Without going into personal growth or ambitions too much, I can say that one of my main goals for this "calendar" year and many more to come is to simplify our lives, to consume even less and to be productive in some manner, without the artificial confines our modern society attaches to the word.
For a while now, hubby and I have been periodically talking about trying to purchase some land out here, a little "place in space". We discuss what part of the Island we'd like to live in (South), what we'd want in a property (woods, like-minded neighbors, preferably a long driveway;), what kind of house we might build (Off the grid, solar, grey water system, outhouse, small room(s) with a loft, a separate sauna/wash building, a shop, maybe a workspace for me...).
This is mostly just a dream, of course. Land is prohibitively expensive on the Island and getting more so with each passing year another wave of Boomers, both Baby and Dotcom, come out here in search of a peaceful place to wait out their excessively long golden years, or visit once a year for a retreat from their high-powered corporate lives.
Even if we could afford something, I am not certain if I want to be saddled by the kind of debt acquiring it would require. The object of life to us is to live well. To live with as much peace and harmony and time as one can afford. Thinking about it logically, I realise that living here in the park affords us with more of those, even if this house is half in the ground and adorned with all kinds of wastefulness I might not desire to live with.
My objective then, is to make this little house more to our liking, less wasteful, to adjust ourselves and our expectations instead of our surroundings (an all too human desire). It is, after all a structure already built, existing, and should be utilized for its intended purpose. Anything else would be wasteful.
As for consumption, I would simply like to reduce ours. I will seriously consider any purchase that comes with packaging that I cannot utilize somehow (Our beloved Dump recently down-graded its recycling options thanks to the shortsightedness of our county managers. Sigh.).
I will not take electricity for granted, but will instead try to use it less and enjoy it more when I'm using it.
I will take better care of our possessions, maintain them, mend them, recalibrate them.
We will both try to walk and bike even more and take more trips on that inconvenient American public transit (Although the next trip we take will need to be buy car. You're looking at a happy hypocrite.) Since we have several boats, we'll try to utilize them more, row around instead of driving to a favorite spot, or take a little overnight holiday on another island.
I'm also going to limit my buying of clothes and books, my two weaknesses, which though mostly secondhand, are still consumption. (According to my rule I can still thrift for swaps and look forward to you girls providing me with a surprising wardrobe through them ;) I will reduce what I have, give things away, let go.
As I write this, I've just finished a preliminary draft of my garden for next spring, earmarked gardening books and poured over seed catalogues. Part of my productivity ideal is trying to produce more of our own food, become more self-sufficient in all ways. We'll try to wean ourselves further from the teat of the corporate food-like-substance production chain and either make and grow our own, or make do without.
I also want to do something more for others, help somehow, though my plans for this are rather ephemeral still.
In the spirit of this new, merry austerity, new ideas, less being more, C. and I rang in the new year with some immaterial (but hilarious) birthday presents for him and a nice row in the bay. I was bundled up good and enjoying some leg-warmers from Sadie, and my last purchase of any kind for a while from Black Sheep By Velvet Leaf. Owl-spirit-totem-person-gloves. Warm. For a long time now I've dreamed of owning a piece of their beautiful clothing. Lucky me. You'll be seeing a lot more of both of these. There has been a definite cold snap here for the past few days, and I have high hopes for the ponds to freeze to ice-skating temperatures.
We skipped most of the festivities for the new year and had dinner with friends instead. It was mellow and fun. I wore a moon and a star. These kind of cool effects, btw, can be had when your camera freezes in the car.
On the first day of the new year we took a long walk. It's been lovely to spend this time together, away from every day worries and hurries.
Speaking of which; we are taking all these pictures of ourselves for some immigration officer somewhere. We hope they enjoy them...
How was your new year celebration? Did you make any resolutions, manifest hopes, predict the future?