When catching up on the Downton Abbey Christmas special, the post-festive season adverts told me it was time to start getting fit, redecorating the house and booking holidays. These themes did arise in our New Year’s Eve reflections on the year past and the days ahead, but they weren’t the only features of our discussion. We are content with the framework we have established for our lives, prioritising sustainable living, fostering community, exploring creativity and honouring God. In 2016 we hope to continue on this trajectory, which means making more incremental steps to thread these throughout the fabric of our lives.
I prefer to talk in terms of aspirations rather than resolutions. Resolutions seem to be grim in their determination, and their private recognition that they are unlikely to last the year. Aspirations, however, speak of hope and of dreams yet to be fulfilled. Their un-pressured nature also feels far more achievable than bounded and pressured resolutions. So, in the interests of transparency (and because a little accountability can go a long way to helping projects to reach completion), here are a few of my aspirations for 2016 across this blog’s key themes:
- We want to grow more of our own food. We began our growing journey in 2015 (read more here and here) and in 2016 we want to invest even more time (and inevitably a little money) into this.
- I want to look again at the chemicals we have in our home, in particular for cleaning (both ourselves and the house). We’ve made a few changes over the years already, but in my experience, it’s easier to make lasting changes towards sustainable living by focussing on a particular area. 2016 will be the year of chemicals. Or rather, the year we start to use less of them.
- 2016 is about broadening scope. Reading fiction has been a staple of my day-to-day life for decades but in 2015 I made a concerted effort to read a range of non-fiction books. Blogging about them helped me to better reflect on what I was reading; it became more than entertainment, but informed my ideas about the world and corresponding actions.
- In a similar vein, I want to put some of my writing energy into a few other projects in addition to this blog. I launched Papier-mâché Thoughts with much trepidation about putting my words in front of an unknown audience. I’ve been encouraged by the response (thank you!) so, on that positive foundation, perhaps 2016 will be the year I publish some other work. Perhaps…
Apart from a few upcycling projects and gifts, making has taken more of a backseat in 2015. I’m content with that, but would like to give more time for it this year. This should, in part, be made easier by the decluttering and reorganisation of the room where we make most of our creative endeavours. In particular, I would like to:
- Sew my own souvenirs from our Thailand trip, using the fabric I bought from there
- Branch out again. I wrote previously of my preference for creativity that allows you to apply a series of instructions to create something tangible (sewing, knitting, crochet…). In 2016, I’d like to challenge myself to try things that I pick up less easily, and to be vulnerable enough to share them despite their imperfection.
What are you aspiring for in 2016? How do you make your plans easier to achieve?
Today’s soundtrack: Down Like Silver // Down Like Silver