It seems everywhere you turn there is a list of new things to try or fresh goals for the New Year on blogs everywhere. While there is a great deal to gain from setting goals and being refreshed in our resolve to begin again, frankly, I don’t need another to-do list tacked onto my stack of to-do lists. In this current season of life, there is less striving to do more and more learning to let a few things go.
This list is a brief sample of things I’ve been pondering for months now; the turn of the calendar to a new year simply gives me impetus to put it in writing. Rather than adding more things to accomplish, I am approaching the New Year with a mindset of pruning. I like the idea of pruning because when you prune a bush, there is anticipation of growth and eventually, full potential. Pruning isn’t a cooking term, but it is a working theme I’m comfortable with as an amateur gardener, and overall, I believe it will help me do more savoring.
One source I was reading described pruning as “creating vigor within”—I like that.
I still have over 2500 emails I haven’t read, many of them blogs I follow, that began to pile up after the fire and evacuation last summer. I’ve hung on to them, thinking some day I’ll have the time to go back and browse all the recipe inspirations. It is time to let them go. If I haven’t had time in six months, it isn’t likely I ever will.
A second part to email is the fact that over 2500 unread emails accumulated so quickly. It is time to unsubscribe to some and stem the flow.
2. Social Media (A new form of peer pressure.)
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Stumble, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube … is a little like being at a loud cocktail party where you can hear all the conversations around you, but you’re not truly involved in any of them. I have decided I can do three. I may not be able to talk to every person at the party, but at least I’ll have meaningful interaction with a few.
3. Yes and No
After all these years, I still need discernment about this one. I want to be able to say yes when I can and no when I need to, especially the ‘No’ part. I want to be able to say no without trying to figure out a plausible excuse the other party will understand. Can I just say no because I don’t want to? Because I’m not interested? Because it really doesn’t sound fun or I really don’t like it? I’m not sure. The other day I reminded my daughter to be careful to not say yes too early or no too late. I’m trying to do the same. I’m thinking this will free up at least some mental gymnastics space.
Matt and I began the year with a cleanse—the blood, lymph, liver, colon type. Not because of overindulgence during the holidays, just because it is good to keep all systems in proper maintenance (it also helps remind me to get the oil changed in the car). More purging than a pruning, it helps us refocus on healthy food choices overall, as well as recognizing our portion size can reduce a bit too (okay, that’s pruning).
5. More Cleansing
As we take care of our physical realm with a proper cleanse, it is important to take inventory of the conversations playing in my head and heart—the ones that replay because of hurt feelings or maybe something I shouldn’t have said but want to justify. Forgiveness is a cleansing exercise (both giving and receiving), pruning any buds of bitterness or resentment. I do not want to hang on to offenses over harsh words or unspoken appreciation—it is like clutter in the soul.
I cannot even remember the last time we sent out Christmas cards, but the guilt of not doing so is fresh every year as cards with photos of growing families line our fireplace mantel. I had an idea as I put decorations away this year … to write a personal note in response to each Christmas card we received sometime throughout the year (who wouldn’t want to find an old fashioned, hand written note in their mailbox?). While I realize this adds to my to-do list, it is personal and doesn’t add to the crowded schedule of things to do during the holidays. I’m letting go of Christmas card guilt and I feel lighter already.
I do not need a bigger closet, I need fewer clothes. Pushing aside clothes I don’t want or don’t fit is a waste of energy every day. (Let’s face it, yoga pants and an apron are my first choice most days anyway.) If I haven’t worn it in years, if it doesn’t fit, or if I don’t love it, it has to go. Unless it is a black cocktail dress. In that case, we need to make plans so I can wear it again. 😉 Otherwise, it has to go.
8. Photo Catalog
We have thousands of photos on three hard drives of trips, family, and food. Let’s just say, something’s gotta give. Though I do have my food photos categorized, I keep too many. I do not need to keep the twenty-five (or more) photos I didn’t choose for a post ‘just in case’.
Did you set goals or make resolutions for 2013, or like me, is your life in need of some pruning?
I promise we will get back to posting recipes next week and there are some tasty things coming up!