New Year is probably my favorite holiday. I like the idea of getting a fresh start and a clean slate. I like the idea of consciously choosing a new principal of living and adopting it for the new year. Sometimes I do well with my resolutions, other times, not so much.
A year after Fred and I were married I made it my new year’s resolution to make the bed every morning, no matter what. This one was pretty easy for me keep. I don’t know why, but I purposed to do it and then I did it. Twenty-seven years later, I’m still making our bed every day. Several years later I noticed that I was pretty lazy about changing our sheets regularly. I won’t tell you how long I was apt to go before putting fresh sheets on the bed because I am ashamed to admit the number in public. I will say it was too long. Shamefully so. Since my resolution to make the bed had gone so well, that year I decided to change the sheets every two-weeks, whether they needed it or not (!) This resolution was a little harder to stick to, because of my inherent laziness, but I put forth an effort and I’m happy to report that barring vacations or severe illnesses, I change my sheets every two-weeks like clock-work. For folks without an inner-slob, this will seem silly. But for those of us who struggle with such things, like me, it’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.
For 15 years, maybe a little more, I made a resolution every year to lose weight, exercise regularly and eat healthy. For the most part, I didn’t do so well with those. I always made an effort, and I always gave up after a few days. This year, I’m making my regular resolution to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. So far I’ve lost 59-pounds, and I’d like to maintain that weight-loss and lose at least another 30-pounds, possibly more.
I’ve considered trying a raw-food fast for a week or two, as a tonic, to speed things up a bit, but I’m not sure that I’m willing to make those sacrifices, especially in the middle of winter. Cold, raw, chewy food is not as appetizing in winter as it is in summer. One of the things I really like about the way I eat right now is that there are so few sacrifices I have to make. If this is not just a diet, but a way of eating that I have to stick to for the rest of my life, then I at least want it to be livable.
One of the things I’m hoping to do in the new year is to try incorporating some of the wheat-free, gluten-containing grains into my diet. I haven’t had any spelt, rye or barley in a year and I’d like to work them back in slowly to see how it affects my weight-loss and my digestion. I have a lot of spelt and barley recipes that I’d like to try out and see if they trigger my desire to overeat. I had avoided them most of 2014, just to be sure I wasn’t eating anything that would throw me off track. Baking tends to make me overeat, but I have been pretty good about stopping when I’m full, so I think I can afford to add back in some of the non-wheat grains to see how I feel. If they trigger me, then I’ll avoid them again. But if they don’t then there is an entire world of baking that I can play around with again, and wow would that be fun (and tasty too :)).
I’m also thinking about trying to add some raw dairy to my diet. I know that regular milk disagrees with me, but I have a friend who swears by the almost raw milk from a local German Baptist (sort of like Mennonite) dairy, and if I can drink milk again, I would like to. Giving up gluten is challenging, but doable. Giving up dairy is so much harder, for me at least. My oldest son will remain dairy and gluten-free because he turns into a monster otherwise, but my youngest son can tolerate barley, spelt and rye without behavioral changes, and my husband loves it when I cook with gluten of any kind, be it barley or spelt or rye. He’s not picky, he’s just happy to get “real” bread. So after trying out the grains, I’ll give this almost raw milk a try and see how it goes. For the New Year, I resolve to be scrupulously honest with myself about any reactions I may have to the grains or the milk, and to desist immediately if they cause any bad effects.
Over the holiday season I’ve been exploring all of the old WW1 cookbooks available for free online, and the old books about Reform Cooking and the Hygienic Diet. They are delightful to read. I’d like to make a New Year’s resolution of trying out some of the old recipes from them and sharing my results on the blog. There’s even old Raw Food books about the Unfired Diet. They are a scream! Maybe I’ll make a book-page with links to all of them.
Science in the Kitchen by Ella Kellogg
Economical War-time Cook Book by Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill
Unfired food and tropho-therapy by George Julius Drews
I am definitely making a New Year’s resolution to be faithful to my Blog. I hope to update at least once a week, but I know that sometimes that will stretch to 2 or 3 weeks when I get busy like I have been with the holidays. Over the summer I have a few extra busy weeks too. During the winter and spring though, there are times when I can update far more frequently. So I guess I’ll word it by simply saying I resolve to be faithful to my Blog and not to let it fall by the wayside.
Next, I want to scrub my bathtub regularly and shave my legs every week. I’m sure my more fastidious readers are reading with alarm now. I blush at the thought. However I know myself and know that I am want to put off both chores because they take more time and energy than I prefer. I have to slow down my brain and my body and make myself do them. As a side note, I am now slender enough to shave my legs in the shower. If you’ve never been obese you may not realize the absolute luxury this is. If you have been obese, then you’ll understand the secret thrill of having a body that bends and contorts with enough flexibility to accomplish such a feat. Little details like this one are part of the reason I keep going, even when the effort seems grueling some days.
So for the year of 2015 I resolve to scrub my bathtub regularly and shave my legs once a week so that I will never again be embarrassed at the swimming pool by having legs so furry they look more like they belong to an otter than a woman. Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything. Nope. Never.
Another issue I’ve been working on is choosing not to feel resentful about hanging up the clean wet clothes on the line every single (blasted!) day. Usually I do okay about it, but when it’s cold and the clothes are wet, it is terribly challenging to my fortitude. I have to wear gloves in the winter, plus a coat and hat, and stand out in the wind and the cold, right after the sun has come up, hanging heavy, wet clothes on the line. The wet soaks though my gloves and my fingers get cold. Two loads takes me about 15-minutes, and some mornings it is drudgery. So instead of resenting it, I want to turn it into a gratitude. I am thankful for the opportunity to stand in the quiet, in God’s creation, listening to the birds and squirrels. I am thankful that I don’t have to wash my clothes by hand. I have the luxury of a washing machine to take that drudgery away from me. I am thankful that I live in a state where it is legal for anyone to hang their clothes outside to dry, even if they live in an upper-crust community that foolishly tries to regulate things like that. I am thankful for having such a large nice clothesline to use in the first place. I am thankful that I have so many clothes and linens that I have to wash every day. Truly that is an abundance. I have a choice to resent it, or to be grateful for it. This year I resolve to choose gratitude.
Lastly I want to be more patient, especially with my family and closest friends. I’m not exactly impatient now, but there are times when I know I could be more so. I’ve heard people say “Never pray for patience, because if you do, God will give it to you.” That always made me so mad, because the implication was that God would send terrible trials to teach one patience. I don’t think God works like that. I think he has an infinite amount of patience and that when we pray for patience he can lend us a bit of His, allowing us to tap into His never-ending supply. I think some lessons that God teaches us can be painful. I know there have been some in my life. It’s like he underscores some life-lessons with discomfort, to reinforce the lesson. Like highlighting words on a page, or making them both bold and in italics, so we take note and remember. When we have humble spirits though, when we pray to become and then to remain teachable, life-lessons are much easier to learn and they can be emphasized with joy instead of discomfort. It’s just a matter of remaining tuned-in to His frequency, and maintaining a spirit of willingness. Life-lessons are far more pleasant that way.
So, to sum up, my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:
- To let God be in charge. Of everything. All the time. I may never achieve this outright while I’m still on the mortal plane, but I can still work towards this goal.
- To maintain my healthy eating and exercise habits and to build upon them as the year continues.
- To carefully add a few new foods (or better versions of old favorites) to my diet and to promptly admit to myself if they don’t agree with me.
- To be faithful to my Blog.
- To scrub the bathtub and shave my legs weekly.
- To faithfully hang up my laundry with joy and gratitude in my heart.
- To practice more patience, especially with my loved ones.
Phew, that is a lot more than I thought it would be. I’m interested to see how I do with these things. I’m already thinking up excuses for why I can’t scrub the bathtub, so clearly this particular issue is one I need to bring to the Lord in prayer. The others don’t seem half as daunting.
Anyone else have resolutions they want to share?