My son came bounding into my room this morning and gave me his customary giant good morning hug. He’s typically extra adorable right after he wakes me up by jumping on my bed 4 inches from my face.
“Happy New Years!” I said, “It’s a brand new year!”
After sufficient snuggling, my son resumed his jumping, working around our bed in giant bounding leaps. As he kangaroo-hopped around my comforter, he announced:
“This year we should just work with what we have until we run out of just the things we need! And then we could just buy more of that because that would help the environment not run out of stuff. If the environment runs out of stuff – mom, it’s really hard to live.”
And that, from the mouths of babes, is sustainability and productive home-keeping in a nutshell:
- Work with what you have.
- Buy just what you need.
- Don’t use up all the environment’s stuff.
Isn’t it amazing how kids can cut right through all the crap and get to the obvious?
Every new year is a chance to remember and reconsider your true values, and work to bring your daily life more in line with those values. 2016 is, for my family, a chance to get back to some deep basics: family, friends, good food.
You see all kinds of lists at this time of the year: resolutions on how to do more, earn more, exercise more, read more, squeeze more minutes into every crowded week – how to be more.
But – you don’t have to be more – you are already perfectly enough, just as you are.
So, what if this year, instead of more, we reach for less? Less judgement, less isolation, less guilt, less stuff, less perfectionism, less comparison, less busyness, less stress.
I hope you’ll join me in the upcoming year in getting back to basics, getting back to the soil, and getting back to the kitchen table with the people you love.
Happy 2016. It’s gonna be great, I can just tell. It started with great leaping joy.0
That is a wonderful story! Happy New Year!!
I’m starting off the year sick in bed (I missed most of a day of work on Wednesday for the first time in over two years) and I’ve realized that now is the perfect time to finish reading your awesome book!!
Thanks for writing it, and thanks for all you do. You are an inspiration.
Ien in the Kootenays says
What a wonderful post. Will share. You are a wise woman.
Bec PM (Growing Home) says
Wonderful. This has been my sentiment for several years now, but here we are, still drowning in stuff, feeling cranky and frustrated by it and yet, still adding to it to make ourselves ‘feel better’. I read a beautiful comment on my Instagram feed from a lovely (wise) woman I follow, her wish was to ‘make 2016 more about experiences, and less about things’. I like that. It’s a low pressure resolution, but it’s a way forward. I read it out to my husband and kids. They like it. We will see how we go with it!
Nancy Sutton says
Indeed, the young ones know more than we suspect … and how well put! I LOVE your ‘less….’ list, starting’ with ‘less judgement’… major project for me 😉 Reminds me of The Archdruid Report’s (a homeboy – originally, anyway – blogger) ‘LESS’… we have to learn to live with Less Energy, Stimulation and Stuff. It is so true that the ‘best things in life are free (or much cheaper, anyway)”… laughing, loving, dancing, digging, creating, making, hugging, cooking, hugging, winking, walking, looking, hearing…etc., etc., etc.,… BE-ing here now 😉 But, this perspective is definitely counterculture… so that’s my vague goal for 2016… find more counterculture folks. You’re at the top of my CC list, Erica 😉
Also, my ‘New Year Wish’ list has changed (ala Chris Kresser) to a “Last Year Gratitude’ list… remembering the good stuff last year brought (including your book 🙂 You and yours are much appreciatedllll
Amen sista 🙂
Wonderful sentiment from your son – sounds good to me! I have a ways to go in some areas, but most of my new year’s goals are focused on buying less stuff and spending less money and connecting more with the things that really matter and have value – friends, family, health, and community. Along with that, I’m hoping to spend some time developing some more skills that will help to keep me out of stores even more.
Rachel C. says
Yes, please! Slow down, savor and enjoy!
This new week, a new business acquaintance taught me the idea of the “minimally viable product”, which resonated with me across my whole life. Rather than trying to do 10,000 things and make them perfect and never achieving that goal and thus never rolling the project out, figure out the minimally viable product and do it perfectly. if you need to add to it later, do it, but don’t delay trying to get 10,000 things right when all you need is three.
I have been trying to apply this general concept to my eating this fall and winter. I put my more in my larder this fall and have been actively using it, but it has required some adjustments. What is that minimally viable product that tastes AWESOME but does not require a trip to the store for a bunch of things? For me, that answer goes beyond just “food.” It has to taste good, look good, and be something I’m excited to repeat. Here’s the challenge: most food websites and blogs are working hard to pique your interest in something new and bold, not making something out of less. This usually involves buying things I would normally not buy that might not get used again if the recipe isn’t great or is fussy. One of the reasons I like this blog is that it trends towards simplicity and repeatability.
There are plenty of opportunities and reasons to create things that are fussy and fancy, but the other 20 meals per week still have to happen. And, figuring out how to make more of them awesome with less is one of my big goals this year.
Got your book for Christmas and I’ve already read it cover to cover! Looking forward to trying out some of your fabulous ideas! Happy 2016 to you!
I love this. We made the switch last year. . . downsizing from nearly 2,000 square feet to 180 square feet and are traveling the country in a shiny, tiny Airstream trailer. I am so grateful for the simplicity. I’m grateful that our consumption is a fraction of what it was when we lived in a house. I’m grateful that we’re trading excess for experiences. Life is good and much easier when we aren’t burdened by belongings and society’s expectations. I hope 2016 is a great year for NW Edible and your family.
So excited to see this post! I just read your entire book in one day and wanted to pop by and tell you that it helped bridge the gap since I’ve missed reading your posts! It also added some fun things to my
“try to make yourself” list. So many wonderful home and personal care items…I guess I wasn’t expecting that and was so excited to see it. And your son is very wise. I’ve got two big feezers and about 450 jars full of food, along with several buckets worth too. Jan always is the start of the big “eat it all down” project and the “how long can I avoid grocery shopping” one as well. I love the holidays, but it is nice to just get back to simple meals, way less sugar and a general winter coziness! Happy New Year!