As 2016 winds down and my birthday inches nearer, it’s time for me to take an honest assessment of where I am in this journey called life. I used to think it was a curse to have a birthday in the gap between Christmas and New Year’s. As I’ve grown I’ve come to see the timing of my birthday, instead, as a special gift.
As winter settles in, the days are shorter, nights colder and I find myself with more alone time to contemplate these big questions that are often lost in the noise of activity during the warmer months.
I want to share with you some of those big questions that are floating around in my head seeking answers that will work best for me in 2017.
Straw bale gardening was all the rage and seemed like the perfect answer to a truly green and organic garden. I considered this method myself and followed the experiments of others with straw bales. After reading this story on the hidden dangers of straw bale gardening I’ve decided to pass on this experiment.
Considering a new challenge or goal for the New Year, what about becoming a non-consumer? In Effects of Consumerism the contrast between how much land we need to live as we do compared with the amount of land actually available on our planet questions just where we find the extra land to support our lifestyle. The answer might spur you to set that new goal for 2017.
I’m a perfectionist, it was breed into me with the lesson of “if you can’t do it perfectly there’s no point doing it at all” pounded into my brain as a child. So with everything I do, including moving toward a sustainable lifestyle, there’s this argument in my head between the perfectionist and the realist who just wants a bit of fun along the way. I found perspective and common sense returned to me with this article on sustainable living which tells us it’s okay to make the changes that work for us and frees us from the assumption that to live sustainably the right way we all need to live in an off-grid cabin in the woods. Although, I still wouldn’t mind that little cabin in the woods.
Do you still have Christmas gifts to finish or purchase? Are you overloaded with suggestions on how to spend less this season? Take a break and check out this list of suggestions on how to enjoy the holidays more through making the days more fun.
Let me end with a quote for the New Year
Christmas-day is the pleasantest day in the whole year. On that day we think tenderly of distant friends; we strive to forgive injuries—to close accounts with ourselves and the world—to begin the new year with a white leaf, and a trust that the chapter of life about to be written will contain more notable entries, a fairer sprinkling of good actions, fewer erasures made in blushes, and fewer ugly blots than some of the earlier ones.
~Alexander Smith (1829–1867), “Winter,” 1863
With our Family Christmas dinner two days away, I’ll leave you now to head back to the kitchen to finish the baking and to put the final touches on the house.