So, life is a journey of personal changes - yeah, I get that. Sometimes there are rapid changes in life; I fall asleep as one person and by the next day I am someone totally different (marriage, childbirth, buying a new home) and other changes kind of sneak up on me. What's funny is that even changes that I plan for, make goals about, changes I desire - still have the ability to sneak up on me.
A little over a year ago, after the selling the house fiasco and realizing that I didn't want or need a bigger, better house. And, coming to some idea of what I was searching for in my life at the time, I made up a list of things in general that I wanted to focus on in our life.
~ Pay off all of our debts and work from a budget (this actually took several months to get dh totally on board with it) we have about one more year until we will be free except for the house
~ Declutter and figure out what we really need to be happy. Prepping the house for moving and putting a lot of things in storage helped with this process. One, I found out I really, really need my books in the house on the books shelves (knick-knacks there don't make me happy). But we cut the toy load down, our clothing amounts, etc. We try to keep up with it, but paper reproduces like weeds around here.
~ Eat more foods naturally or from scratch. This came from two different motivators. First concern over my kids reactions to additives in their foods. And, secondly, cost. I wanted to get our food budget down. We are all really enjoying this new aspect. I have enjoyed being in the kitchen all my life - but their is real joy & relaxation in the kitchen for me now that wasn't their before. I love finding recipes & changing recipes. We don't buy cookies & snacks as a rule anymore - we like what we can make in the kitchen better.
So those were my big three from last spring that we have worked on and focused on. Along the way other new ideas and goals appeared. We tried new things and enjoyed them, found that they worked for us. It is wonderful, but I find myself stopping and saying "Who's That?" to myself now. I am, in practice - not values so much, a totally different person than just a few years ago.
Today I am 'home' centered. Very focused on creating the best home environment for us. Home crafts interest me like crazy and I love trying to figure out how to use something old in a new way.
I also care about where our food comes from, the pesticide & food-borne illness concerns aside, I want to support our local farmers. I like to see the ground that the food grew in, to understand the process that goes into growing the food that we eat. It has had the side affect of really teaching me what thankfulness for food is (and it isn't just because people in Africa are starving). Growing food is hard work, nature & God are involved in it. The fact that something as small as a seed grows a head of broccoli - I'm pretty thankful I get the chance to eat that food. I can't joina CSA this year, but am planning to next year. This year we are going to set aside at least one day, if not two to hit the farmer's market. And we are going to pick-your-own as much as possible too. All in connection with trying a larger garden this year at our home.
I am actually planning to store as much food as I possibly can for the winter this year. My neighbor has agreed to teach me how to can this year and I am really looking forward to that.
Composting has become second nature and we are actually getting a bin this year, to add to our make-our-own haphazard pile. I am also researching prices to add rain barrels to our house for garden watering.
Everytime we hop in the car I think about how many errands we can combine. I try to have as many stay-at-home days as possible. As the weather warms up I am thinking about ways that I can get us to all walk (safely) to the library & grocery store to save on those trips. As it it I have managed this winter to use less than $50 a month on gas for the van!!
I'm drying clothes outside on a clothsline, instead of burning energy in the dryer. There is something soothing about watching the cloths flap in the wind when I look out the back window. I am trying to wash dishes by hand more days than we run the dishwasher - reduce our water consumption. I find that to be a very relaxing activity, and one that I get a lot of help from the girls with.
Junior is getting the full effect of my changes. We are waiting for our supply of cloth diapers to arrive and will be trying that for the first time. And, instead of passively making some baby food as I went, I am actually planning & shopping to make a supply of baby food puree for him.
I would have thought that all these things would have been difficult or time consuming. But, I feel in my gut so at peace about everything that we are doing. I am enjoying it and don't feel pressured about my time or anything.
There are more things I want to do and try, but those acutally involve a substantital monetary investment (solar collectors, etc.). Maybe down the road when we get to our house & land.
I may not be the 'person' I expected to be ten years ago - I think I like this one, though.