Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Fresh Start

Dear Amy,
Birthdays and New Year’s, they both do it to me. I take a step back, I become more introspective. I once again take a look around at my life, at myself. I take stock. Am I where I want to be at this time in my life? Am I living the life I want to live? Am I the person I want to be?
I’m so easily caught up in the riff-raff of life, of things…the superfluousness, the excess. My target for this year is to live more simply. To make time for things that really matter. I admit that in some ways, this seems a very attainable pursuit; yet in other ways, I have no idea how to reach it. Explanation to follow.
We both know that I am a creative gypsy of sorts. I love to try many things, to explore, to discover, to dip into any and all creative pursuits I come across. Yet, my attention tends to stray rather quickly. I am surrounded by the results of my gluttonous appetite for pretty fuel to forever feed my creative soul. My eyes delight in the scores of tasty fabrics, mouthwatering skeins of yarn, delectable papers and adornments, savory sheets and rods of glass and yummy woolen goodies. As if this collection wasn’t enough, I also save. That big blanket I made of felted old wool sweaters? Well, I saved all of the parts of the sweaters that did not go into the blanket. I’m convinced I can find a project for them. (Guess what? I already have several projects in mind for these bits and pieces!!)
So I guess it doesn’t come as a big surprise that part of my goal this year is to use up what I have in lieu of buying more. This will require some major self control on my part, a trait which I look forward to strengthening.
And I want to spend less on groceries each month. This is the tricky part. I don’t know exactly how to go about this. It’s one thing to be a coupon shopper; however, most coupons save you money on processed food—canned soups, etc. I can use coupons on household items, but I want to continue down the path of wholesome eating while cutting our grocery bill. Part of this will require expanding our garden, and I think I may want to get into food dehydrating as a means to preserve some of our summer and fall bounty. This will be more of a journey rather than a destination—an exploration and discovery in terms of low-cost, wholesome eating. We may be sharing a lot of recipes and food prep ideas. I’m so excited to become more self-sufficient this year!
It’s been an interesting year and I feel like I’m still trying to get the hang of being a mother of two very young ones. So, part of my plan for simple living will include taking better care of myself. I struggle with this. As most mothers, I’m so caught up with making sure everyone else has what they need, that I rarely take the time to make sure my cup is filled. I want to spread this over three areas: 30 minutes daily time to engage in something I choose to do (reading, bath, sewing, writing, nap, etc.); morning yoga and daily exercise; and weekly time away from home by myself or with a friend.
I’m looking forward to this year and this exchange of ideas, successes and failures. What a great way to keep in touch over the miles and to keep us motivated to continue to improve and find better ways of doing things.
Love, Kate


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