Nothing makes you feel more like organizing and making positive changes in your life than the start of a new year. I am in the throes of it right now. First, like everyone, I started with all the regular “New Year’s Resolutions,” but most of them really don’t apply. I don’t drink very much, don’t overeat and try to get that brisk walk in at least three times a week. With hills!
But, now that I think of it, even though I eat well, I could do better. In 2014, I will try to always have the really good things on hand, like greens (kale, collards, Swiss chard and spinach), a variety of whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits ripening on my counter, basic vegetables for soups, salad makings, and, of course, a kitchen garden. Conveniently, the seed catalogs are sprouting in my mailbox right now!
I also need to use my hands to create things…like knitting. It’s challenging, relaxing and very satisfying (all at the same time) and eventually you have something beautiful to give to someone you love. It can also teach patience when mistakes require you to rip out endless rows on which you have labored for hours. Children love to learn new skills and they can learn to knit and do other handcrafts very quickly – they need a diversion from their fast-paced, media/tech world as much as we do.
And this is my year to read more. Real books, with pages and bookmarks! I want to read books by inspiring people, like Wendell Berry. I saw an interview with him on Bill Moyer’s show and was so impressed by his common sense, his beautiful writing and his kind soul. And he writes about things that really matter. I will make a book list and try to read one a month.
Years ago, my mother was a member of the “Book of the Month” club and I can still see that fold-over corrugated box with the new book sitting on our doorstep. Choose books that inspire, teach, satisfy your soul and entertain. Children need real books too. Books help them learn about the real and bigger world out there, about different cultures, about tolerance and healing. Books can help children overcome their own challenges, teach compassion and develop new passions.
I could go on and on because there are really so many things that interest me that I have yet to explore. But I think this is a good start. Happy New Year!