Crystal over at Money Saving Mom is having an "Eat from the pantry" challenge for the month of January. I love this idea! I don't know about ya'll, but living on a farm, we have a lot of canned goods that often languish from year to year. It is rare for me to buy anything in a can from the grocer's. However, I seem to have hoarded two freezers and two pantries full of food.
So, I am going to accept Crystal's challenge. And this is just the start.
The coming year has much promise, doesn't it? It is rather like having a fresh life to begin anew. What is it about flipping that calendar page and seeing "January 2010" that makes it seem like any and everything is possible? For the past year I have pondered where I am in my life and where I want to be. Needless to say, many of my choices have not pleased me. Many have. This year I have set myself a few goals to get me closer to what I envision my life to be:
1.) Financial peace: I start the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University offered at a local church on Jan. 3. While I have very little debt, I want none. For 2010, I plan to reduce my debt load (read: house debt) by 20-percent.
2.) Grow my farm: My friend Shelly and I have joined the local organic grower's association and I am working on the organic certification for the farm. We will take the classes in February that will help us finalize the paperwork for the certification. Additionally, I am applying for a grant to allow us to add a pollination service to the farm. Since honey bees are dying out, we deeply believe that we must nurture bees to provide for better crop yield as well as better quality food.
3.) Use it up or give it up: As I have written before, the amount of stuff in my life is drowning me. This year I plan to either use up much of what I have (food and yarn, gasp, among them). I have many things (like clothes) I don't use. They are going either through eBay, local charity, or yard sale.
4.) Quit doing things that make me unhappy: No, this isn't my job. It is, however, a few of the people and responsibilities that I have taken on that no longer make me happy. Instead, if it feels like a drain, it is getting drained. This includes volunteer work, extra projects, or acquaintances. This especially means those people who want to talk about their scars -- physical or mental. Friends share burdens, but acquaintances make them. You know what kind of person I mean: one who never asks how you are or what you are doing or how you are feeling. There is a big difference between sharing a heartache and whining. It also includes jobs in the house that I don't like anymore, like cleaning up behind grown-ups. Can I get an AMEN??
It is interesting to me that NOT on my list is "lose weight" or "exercise more." This tells me that the internal is more interesting to me than the external. Maybe I have grown up. Whatever. I think of Emerson's essay, "Self-Reliance." He states, basically, that we need to listen to our internal truth. Amen. I'm listening; are you?