It’s the beginning of a New Year, I hope everyone is feeling positive about making this year kinder and more inclusive than the last. I don’t tend to make New Year Resolutions as I don’t feel like they work particularly well for me. I tend to see my self as a work in progress, and in need of far more regular check-ins and course corrections. However it is a good time to take stock of what was achieved in the previous year and make some loose (and less loose) plans for what to do in the one to come. On Christmas day I wrote this post about actively practicing kindness and holding onto liberal, pro-diversity principles in the face of what feel like grim times. I feel like this is a pretty important perspective to go into the new year with.
Here in the Magpie nest we have a few other immediate plans:
Dry January – we did this last year (and did dry October too) and found that we felt much better for giving our bodies a bit of a rest from the sauce, so we are going to be doing that again this year. On both occasions we found that our wallets emerged in a better state too, so that’s a bonus.
Money – we are going to try to save up a bit of a financial cushion this year as we feel that we may want to start thinking about making some lifestyle changes of the ‘work less, live leaner’ variety pretty soon – it will be good to go into those with a bit of cash behind us as we work things out. I’ve been inspired by reading some of the posts at Frugal Health for Life in approaching this endeavour and look forwards to reading more of these.
Veganuary – We’ll be trying to go vegan for January. This morning we had our first vegan breakfast of home made baked beans and avocado on toast. It was yummy. I have to be a bit careful about eating well as I have a health condition that could lead to diabetes (I don’t want that), and my partner is gluten intolerant, so there will be some nutritional kinks to work out as we go along. I’m not sure how well we’ll manage this one, and imagine that after January we may well settle into something that looks a lot more like vegetarianism, but my partner and I are doing this together so it feels like a fun project to work on.
We’ve been watching quite a few documentaries on a range of things ranging from global warming, to animal cruelty, to many health issues, to the nutrient poor foods that have become dominant in the market, to antibiotic resistance. When you look at major contributors to all of these problems, the road seems inevitably to lead back to industrialised, factory style farming of animals. We’ve hit the point where we have a stack of reasons to give veganism a try, and only our own laziness as a reason not too. We generally cook lots of vegetarian meals from scratch anyway, so I feel we’ll get on ok with that side of things. We used to eat lots of bacon, and couldn’t imagine not having a bacon breakfast on a Saturday, but we’ve not really eaten that way for a while, and haven’t really missed it. We have been phasing out other types of meat and lots of forms of dairy for some time, but I think I may struggle with not having eggs. I really like eggs. Eggs could be a problem.
Building a creative business – I’m still exploring ideas for this. I’ve not even begun to think about starting trading yet, but I think I have some good ideas now for a set of art pieces, and may be in a position launch something later this year. Until then I’ll continue to highlight any useful resources that I stumble across on my route there.
Other creative stuff – I have a play and a film to finish, and ideas for another play, and another film (that relate to each other) to get going with. And a little animated series. Plus some art. Lots and lots of art. Oh gosh, what a list.
Mental health – I’m going to reduce my hours in the day job in April, I’m really looking forwards to having a whole day a week to myself to work on creative stuff. Let’s see how that works out.
That’s about it for a round up, but who knows what other opportunities may crop up as we go along. What New Year Plans do you have?