Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not another New Year's Resolution

Here's the story. We all live busy, busy lives. In fact, likely too busy. We are constantly stressed by the "doing" of our lives. And that stress  is causing us "dis"stress. Because we are so busy, we tend not to think about how we are living, eating, or relating. We are busier than ever and more disconnected than ever from the things that are really important. And companies all over the globe are tapping in to that disconnection.

One food company here in North America is trying to convince us that making mashed potatoes is too time consuming so they are offering their help in the form of pre-peeled, pre-chopped, and pre-packaged potatoes just ready for boiling water. I mean really, mashed potoatoes! In fact, the sales of heat and serve meals, what the BBC called "lazy foods" ( are growing despite economic recessions.

While I don't do the pre-packaged food bit, I do have to admit, however, to taking the quick way out. I buy bread because I didn't get a loaf on the rise before leaving to work (a sum total of a 5 minute job). We pay for an extra garbage bin instead of sorting out the recycling and sending it in for free. And I admit to the buying of things that I really could have done without because I am filling some emotional need instead of some concrete need. It's just easier to consume than deal with things sometimes.

But I feel the need to change this behaviour and now seems as good a time as any. Being almost New Year's I am going to join the throngs of people making resolutions for a better life in 2011. Over 1/3 of that crowd won't see their resolve last until February. Good to know the odds going in.

So my plan is this. I'm taking the next 52 weeks to make us more self-reliant. This means more creation less consumerism. It also means getting the rest of the clan involved. Number 1 daughter has moved home to a suite in our house. She is heading to nursing school in January so will have at least two years of starving student status. Should be easy to convince her to dive right in if it preserves that miniscule budget that she will be living with. Number 2 son both works and studies at the moment. He's just recently gotten his rifle permit and a rifle so am thinking hunting season next fall will be a big bonus! Both of them will have to embrace a more self-reliant lifestyle for this to work.

The husband is another story. He works from home and is proud of the greenest commute around even though he is about as green as diesel. Being a gadget geek and firmware developer, he likes the technological edge of culture so the hook with him will be how can that technology help our little endeavor. Still, he likes  the idea of more self-reliance. He cooks, bakes, loves to see what we can grow for ourselves (though he isn't a gardener in anyone's imagination). The saving money aspect will also appeal to him.

The next 52 weeks won't be tough, they will be thoughtful. And I am going to blog about our journey. I will also include links to other blogs of like intent so that anyone interested can see the range of efforts being made by people worldwide to decrease their reliance on the consumer machine.

Will we make it to February, I hope so. Will we make it through the entire year, no idea. But is should be fun trying. And its the most positive I've felt about things in a long while. Here's to New Year's Resolutions, long may they reign.