I'm always up for a challenge. Frankly, I tend to jump right in if I am dared to do so. Maybe it's the thrill of the unknown. Or, the idea that I don't have time to think about the consequences of the action I am about to undertake. It takes me back to my college days when I constantly jumped from literal and metaphorical cliffs not realizing what lived and breathed beneath the murky waters.
Such is the situation I now find myself in. No, I'm not jumping off any cliffs, but I feel like it. Today begins the month long 2012 Eat Local Challenge. Everyone in North Central Florida is challenged to eat local, seasonal foods every day for the month of May. I've committed myself and my family to this challenge. On the surface, it sounds pretty simple. Hogtownhomegrown.com, a website that promotes eating local, fresh food, has been challenging folks in our area for several years. The reasoning is simple: Not only is local food tasty, the money spent locally helps our local economy and local food travels fewer miles to the plate reducing our carbon footprint.
One of the reasons my husband and I decided to move downtown a month ago from our suburban digs was just that - reducing our carbon footprint and taking a more active part in our community at large. Both alum of UF, we love Gainesville. It's where we met and fell in love. It's where we chose to move back to with our son. We wanted to live more simply. We wanted to walk to work, or ride the bus. We wanted to ride our bikes to market. It's a slow process, but we're doing it one step at a time. I think eating locally this month (at least one item every meal) is a perfect way to punctuate our move to simplicity.
So far today, I've eaten orange blossom honey from Land of Flowers in Alachua at breakfast, organic almonds and dried cherries as a noon day snack from Citizens Co-Op and for dinner, I have brown rice from the Co-Op, along with fresh peppers, carrots and other veggies I bought at the Farmer's Market for a stir fry.
I can't guarantee every meal will be all Gainesville all the time, but my family's going to be more cognizant of where our food is from. Now, it's time to hold my breath and jump into the abyss.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Every year I make this huge list of things I would like to do and accomplish. It’s daunting, to say the least and by the end of the first week of the year I am exhausted and overwhelmed by the difficult tasks I have ahead of me. Suddenly all I see are obstacles, rather than possibilities. One year I even ditched the entire concept of resolutions, realizing that I couldn’t even come close to keeping any of them.
This year I want it to be different. I spent yesterday evening making a list of what I want for 2012 and shared it with my son and husband. I realized nearly everything I wrote could be categorized under one of three things: my writing, my yoga and my family. I started with 26 goals, if you can believe it. My son turned pale and squirmed as he listened to me ramble on. Then he sheepishly commented he could only come up with two resolutions for the new year. He had a much better grasp of what a new year resolution is, a goal he’d like to attain. Something big, yet achievable if steps are set up. Break it down into bite sized pieces, as someone once told me.
In looking at my list I realized I truly only have three goals for the year and the biggest is living my truth with my yoga, with my writing and with my family. Talking the talk and walking the walk. Being positive when I may not quite feel that way. Waking up every morning as if it was on purpose. Realizing I have a purpose. I am the perfect me if I live my truth each and every day. Of course, under this umbrella of truth I have a few specifics:
1)Truly understanding what being an Indie writer is and taking the steps toward becoming one with my own business plan.
2)Expanding my knowledge of yoga and sharing it through teaching and writing, rather than shyly keeping it hidden for “someday."
3)Not living in the past with relationships which have changed, but embracing each and every person I encounter as if they were already a close, personal friend. It sounds corny, but I’d like to spread kindness one person at a time.
Oh, and there’s one more silly goal I have - learn to sew with a sewing machine. As a young woman I thought only old fashioned southern ladies did such work and I had no patience for the art. But I have found it’s something I now want to explore and pursue as I’d like to create something besides words. (OK, so the list is longer than three, sue me!)
Happy 2012. May all your dreams become your reality.