Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all of you who continue to follow my blog! Life gets busy and I don't always do a superb job of keeping Eat What You Grow consistently up-to-date with new content and information. Keep up with me though, there are some exciting times ahead in 2012!

I continue to think more than ever about doing what I can to make more sustainable choices in the way I live my life. I have become inspired by the urban homesteading movement where people in cities everywhere are finding creative ways of living simply that involve more time spent at home, in the garden, and on projects that involve relaying on their own ingenuity, time, and talents. In the year ahead, I plan on jumping aboard this train in my own small ways. Over time, I hope to build my knowledge in the fine art of making things, growing my own food, entertaining, and cooking from scratch that originates from a deep desire to be closely connected to the place I call home and to the community I live in.

For me, this desire to live simply is a mindset. It's a mental challenge. It embraces the ways of the past and carries them into the future to help us meet our current and future social, economic, and environmental challenges with grace. It comes from a practical, down-to-earth, common sense attitude adopted by generations of people, mostly out of necessity, to meet their everyday needs. My everyday living, though, has swelled beyond a life of necessity (which I am grateful for) to a life of convenience and abundance (which I do enjoy), even with my modest income. However, living an abundant life of convenience has its downsides too to me and to the world around me. It involves me using more, consuming more, and it pulls me away from my community. I am busy, I am less healthy, more sedentary, and more stressed. I drive more, pollute more, and throw away more. I see my family less, my plants dry up, and my house is dirty.

Life is a fine mix of balance and trade offs. We work hard for the things we want thinking they will make us happy, yet we are too busy to enjoy them. We work to own things and they end up owning us, and our time. We love our families and grandparents, yet we hardly get to see them. Choosing to live simply is forever a mindset, a mental challenge, and a choice that I continually revisit. How can I return and embrace the basics? How can I choose to adopt the lessons of past generations yet create a hopeful future for me and for others? How can I redefine happiness so it's less dependent on the amount of money I make and the things I accumulate and more dependent on the quality of my time, relationships, and passions. The best part is, it can be fun and rewarding!

For instance, this year I want to sew this dress, take this sewing class, bake this bread, and grow my own small patio herb and vegetable garden. I also would like to start an urban homestead-minded group to get together with regularly, get involved in the local farming community, and save money for my future goals.

For inspiration, I am going to continue following a few blogs I really enjoy reading including Northwest Edible Life, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, Sew Weekly, and Local Kitchen.

Thanks again to all of you! I look forward to greeting 2012 in each and every moment and finding my own balance of living simply in a very busy world.

Do you share similar goals? If so, what are they?

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