Friday, January 1, 2010

Today is one of my favorite holidays. I love the idea of fresh starts, making resolutions and having a clean slate. When I asked around about whether people were making resolutions most people would grumble something negative about how they never follow through on them anyway, so whats the point. I think about resolutions differently I guess, because I have made so many, and I know that I have to be flexible when things turn out differently than anticipated. My most successful resolutions involved making my life simpler and not insisting that I be 100% successful. In my grading system, even attaining 10% of my goal is a victory. Last year I resolved to stop spending money impulsively at book stores, so I still visited and even purchased well considered books but I would record most of what I wanted on my phone and then would inter-library loan them. My library system is great, easy to use from home, and almost always I would get even the newest books within 5 days. I did this for about six months and it helped me on a bunch of different levels. First I saved a bunch of money, second it satisfied my urge to consume without creating more trash and guilt, and even now it reinforces the habit of taking time to think about if I really need to own something and looking for alternatives like borrowing, abstaining, or choosing to refocus when I feel empty and wanting. It was a simple goal with profound effects and more importantly it was a kind thing to for myself. I did not deprive myself of anything, I got to consume far more than my budget would have allowed, I cultivated patience and satisfaction in myself and my children( I made them do it too), and I read a lot more.