A new year starts. The widespread incentive to change is more present now than at any other given time of the civil year. New Year resolutions dominate the “fresh start wish list” and set out the guidelines for the ideal year ahead. In my experience, this feeling usually lasts a few weeks, until the comfort of old habits kicks in. But hey, what better time to start anew?
To relay the only experience I am qualified to, I choose that the year past was stupendous. The absolute highlight of it was the birth of my baby boy… how could it not? Our family is now complete. We’re all healthy and got to spend heaps of time together. We live in a dreamlike place that feels like home, especially when coming back whenever we go away.
I am rather pleased with the outcome of the past year’s resolutions I set out to cultivate.
- We are greener. We only use our own shopping bags; give preference to less packaged goods; buy locally; eliminated cling wrap by exclusive use of Cat’s beeswax cloths; use 100% green energy at home; consume less and with more awareness by questioning every potential purchase; Cat makes all the soap and body cream we use and knits our cleaning cloths; I tried a myriad tasty new recipes for which no animal had to die.
- I continued to mediate daily and had moments of utmost awareness and bliss. I probably haven’t progressed as much as I wanted, but again, unmet expectations are something I have been handling better. Bottom line is that I have persisted and grown. My planned trip to India come March will be yet another good opportunity to learn more from others far more experienced – but let me keep my hopes down.
- Though far from being free of it, I have become less judgmental. This is tangible progress where the before is not only present in my memories but also in my written records.
- I have written more (though posted less). Writing has become quite “meditational” and definitely therapeutical. I can’t recommend it enough. Just type away I say, leave the editing for another day.
- We kept with our removal experimentations:
- Cat read about the pernicious health effects of the microwave’s… waves. So we put ours away for a month and a couple months ago we donated it. We went old school by heating up leftovers on pans. I haven’t felt the need for it and don’t miss it at all – one less thing (which we believed to be essential) out of the way.
- We established the “no phones in the bedroom” rule. Sparked by Simon Sinek’s inspiring view on Millennials, and the fact that Rita and Luis were giving it a try, we decided to emulate. This rule brought a new guest into the bedroom though… an alarm clock. The outcome has been that we rest more and better, so it has been an advantageous trade-off.
- Diet. I decided to join Cat and go on a gluten-free diet for the next couple of months. It’s hard to find what to snack when bread is off the table, but we’re coping.
Not all was positive though. On the down side, I have let some old habits creep in that, left unchecked, are detrimental to where I want to be – but hey, no challenge, no gain. I have been putting them on check by imposing compromising restrictions but there’s some way to go to make the best of both worlds compatible.
For “Year 2”, the resolutions are pretty much the same: Family first and foremost – spend time together and get to know those 3 amazing little beings that show something new every day; Become and relay more environmental awareness; Deepen the practice of meditation; Cultivate relationships and interests – do more volunteer work; write more; surf more; play more… create more.
Not so much a resolution, but more wishful thinking… A year from now, to be back here with (at least) the same feeling I have now… Mission being accomplished!!
Christmas was spent with friends… the family we get to pick! As always, the kids were the life of the party – I love to see them playing together – and they made Christmas Eve quite jolly. Given the “I’m home” feeling and the kids being in better playing company than mom and dad, I got to read 3 books in 10 days.
Both Dads and Moms had each a night out. Whilst the ladies decided to have dinner at a fancy restaurant, the guys went out to have some beverages – it had been a long while since I had gotten mildly drunk and it was all the better as it only took a couple of beers and a tequila shot.
Expectations did trigger a few hiccups in the logistics of the day-to-day activities of 5 families with kids, divided amongst 2 houses 30km apart. But compassion, letting go and accepting things for what they are, made for a great relaxing time. Thank you Ritinha (Miss Christmas) for the amazing planning and organising, it was beautiful!
Just before New Year’s Eve, we decided to stick to our original plan to go camping somewhere inland (we ended up in Bina Burra), even when Cat was sick and the kids weren’t feeling 100%. This experience is best summarised by the fact that we booked 3 nights and stayed 1, and by Cat’s unyielding statement “I am not camping in the next 2 years.”
It was fun and of course the kids loved it. Both Cat and I were woken up by a 2am thunder storm whilst the kids slept through the deafening thunder… to be in a tent whilst the world outside seems to be rained and thundered apart, brings out a primal fear of nature’s power. The next day we completed one of the tracks… the 1Km one and headed back home to enjoy a week of Noosa holidaying!! Come 2020, we’ll be back to camping as a family. In the meantime, the girls and I got to camp in the backyard!!