We’ve been off the air for a while. 2016 went downhill really, really fast. I always try to step back and have some perspective to truly be thankful for all that I have in my life, but 2016 was a year of trial on my mental capacity to wade through shit. It felt like a continuous line of kicks in the gut. We got the news that we had to move with short notice, long-planned and anxiously awaited trips were cancelled last minute through no fault of our own, apartment-hunting was not fun, and then, of course, the election, which was the final punch in my face.
I gave myself these last 4 months to really wrap my head around it; I can clearly remember going through each of the stages of grief, and I mean that without exaggeration. One thing that I’m so fervently holding onto now, and choose to carry with me from now on, is the extreme feeling of optimism and gratitude that filled the arena at University of New Hampshire where President Barack Obama spoke on November 8th, 2016. It was supposed to be a celebratory speech the night before an historic election. Looking back on it now, everything he said holds true, and even more so now that we see what life is like in our new reality under a racist, aloof, narcissistic wannabe dicktator. (In case it’s not apparent, this is not a partisan blog. I will not apologize if you’re offended.)
And so, I’m getting serious about this; about changing my life, so that I can positively impact my country and the lives of others. Some big changes are coming this year, and I’m hoping to share them with you.
Here are my goals:
- Move to a life that is as close to zero-waste as possible. One of my next posts will be on the switches that we’ve already made towards a zero-waste life. The environment is in danger, and even more so now than ever; it might not be much, but having just our one household make this switch means less impact on our planet.
- Buy local. We try to do this as much as possible, but we’re getting serious about it now. We have some essentials that we’re purchasing from Amazon to help us in our transition to a zero-waste life, but as of March 1st, we will only be making purchases from small businesses in our local community. Exceptions may include purchases through sites like Etsy or rarely Amazon, but we’re hopeful that we can find everything we need right here.
- Get fit. I’m a shell of who I used to be; I’m tired of feeling slow, of not enjoying hikes to their fullest because I’m frustrated with my inability to move as quickly as I used to or running out of breath when I shouldn’t be. I’m hoping that following goals towards #1 will therefore help me eat a little better, as most processed (and unhealthy) food comes in plastic. I’m hoping to share some of my changes (and therefore, hopefully, improvements) with you as I make this move forward.
- Be more active in my local community. Since the election, I’ve signed up to be a monthly donor to NRDC and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and I’ve long been a member of the ACLU and monthly contributor to National Parks Conservation Association (as well as Lucy’s Love Bus). I can’t donate much, but as someone in the nonprofit world, $5-$10 per month of guaranteed cashflow really means SO MUCH to nonprofits. Find one or two who are fighting for causes you care about, and find out what you can do– whether that’s monetarily, if possible, or by volunteering in some way. I try to make time each week to contact my legislators. I’ve signed up to be a Big Sister. I’m determined to make positive changes in the world, and there’s no better place to start than at home.
- Practice and prioritize self-care. I’m burnt out. It’s time to re-center, feel whole again, and get my anxiety into check.
These 5 goals are my priorities for 2017, and should carry on beyond that. I’m hoping to make lots of listicles along the way for helpful tips for other people wanting to make similar lifestyle changes in any of these areas. We’re still working towards a tiny house, but more changes this past year have pushed that to the side for a while. Saving is still priority #1, and if we come up with any tips or tricks for that, we’ll be sure to share.
So that’s it, that’s my brain dump of goals. Incoherent, but so is life right now. More specific articles to come 🙂