Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year Intentions

At the end of the year I wrote about how I am proud of myself in what I accomplished in 2012, as a highlight reel for the year. Now that it is the new year people tend to look at the year ahead and plan what they hope to accomplish. I'm not big on making new year resolutions because we all know how those turn out, don't we? Instead, I will be participating, unofficially, in Ali Edward's One Little Word for 2013, as a guiding principal for the year, as something that I want to remember to guide my actions.

For now, however, I want to list some intentions I have for 2013. Or perhaps these things I want to learn are for the next two, five or ten years, because I'm not into beating myself up if I don't accomplish them. That would be too much like resolutions, and once resolutions are broken it is too easy to give up and forget about them.

Here are my intentions:

1. Learn about canning: we no longer have BPA in water bottles in Canada, but for some reason it is ok to still have BPA lining cans of soup and tomatoes. I want to learn how to can so I can have yummy home cooked meals with tomatoes that I know are free from BPA.

2. Learn how to use my sewing machine: I promised myself that I would do this in 2012, but alas it did not happen. Perhaps it is from high school trauma in sewing class when I almost failed home economics because the hem on my apron didn't line up evenly. My mother has known for a while that I wanted to overcome this as she gave me my sewing machine quite a few years ago, but she has used it more than me. I have this notion that I must sew one Hallowe'en costume for my children before they grow up because my own mother always made the most amazing outfits for me and my brother. There are so many eco projects I want to do that require sewing so I am determined to do this one in 2013. Ooops, this sounds eerily like a resolution.

3. Continue with my biking goal, as discussed here and here.
Biking in the summer with my wee one in the bike trailer. 

4. Expand my abilities with knitting and crocheting: I made infinity scarves for Christmas presents this past Christmas. I also gave my older daughters knitting needles and they are currently enjoying learning how to knit. After posting my 2012 Highlight Reel on Facebook, a friend, who is an amazing knitter, offered her services as a teacher/mentor. I look forward to taking her up on this!
A butterfly dish cloth and gnome knitted project I recently completed.

5. Try geocaching: I enjoy getting outside for fresh air and exercise, and just for the joy of being outside, but sometimes it is hard to get kids to go outside as reward in itself on less than perfect days. I know several people who love geocaching and they say their kids love it so I'm wondering if this might be the hook to get them outside with me. I've downloaded a beginner geocaching app for my iPhone but haven't started using it yet.

6. Learn about winter gardening: I am slowly learning about backyard vegetable gardens but I was too late to have a winter garden this year. I purchased a winter gardening guide at the UBC Botanical Garden this past summer when we tried out their rainforest canopy walk for the first time (I highly recommend it - my girls loved it) and I am going to read it again and be prepared mid summer to organize and prep a winter garden.
Some reading to keep me busy over the winter.

7. Make more whole food meals: When I became a mother I lost my cooking mojo. Perhaps it was because I was up every one to three hours feeding a newborn. Or maybe it is because my children are very fussy and would not eat all the delicious whole food meals that I used to enjoy cooking. I want to reduce the amount of processed, quick foods that we have had around our house to help us cope with being tired from long days (and nights) and busy schedules. I need to remember that we are literally what we eat and food is the best medicine. I also know how time consuming preparing whole food meals can be; before having children I was on a very restrictive candida diet that eliminated all processed foods and I was able to spend a large portion of time each day preparing meals (especially on my summers off). I can no longer devote that amount of time to prepping and cooking meals. I also know that it will take time for my girls to be receptive to trying new foods.
Delicious quinoa salad with avocado, cucumbers, carrots, sprouted beans, chickpeas, 
sunflower seeds and amazing  organic thyme garlic vinegar made by the Sharing Farm.

8. Mediate: Before children I used to mediate on a regular basis (perhaps not daily but certainly weekly). I felt more grounded and at peace when I did this and I am missing it. I know this will be difficult because finding even five minutes to myself in a home with three young children and a husband who works from home is close to impossible. But if something is important I should find the time for it.

9. Cut back on, or eliminate, coffee: I love almost everything about coffee. I love the smell of freshly ground and brewing coffee. I love the ritual of brewing coffee. I love the social aspect of sitting down to chat over a coffee. But I don't love how I have become a prisoner of coffee. I am no longer a functioning person until I have that first mug each morning and I am noticing that I have built up a tolerance to the effects of coffee. I don't like feeling like something controls me as coffee does. For a number of years I eliminated coffee from my life and I didn't miss it. Knowing I am an all or nothing person I think I need to cut out coffee for a while, then make it an occasional drink rather than a daily drink.

10. Be grateful: Resilience is the one of the new buzz words in parenting and education circles and resilience helps people carry on and even thrive in the face of adversity. One of the ways to help develop resilience is to have a sense of gratitude for what one has. Even though something unfortunate, or even tragic, has occurred, we still be happy because of all the good in our life. Research shows that people who have a well-developed sense of gratitude are happier in life. Over the past year intermittently, I kept a daily gratitude list. I would like to continue this for myself and expand this to my family.
Our family gratitude box -  after dinner each member of
our family writes one thing we are grateful for that day.

11. Find natural and eco alternatives to disposable and commercial goods: I want to reduce the need to recycle things by making reusable wax food coverings instead of plastic wrap (which I have almost eliminated the need for) and cloth bags instead of plastic baggies. I want to learn how to make my own washing machine detergent, dishwasher detergent and toothpaste.  As a family we are seeking ways to reduce our toxic load in our personal care products, such as make up and shaving cream.

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