I ushered in New Year’s Day down with bronchitis. I was really, really ill and couldn’t eat nor leave my bed much for three whole days. I finally feel I am on the mend because my thoughts are fully-formed after some medicine, nourishment and sufficient sleep. The whole time my husband was juggling our four kids and work, leaving me with very little to do so I could sleep. I thought to myself there’s no way but up from here on, right?
I’m not one for resolutions. I think resolutions are set up to intentionally fail. But I think its good to consciously reflect and figure out areas in life where you can improve and strengthen. I like to feel that I have grown and know that there’s still a lot more space for growth.
The biggest thing I want to do for our family is to cut back on meat and eat more plant-based food. I’m always telling people I’m not an environmental nor an activist. But I find it difficult to consciously look at myself in the mirror after I read disturbing articles that say that our oceans will most likely be out of wild fish by 2028 and that raising livestock is responsible for the bulk of global warming. These are not Greenpeace articles meant to “scare” readers. They are scholarly, peer-reviewed, scientific articles. As a humanities scholar, I also know that even science articles can be flawed, but after reading a bunch of them, I deduced that there is a strong element of accuracy in them. I am not sure why this worries me now more than any other time – maybe its because suddenly, I’m in a position where I am feeding my family (since I cook most of the time) and I want to raise a family that eats ethically. But you know 33 years of eating meat is not going to go away so fast, so its going to be a transition. We ate vegetarian meals 1-2 times a week this year, and I thought we can extend that to 3-4 times a week this year. The most difficult thing is cutting out cow’s milk and cheese, more so than meat. The funny thing is our eldest child already doesn’t enjoy meat so much and just for the sake of simplicity cooking, I chose to cut meat out some days of the week so I didn’t have to cook two types of meals everyday. Maybe she was on to something….the generations before us, like my parents and my husband’s parents, rarely consumed cow’s milk and cheese and its crazy how over one generation that changed dramatically and its really a lot to do with the influence of Western diets.
The second thing I want to do and I have discussed this at length in here is to declutter our home, our lives, our minds. To do that is to unburden ourselves of unnecessary attachments in our lives whether they are material possessions, toxic relationships or discouraging thoughts. I think I am doing quite a good job already decluttering our home and I already have a design in mind for our new home, but the other stuff are a lot harder. There are particular friendships that I need to revisit and particular things that have tortured me psychologically and emotionally and held me back. Going vegetarian is much easier than confronting your inner demons so this is ongoing work from a long time ago.
The third thing I want to do is quite simple and I think very do-able: to bring the girls out to play more. The last month or so we’ve been going out rain or shine and the girls just enjoyed themselves immensely. And this might be self-serving on my part, but it makes for great napping and night-sleeping toddlers. When they have expended their energy outdoors, they sleep without much fuss at home, and that gives me time to get my own things done.
The fourth and very last thing I want to do is move my dissertation at lightning speed now that I am unburdened by pregnancies and newborn. Not that four toddlers is not exhausting but its slightly less exhausting than a triplets pregnancy and triplet newborns. And I want to balance all that boring dissertation work with sewing. Sewing makes me SO happy. I don’t remember an activity that has filled me with so much joy in a long time. I will be launching a new instagram just focusing on sewing and kids’ play apparel. I want to create and hopefully, learn to design clothes that are cute but comfortable for kids to play in.
I hope your new year will be as hopeful as mine.