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In With The New

So, it’s a new year. What are you going to do about it!?

At this time of year, the air is heavy with the promise of hope for the New Year. There is possibility hiding around every corner. Our imagination is the only limit to what we can achieve in the coming months.

As we leave behind the year we just had, I feel like the excitement at looking ahead is even more palpable. Despite lockdown restrictions which I am glad to say affect us minimally, I am looking forward to the coming months. I have ideas of new skills I want to acquire and old skills that I want to improve on. I want to learn and grow. I want to attack this year, fuelled by a steely resolve to do and be better.

I have plans for sure: I want to learn to make cheese. I want to start a sourdough starter, keep it alive and bake with it regularly. I want to have a well maintained pantry so that I can produce home-made healthy meals for my family every night. I want bees. I want more chickens. I want to grow produce in my garden that I can serve to my family and preserve for the colder months of the year. First of all though, before any of this, I must look inward and assess where my mind-set is at.

I’m excited for sure, there’s no escaping that. Excited to make and create and learn and grow. But I find that I am inclined to run full tilt into a challenge and burn out quickly. In the aftermath, what is left behind is too many pans on the fire and too many different projects on the go at one time. I end up being pulled in too many directions. When I overload my schedule, I start to feel overwhelmed. I don’t achieve what I had hoped I would and I become discouraged.

I mentioned my ‘Stop, Sit and Sip’ mantra before. I use it at times like this: I take a step back, I take a deep breath and I try to calm the excited chatter in my brain. I want to do ‘All the Things’ but it is safer to do one thing at a time rather than trying to do them all at once. For all I want to accomplish this year, my first step must be my mental health: if I protect that and try to give myself a practicable framework for the year, it will improve my ability to deal with all eventualities, especially when things don’t go according to plan.

Hand in hand with this, I want to live more intentionally. I want to enjoy meals with my family rather than eating mindlessly in front of the television. I want to sit together and play a board game rather than pointlessly scrolling through social media channels. It is so easy to cruise through our busy lives and not appreciate the days that we have been given – running like rats through a maze, trying to find the next treat.

As I bring a focus of intention to my days, this will also extend to the kitchen too. Living on a farm, we follow the seasons closely. We are governed by them in fact. The last number of months, I have been trying to buy foods that are locally produced and in season. It means that grocery shopping takes longer. Shiny red berries call to me in the fruit aisle. I pause to pick them up. Then I stop. Where have these fruits come from? How were they grown? When should they be in season? I ask myself all of these questions before finally the clincher: How will they taste, having travelled halfway across the world and with that in mind, do you really want to bring these home with you? Usually, the offending items are returned to the shelf and the result is that were eating more seasonally and supporting local suppliers instead.

This intentional and mindful approach is going to affect my family too. My overall goal over the next coming months is to keep all of us sickness-free. I want to make sure that every time I put myself into contact with another person, that it is necessary. I will continue to approach people as though they are infected and pose a risk to me, but also as though I am infected and pose a risk to them. My immediate family bubble has been lucky to avoid Covid and I feel it is my personal responsibility to ensure I am not the one to change that. Facemasks and hand sanitiser are at the ready and any errands will be properly planned out.

Entering into 2021, the amount of Covid cases are already alarmingly high (and set to increase exponentially in my opinion) and while we always hope that the year ahead will be much better than the last, I think it is wise to be ready should the opposite transpire: hope for the best, expect the worst. Pessimistic perhaps, but realistic too. Until there is a widespread rollout of vaccines, this virus is going to be rampant and is going to affect our daily lives.

I of course have lots of other ‘intentions’ for the year ahead, but I’ll not bore you with them.

Overall, I want to continue to grow: to grow my own skills and knowledge, to be the best mother and wife I can be, and to improve my animal husbandry skills to ensure that I can give our sheep and other animals the best care possible. I feel like these are intentions (or ‘resolutions’) that I can keep to and work with, rather than empty promises of new gym memberships and lofty aspirations of unhealthy weight loss!

I chart my own course, and you do the same. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on and I hope you’ll do the same.

Wishing you all love and health for 2021.

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