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