I don't make resolutions, generally. If you've been reading me for a while, you have heard that before. For me, trying to be better, do better, learn more and so on is an all year thing and not something I try to take on in one big bite at the beginning of the year. I still try to reflect on the past year and consider what I learned, the mistakes I made, the things I could be doing better.
There is an old superstition that says that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will repeat all year long. While I don't believe the superstition, I think it's a fun exercise in setting your intentions for the upcoming year.
So in the spirit of both the remembrance of a year gone by and the plan for a happy and successful 2018, I will share my thoughts and plans with you.
2017 was our first full calendar year in our new home. I had always looked forward to seeing each new season unfold here, and 2017 is the year that happened. Each season was beautiful to behold, in spite of the fact that last winter was fairly brutal (the worst in 20 years, we were told) and this winter is shaping up to be about the same. So we labored through many, many feet of snow, the constant need for a fire to keep us warm. This taught both of us some important things, like to push the snow way back from the beginning of the plowing/shoveling, because there will be more coming and you run out of room to stack it.
We learned that some things grow very well here, and that our garden needs something. I'll be reading about that. Zucchini plants should not be yellow, and should be able to set fruit. But the lettuce and beets did fantastic. My kale was grand, the tomatoes were lovely. Broccoli Raab and Broccolini are NOT the same thing and I don't care for the former. The best of all, I think, were the green beans. Wow did we ever have beans. We ate them fresh often. I pickled some, froze a bunch of them. My basil did great, the lemon thyme was wonderful, mint and oregano and parsley... yes. This is good country for culinary herbs.
2017 was the first year we had nice guest accommodations, and the visitors to use them. Oh, what fun that was! We had a grand time with a series of guests, enjoying different activities with each one, but enjoying wine and food and beautiful Montana with all. Each one made us feel so blessed to have them in our lives. I absolutely do judge people by their friends, and by that measure, I am friggin awesome.
It was also the year of my gut's salvation. It was nearly a year ago that my cherished friend Michelle succeeded in convincing me to try kefir. I bless her every day for that, for words do not do any justice at all to the transformation in the way I feel. It was also the year I learned much more about making a traditional sourdough culture and using it successfully in bread. The combination of those two things has given me a freedom in my health that beggars description. I don't think I will ever be 100% free of IBS issues, but I am so much better that thinking about it almost enough to bring me to tears.
2017 was also my Year of the Mushroom. My natural reaction to a mushroom was to recoil. 2017 taught me about hunting for morels, new ways to cook mushrooms, new types to try, and (thanks to my darling youngest son) taught me about the health benefits of mushrooms. I love learning new things and learning about new delicious things that support good health is even better.
The year saw me circle back in my work life, returning to full-time work in insurance. The woman I work for is an amazing and inspiring boss and I love working for her. I have gotten old enough that I am not looking for a grand and growing career anymore. I just want to do good work for a good place and use the skills that come most naturally to me. This seems to be that place, and Teresa allows me the space and the tools to do it.
2017 was the year the first year in which I did not see my youngest son for an entire year, since he was born. Our oldest son was able to be here several times, but it didn't work out for the youngest, or for me to go to him. There are no words to describe how achingly I miss him and his sweet Risa.
So what will I do today to set 2018 off on the right foot?
- I will cook a real dinner, with homemade bread and whole, healthful ingredients. I believe in the value of eating real food as strongly as I believe in God.
- The house is straight.
- I am writing. There is a new book swirling around in my head, unformed and unwritten. 2018 should be the year to see it begin to take form.
- I took my damn nutritional supplements. I really struggle to remember to take pills of any kind and always have. Even if I leave them on the counter, near the coffee which I NEVER forget to have, I can look right past them. For the record, when I remember, I take flaxseed oil, lion's mane mushroom, a joint-health blend, turmeric and cinnamon.
- I drank my kefir. The food I love to hate. It is totally weird to me that something I detest makes my mouth water. I figure that is my gut's message that this is good food which I need.
- I'm going to spend some time reading and some time playing my guitar.
- I will reach out to friends and family and just let them know I care about them.
- Right now, I'm going to carry some firewood up so that Sweet Hubs doesn't have to. For, of all the things I should devote time to every day, my marriage is at the top of the list.
What will you do to set your intentions for 2018?