I Hope.

Another year, another time for reflection. Did I accomplish the things I set out to do? In many ways, it was a changing year in my life, where I modified my habits and my thinking and my way of living. I saw the world in a different light. I saw the challenge before us, and stepped forward to make a change. I held on to a desperate hopefulness, that the changes I was making would make a difference, somewhere, somehow, beyond my little life, outside my little house.

So did they? I poured so much effort into these changes. I built a garden, not knowing how, but learning along the way. I started making bread and most other things from scratch. I preserved mountains of food, built a cold room… So many projects, so many brand new experiences, all with one goal, all with one end – to reduce the environmental footprint my household has on this fragile world, with the hope and the dream that I could inspire others to do the same.

Over the last couple days, as my hands were busy with these household tasks – kneading bread, hanging laundry on the line – my mind was free to wander and contemplate it all. Were my efforts effective? Has it been worth it?

Sometimes, I waver. I wonder if it is worth fighting for, if the story has already been written. Are the forces against us are just too strong, too well-funded, too entrenched? Will it all not matter in the end anyway? After all, the changes require a such a cultural shift. We will need to define ourselves as citizens instead of consumers, as neighbours instead of individuals, and as part of nature instead of against nature.

Are we up to the task? Can we rise to the challenge? Can we transcend our fate?

I hope.

So for this brand new year, I march on.  How can I use my life to make this world a better place?  I have drawn up a list of 10 resolutions, as I did last year:

  1. Learn to make soap with a friend
  2. Crochet clothes for my family – slippers, hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters
  3. Expand the garden – grow more food
  4. Expand food preservation – canning, dehydrating and possibly get a pressure canner
  5. Hatch a plan for making/sourcing gifts throughout the year
  6. Increase insulation of the house and add weather-stripping
  7. Join an environmental organization
  8. Write 26 letters to leaders
  9. Get a bike and ride it
  10. Live for today.

What do you resolve to do this new year? Does it bring positive change to your life or to our world?

I leave you with an inspiring song by the Dixie Chicks – I Hope.

Our children are watching us,
They put their trust in us,
They’re gonna be like us.
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently.

Happy New Year everyone. J


8 thoughts on “I Hope.

  1. I hope, too. Your list is inspiring; I hadn’t thought about making resolutions, but there are a few things that have been on my mind. I want to get out to the woods every week. Getting out there and breathing clean air and feeling awed at how beautiful our planet is is what keeps me from giving up. I also want to join the native plant society in my area so I have more of a community of concerned people who like plants. Another thing on my backburner is looking into more sustainable meat for the cat. I’ve been putting it off because I hate dealing with, looking at, or smelling raw meat, but I know local, organic meat is better for her and the planet than the canned stuff. And finally, I’d like to end the year with less stuff than I started, for environmental and personal reasons.

    Happy new year!

    • Getting out into the woods is an excellent resolution. I should resolve to do the same! I also would love having less stuff in this house, as it is tiresome to organize and manage it all. But I am afraid that if I throw stuff out, I will regret it!

    • Thanks Dixie – you are such an inspiration to me, and I love your honest account of the effort it takes to get these things done, and how despite it all, it is so worth it in the end.

  2. Great list! I’d like to learn to make soap, too. But I’m not really one for specific resolutions. I guess I could say I want to align my actions more closely to my values, and be more conscious of my decisions, but not loose sight of my happiness and the close bonds I have to those around me. Happy New Year!

    • I hear you on the happiness and paying attention to close bonds – that is why I have the last resolution of living for today… sometimes I get so caught up in my “to do list” and what I am planning next, that I lose sight of the moment, and treasuring and being thankful for the loved ones around me.

  3. Excellent post, Sherry. I have a bunch of vague 2012 goals floating around in my head, but this has inspired me to nail them down, make them concrete, and compile a list. Thank you! I’m going to bookmark this.

  4. I love your list and I bet you accomplished it because they are things that you really wanted to do rather than should do. I have some topic headings right now but need to get them as specific as your list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s