Sure, I’m a little late on making a “resolutions” post, but one of my resolutions is to write more…soooo, check.
Heading in to the new year, I started thinking about what my resolutions of 2013 could be. I never know how to make new year’s resolutions. There are the traditional ones to eat healthier, exercise more, read more and for goodness sakes, finish painting the trim in the hallway downstairs. But I wanted this year to be different.
To help make these new year’s resolutions, I thought through some of my favorite, purest memories from when I was younger that I would like to relive this year.
My PawPaw’s garden. My family spent many meals around my MawMaw’s table. She could put out a feast like no one else. Roast, rice and gravy, buttered rolls, crunchy corn, a green salad topped with tomatoes from the garden, beans from the garden, and garden-fresh cucumbers dusted with salt and pepper. PawPaw worked his garden faithfully. I have this image in my mind of him wearing with his thin, plaid pearl snap, grinning under his straw hat. He always smelled of fresh earth and sweat.
Baking from scratch. My mom had this white cheesecloth that she would fold up and stick in the door of the freezer. When she got ready to bake a pie, she would pull that out and throw some fresh flour all over it. I would take my post on the bar and watch her make this beautiful mess. She would push and pull on the dough and then roll it out in a thin circle and then skillfully drape it over the pie pan. She makes the most divine pies. Ever.
Camping. Whether it was in tents in east Texas or the mountains of northwest Arkansas, I loved living outside for a few days. Cooking outside, taking leisurely walks, catching and cleaning the fish we would eat for dinner, and sitting around the fire drinking coffee and telling stories.
Spontaneous roadtrips. A group of us were sitting around having a cup of coffee when we heard the news that school would be closed due to the hurricanes coming through. While none of our houses were in danger, we did have a few mandatory days off from school and work. Within just a few minutes we had decided on where we would go and what time we would leave. Two hours later, we met back up with our bags packed and a cup of coffee in hand to head to the great state of California. 24 very long hours later we dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean. I would have never imagined that morning when I woke up that the next day I would be in California.
Theology Saturdays. I spent the first three years of my time here in Austin in a job that tested the limits of my sanity. Turns out, it only took three years to fully push me off the edge. My 8-5 was soul sucking for sure, but those Saturdays were coveted sweetness. I lived in several tiny spaces south of the river with my brother. One of my favorites was an old cottage. It was falling apart and attracted bugs and rodents by the thousands, but it had some of the best sunlight in all of Austin. I spent the early parts of the day studying theology with a constant cup of folgers by my side. As the sun dropped, I would pack up my stuff and take a short drive to the GreenMuse for a few pints of porter and more studying. I learned more about God on those Saturdays than I had in years.
The heart or root of those memories are where my resolutions from 2013 come from. Without further ado…
Grow a garden. Since I don’t have much of a green thumb, I gave my brother a couple of bags of organic soil and seeds as a Christmas present. It’s pretty perfect because he has the greenest thumb of anyone I know and he lives with us. I get fresh veggies from the garden, and never have to lift a finger.
From scratch. Whether it’s baking without a box, cooking from the garden, or sewing, I’d like to be less “store bought” this year. I’d like to take the time and forethought to go “can-less” this year. I like the idea of eating food in season and without all of the added sugar and preservatives.
Outside. I don’t spend enough time outside. I read recently about this family who takes daily walks together. I get so accustomed to feeling comfortable and forcing the temperature to be whatever I want it to be regardless of what season it is. I need more sunlight. I need more time outside. Whether that’s here in Austin or the mountains of Montana, I should enjoy outside more.
Spontaneity. The opposite of spontaneity is comfortability. I have gotten so comfortable in my cozy little life that I don’t even consider anything spontaneous. I’ve turned into quite the little planner. While this might be good for my goal of a more disciplined me, it’s definitely bad for my fun side.
Growth. I loved those Saturdays because I was learning something new. There are a million things for me to learn, why would I stop learning and growing and stretching my mind? JP Moreland said that we should always be reading above our reading level. My goal is to grow in articulation, depth and breadth in theology and history and literature and whatever else strikes a fancy.
And there it is.
Cheers to 2013.
Let’s make it a good one, folks.