It’s the beginning of a new year and I’m feeling (oddly) invigorated. Languishing in a fugue state during the last two years of the pandemic (le sigh) makes me crave a fresh start, eager to embrace life again.
A few things precipitated this unexpected but exciting turn to new positive outlook: Settling in to my new home, expecting a bébé after fertility treatment, and rethinking how I spend my money and my time. If anything, the pandemic has reaffirmed how much my home and family mean to me and allowed me to put my joyful living mission statement on paper (as it were).
It has also shown me how what I do must matter and have meaning. That means reconsidering meetings and other obligations, what products and services I spend money on, and making more time for hobbies like baking and blogging. Check out my plans this year for the blog.
One goal for 2022 – “resolutions” sound so commanding and confrontational – is to renew my commitment to sustainable living. Sustainability means avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Check out my sustainable living page (more posts to come!).
When we moved to Vermont, I learned a lot about recycling, composting, organic food, and shopping local. I’ve made some attempt in the last few years to be more thoughtful about reducing waste and my carbon footprint, from taking my own shopping bags, to supporting local businesses and buying local products, to donating old clothes and textiles.
I may only be one person, but I can help Mother Earth by making less trash and supporting small businesses. Remember your Coldplay: “Am I a part of the cure, or am I part of the disease?”
Keeping waste out of the landfill and my money local is a great way to start, but I would like to do more. Some reasonable, manageable next steps includes:
- Laundry. Air drying more laundry uses less energy.
- Upcycling. Repurposing furniture and other household items – especially as we set up a new home and nursery – instead of buying new keeps avoids the landfill and saves money.
- Apparel. Buying ethically made, eco-friendly clothes supports the planet and companies with a mission. I like this list of sustainable clothing brands from Good Housekeeping.
- Fair Trade Products. Fair trade standards ensure producers in growing countries have sustainable and equitable trade relationships, strengthening social and environmental quality of life.
- Shopping Local. Frequenting local businesses for carry out, groceries, or clothes supports small retailers over corporate conglomerates and keeps more tax dollars in the community.
Focusing on purchasing more organic products goes hand in hand with my commitment to sustainable living. See my page for organic recipes and products here.
Food. In the United States, organic food is free of synthetic chemicals and GMOs, meaning I’m eating healthier and supporting safe farming. It can be pricey, even cost prohibitive, so the goal is to make small strides by incorporating more affordable organic products in my diet.
Some organic produce is actually not that much more expensive, like bananas. I’ve noticed brands are offering more organic options, even Great Value at Wal-Mart (le shudder). Because shopping options can be limited, if you have to go to a big-box retailer, hunt for organic.
Apparel. Organic clothing uses much less water to make than standard practice and uses materials that maintain soil health and support biodiversity. Organic materials also last longer, keeping textiles out the landfill, and are better for your skin.
Another goal is to be more mindful. Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment and being intentional and purposeful.
I am, sadly, a perfectionist and often race through my to-do list, focusing on so-called accomplishments and achievements (le sigh encore). But slowing down and taking care of myself, existing in the here and now, is just as important, even more so now during a pandemic pregnancy.
As I mentioned above, how I spend my money and my time matters to me, and 2022 is about focusing on my family, health, and overall wellbeing. As L’Husband often reminds me, work will always be there. Find more tips for joyful living everyday here.
A commitment to mindfulness and being intentional about how I spend my time means prioritizing:
- Self-Care. Rest and relaxation like baths, nature walks, and cuddling with Le Chien.
- Exercise. Making more time for yoga and swimming, in addition to the usual thrice-daily walkies with Le Chien.
- Hobbies. Pleasurable activities beyond work, chores and errands, and organizing my day planner like reading, crafts, and reaching out to a loved one.
These are my goals and ideas for 2022, and all I can do is try to be better without undue self-imposed pressure and guilt (le sigh). It’s about progress, not perfection!
What are your goals for the new year?
Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!
À votre santé,