A Whole New Year.
Dear Fierce Ones,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I am so glad it is a new year!
2018 was a HARD year for me. There were a lot of issues to work through in my marriage and in my heart. Lots of letting go. Lots of tearing down. The process of turning chaos into order is intense work. It involves breaking old habits and forming new ones. It takes resolve and determination. It requires fighting fiercely for my boundaries, my dreams and my goals. I felt like giving up more than once, but I fought hard instead.
Here is a little recap for you.
I started 2018 with a massive tidy campaign. I had just finished reading the book by Marie Kondo called “the life-changing magic of tidying up”. I decided to give her method a try. Loads and loads of stuff were taken to Goodwill and to the dump and the process of truly discerning what sparks joy in my life and letting go of that which does not began within my heart and within my home. As I let go of the physical, I was able to let go of the emotional as well. I focused on keeping what sparked joy for me, and what I wanted to keep, and where did I want to store it… Rather than asking myself the questions of “what if I will need this later? or getting caught up in guilty feelings such as… “I feel so bad letting this go because my friend gave it to me”…and so forth. By remembering to focus on what really sparked joy in my life, it has had an incredible ripple effect. The spillover effect has been especially impactful at the emotional level and I will explain what I mean by that.
Her method begins a very transformational process within your heart and mind. It teaches you to honor your feelings. It teaches you to respect yourself and your home and your belongings on a much higher level than had ever occurred to me before. The other most notable emotion is the gratitude you experience throughout the entire process as you thank everything and then… let it go.
The ripple has affected the entire household.
In terms of the kids…
Last year I got REALLY frustrated with the kids leaving their dishes lying around the house. Or they would just leave them on the kitchen counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher OR washing them. I am a parent that believes that kids should live up to their fullest capabilities and they are MORE THAN capable of doing such a bare minimum requirement. After asking and asking that this happen and it never happening…I had my tipping point and we came up with a solution where I literally threw ALL the dishes away. We all then went to the thrift store and everyone picked out their own set of dishes to take care of. We have had this system all year and IT HAS WORKED although it did have a few challenges. Such as when we had company and there were not enough dishes or glasses and we were all eating out of jars and drinking out of mismatched cups. AND…There were a few times where someone used someone else’s dish, and here were SO many times I had to hunt for my own silverware, and a few times when someone broke their dish and it needed to be replace. It was really hard for me in the sense that I LOVE having everything look pretty and nice, but I was determined that everyone was going to learn to take care of all of their own things starting with the dishes. All training remains an ongoing process but I can tell you that it has been worth the hassle. Everyone is now (mostly) trained on cleaning up after themselves. It has become their habit.
In celebration to start 2019, I went out and bought all new MATCHING dishes and glasses. I must say…I am feeling like some kind of queen at my dinner table with all the glorious splendor of matching white dishes and bowls and real glasses! (As compared to a bunch of mismatched table settings and mason jars) sigh…SERIOUSLY…I AM IN BLISS.
2018 was a year of turning chaos into order. It was a year of hard work. It was a year of lots of fighting fiercely. It was a year of learning. It was a year of trial and error. It was a year of breaking bad habits. It was a year of establishing our family values. As we continued our tidying process throughout the year It became clear to me that I have been trying to do too many things. Working full-time as a nurse. Raising kids. Working on house project after house project. Growing a vegetable garden. Growing flowers. Writing this blog. Remodeling the house. Hosting yoga classes and a wreath-making workshop. Figuring out how to use Instagram (don’t laugh). Constantly reading and learning from books and podcasts. Add goats and chickens to the mix and truthfully…it was just too much to juggle. We couldn’t make much progress with our dreams and goals.
We took an inventory of everything and realized we needed to let go of our goats and chickens. We actually found the goats a much better home, and a friend took our chickens. Sigh…it was a relief. The goats had caused me a lot of stress because they broke out more than once. They ate the neighbors fig tree one time. My brand new crabapple tree became another tragedy. Another time they broke out and the dahlias next to the house were completely munched down.
As we reviewed the year, I looked at what I enjoyed the most and what made me feel the happiest. I realized that I was happiest and felt the best when I was the healthiest. Health is so important.
Coming in to 2019 I want to be as healthy as possible. Physical health, emotional health and personal growth are my top priorities. To feel well and whole and experience new levels of love and joy in my life. I want to grow as much of my own food as possible because I absolutely love how this has boosted my mental state of mind and my physical health! In terms of energy level…you are eating food that is still alive and the energy experienced when you eat food that is so ALIVE and full of nutrients is measurable. It is life-giving… and to be involved in the entire process of planting and watching it grow makes life very exciting!
I have always been health conscious. I give my Mom and my Grandma the credit. I remember that every time we visited my grandma she would always make us healthy ”candy” This “candy” was a chewy fudge made with carob, peanut butter and honey. It was so GOOD. All of us kids loved it. It was all natural and made with no sugar. I also remember that my Grandma walked everywhere and swam several times a week. She passed on her health conscious attitudes and beliefs to my mom and I grew up eating fresh veggies from the garden and drinking goats-milk and living a very active lifestyle. It is those early roots of my child that have been a huge part of who I am today. For the near future, I am exploring zero-waste options, solar energy panels, and an electric car. I am focusing on less waste in my life on every level. I am also focusing on my health on every level and that includes environmental health, physical health, mental health, and spiritual health.
In terms of physical health…A healthy diet is a very confusing topic these days. There is a ton of conflicting information out there about what healthy eating is. I have tried many “healthy” diets. I have done the HCG diet. I have done low-carb. I have done versions of whole 30 and paleo. I never once considered becoming vegetarian until last year.
I used to think that vegetarians were weird.
Life is so ironic isn’t it?
I was invited to a vegetarian meal hosted by a local church. After the meal was served a naturopathic physician gave a talk. I was blown away. I had an AHA MOMENT during that talk. I had never thought about the type of teeth I have and how much sense it makes that they are designed for grinding rather than tearing through flesh. I never considered the length of a human’s digestive tract as opposed the length of a digestive tract of a meat eating animal. I didn’t realize how much environmental resources are consumed by the meat industry.
It was eye-opening to me and suddenly I began my journey into vegetarianism.
I stopped eating meat (except on rare occasions)
This year I am taking it to the next level by cutting out dairy as well. My goal is to eventually eat a completely Vegan diet and I am so excited! I say aiming because I am in the early stages and have by no means perfected it yet. There is a learning curve and it is a big adjustment for me but the way that I feel when I eat this way is an undeniable improvement. I feel GOOD.
I bought a few new cookbooks filled with vegetarian and vegan recipes that look so delicious that my mouth waters when I look at the pictures and read the ingredients. I am thrilled at the thought of picking the ingredients for these recipes right out of my very own garden.
As a brand new garden…there is a lot of really hard work that goes into it at first. First you gotta figure out where is the best place to put it and then decide how you will protect it. Then begins the dirt digging. The weeding. The moving of rocks and more rocks. The tilling and amending of the soil. All this takes place and needs to happen before you can even plant anything. It is so much work. During this process we realized that our soil was really sandy and full of rocks and we changed our strategy to raised beds instead. It has been WORK.
In 2018, the garden was part failure and part success. We made so many mistakes. We didn’t plant at the right time. We didn’t prepare and amend the soil properly. We grew 72 tomato plants from seed and they ended up turning into a mess of mold. This was extremely disappointing to me because I love tomatoes so much. One surprising success of the garden in 2018 were the dahlias. I had never grown dahlias before and a gal from work gave me some tubers so I planted them. Those dahlias kept blooming until NOVEMBER! I fell in-love. I also discovered that kale is one of my favorite foods and I can grow it easily.
This fall of 2018, I planted 2 large beds of ranunculus and 1 large bed of tulips and narcissus. I am so excited to watch them grow! I also ordered several different varieties of David Austen Roses and I can hardly wait to plant them and see how they grow and bloom! In the meantime, I am looking through seed catalogs and deciding what else I would like to grow this year. I will definitely be growing more Dahlias and Kale!
I am truly excited to see what this new year brings. I feel like we learned a lot in 2018. We worked through some tough shit. We cleaned up our home and our lives. We have now prepared the garden for planting and I am eager to get started!
Thank you all so much for reading. I am so grateful for each one of you. I wish all of you a very happy new year filled with blessings and abundant new growth in your lives!
find your fierce
take the journey