I hate resolutions. Everyone brakes them by the time February is over anyway, so they seem rather pointless to me. I like the idea of setting goals, but I've always thought it was a cop-out to wait until Jan. 1 to set a new goal. Just start already! So I bring to you my New Years Direction. A combination of goals and wishes for my life and my family.
1) Live more mindfully.
To me, living mindfully means giving your actions purpose, and not just functioning on autopilot. It means making conscious decisions about what I do with my time, what I bring into my home, what I put into my body, the attitude I take with my children.
2) Eat more locally.
I don't begin to pretend that we'll give up buying bananas this year. It's one of the only things resembling a plant that my three year old will eat. But I do want to make a point to shop locally when possible: farmers markets, local craftsmen, local family owned shops. This decreases the amount of transportation needed to get things from where they were made/grown to me, since they were made right here. I'd also like to try to purchase locally in bulk to put up for the winter, to decrease my reliance on foreign and Californian produce in the colder months.
3) Maintain a successful container garden.
Last summer the two tomato plants I started in pots by my front door died a tragic and untimely death due to lack of water or caring on my part. I don't have visions of a huge vegetable garden in my small apartment landscaping, but I would like to coax a few plants to maturity and eat something that I grew.
4) Find a workable system for recycling.
My apartment community does not recycle. The truck does not pick up for us at all, so if I want to recycle I need to load it into the car and drop it off myself. The nearest place to drop off recyclables is behind the grocery store that I shop at weekly. This is about as convenient as it gets, which is nice. However, my kitchen is so small, I have yet to figure a place to store the recycling until drop off time that does not really cramp the flow of the kitchen. My other obstacle is remembering to put the recycling in the car before I leave for the grocery. Oh yeah, and to bring my cloth bags too.
5) Move my body.
Weather making time for yoga in the morning, taking the kids for a walk, or running with them in the park instead of sitting on my blanket, I want to try to find more ways to move my body while doing things we're already doing.
A new year feels like a new dawn. A new chance. A time to reflect on the previous year, and make choices about the coming year. Watching the new year come in mindfully is like being up early and watching the sun come up. At first everything is dark and hazy, only a hint or a promise of what is yet to come. Before you see the sun, the sky lightens, and things around you begin to take shape. As the sun peaks over the horizon the world is illuminated and all possibilities are bright and crisp. You only have to look around, and decide what you want to do.