OK, OK—I know. It’s time to return to the real world. Time to get dressed (running tights and a
nasty fleece does not count) and dab some mascara on. Time to clean out the overflowing inbox. Time to stop staying up all night watching
episodes of Sherlock (though I LOVE
this show) and then sleeping in. Time to
write a post. It is, after all, a brand
new year and everyone is writing about their plans for 2013.
Deanne and I went out
for a long run on New Year’s Day. While
we were running through the woods, I asked her if she had any new
resolutions. She does not. She says, in fact, that they are stupid. Her problem is that every New Year, people
get really excited and fired up about things they’re going to do, and then
after a week, they’ve given up. I tend
to agree with her about this, but I’ve always been a big fan of goals.
She was quick to
point out that goals are different. It’s
sort of an on-going thing, not something reserved exclusively for Jan. 1. But there is something kind of awesome about
making long-term goals, which is what New Year’s Resolutions are for me.
Last year, my goal
for the year was to write AND complete my first novel. I did it.
But it was a lengthy
event. It took small steps (more on some
days than others) to get it done. But it
As long as we realize
our resolutions (goals) are going to take at least the year to come to
fruition, we’re probably OK. It’s the
need to see immediate results that is the kiss of death for most folks.
Personally, I like to
think about what I want to accomplish for a new year—what I want to do, where I
want to go, who I want to be with.
Granted, there will be some twists and turns along the way—who, after
all, knows what tomorrow holds, but I do love the dreaming of it.
I was pretty
surprised the other day when I saw that Rob had posted his goals for 2013 on
his Facebook page.
1. Do at least two
long MTB races.
2. Do more family
3. Manage not to buy another
4. Learn to deer
5. Do less business
travel and more family travel (or combine the two).
6. Participate in
Stacey’s “Radical Living Plan” (I don’t know what this plan is but I
hope it involves me buying a tractor).
7. Have more parties.
8. Do more
9. Build and open at
least one EVTA trail.
10. Learn to reload.
11. Grow the Scout
12. Sail offshore.
13. Remember that
life is short, then you’re dead for a long time so enjoy it.
Hmmmm… very interesting.
For one thing, I didn’t know Rob did things like that. For another, many of his goals coincide with
mine. I laughed when I read that he was
not only willing to participate in my “Radical Living Plan” but had actually
listed it as a goal (particularly since I had not really outlined said radical
plan yet). Oddly enough, the plan does
indeed include a tractor if he feels so inclined.
So I got busy—markers, magazines, scissors and glue in hand,
I made a 2013 Radical Living poster just to sort of gather my thoughts and
create a visual that might let Rob see what he’d volunteered for.
1. Way less TV and
computer time—one to two blog posts per week and email. That’s it.
I have always been old school when it comes to
technology. Don’t get me wrong—I love
blogging, and email is great, and even Facebook has its good points, but for
the most part, gadgets are a huge drain for me.
The computer has introduced me to some wonderful things, but if I’m not
careful, it can become a huge time and soul suck. The main reason I began to resent my work at
the college was because much of it was moving to an on-line format. I need people—REAL live, face-to-face
people. I also require REAL books (the
kind you can bury your nose in and smell the pages) and REAL magazines with
glossy pictures I can cut out and save. It might not be for everyone, but it is
definitely for me. 2013 will not find me
texting (or even calling on a cell phone) or posting pictures on Facebook of
the hamburger I had for lunch. I cannot
afford the time.
2. Less stuff. It’s going to take a lot of time to get rid
of and purge my house of all the junkety-junk we seem to accrue on a regular
basis. I cannot stand all the
STUFF. I need space. I need some sense of order. I need to not have unidentified plastic toys
that never seem to have the whole game or activity with it. *I can get a little Joan Crawford on this
one. “No cheap, plastic CRAP!” (Wire hangers? You’ve seen the movie, right?)
3. More travel. If we
could have the money that’s been spent on cheap, plastic crap at our house, we
could have seen the world two or three times.
Just sayin’. Anyway, one goal is
to go more places with the kids. Some
places I’d like to visit include Washington, DC; Iceland; Alaska; Key West; a
remote Carribean island; Vermont; Yellowstone; and Ireland.
4. Publish the novel
it took me all last year to write.
5. Write another one.
6. Get my lazy butt
in gear and get back into 5K racing shape.
The whole ultra thing was fun for a while, but speed is a fleeting
thing. I think I’ll try to hang on to
what little I have for a bit longer.
Being a Master’s Champion would be OK with me.
7. Get crazy with the
arts and crafts. I have so many skills I
want to either sharpen or gain. I want
to learn to sew, work on my needlepoint, learn new collage techniques, make
some jewelry, do ink illustrations, finish a knitting project, and make prayer
8. Host an annual
week long summer camp here at my house.
The day camp would be for elementary age children and focus on natural
living, outdoor play, creativity, and life skills. This one has been a dream for a while.
9. Here’s where Rob’s
tractor comes in. Grow and preserve more
of our own food. We are planning a
bigger garden this year to accommodate more of our own fresh vegetables (I’m
not joining the CSA this year—going to try this thing on my own this time
around). This also ties in to Rob’s
desire to hunt. I’m looking to make our
family a little more self-sufficient.
10. Raise goats. This one has been on the to-do list for
YEARS. I finally went to, as they say,
“see a man about a goat” (actually, I
think it’s a mule), and I learned about fencing, vet care, and feed. I even learned how to de-worm them. (I love friendly local farmers who will hang
out with you for a couple of hours and teach you what they know.)
This is by no means, the whole thing, but it’s a start. Some of this will work out, some won’t, but I
feel like it’s given me direction.
I believe in the benefits of less stuff, hard work, and
being outside and sweating. These are
things I want to pass on to my kids.
It’s becoming easier for all of us to let these things go by the
wayside. I see it everywhere. Even in my own family, where these values
have always been a part of my and Rob’s experiences, the pull to sit down in
front of the TV or computer or video game is relentless. The desire to buy everything wrapped up in a
neat little plastic package is everywhere.
The convenience of processed foods and factory-farmed meat makes it hard
to say no.
But I’m ready to say no.
I’m ready to try something just a little bit radical.
I’m ready to unplug.
I’m ready to go back outside.
I’m ready to be with REAL people.
I’m ready to eat REAL food.
I’m ready to learn.
I’m ready to live a good life.
yours is a radical one.