I should preface by saying that I'm not really big on New Year's resolutions, per se. I am a fan of self-examination, striving to do better, and having goals of some kind. The new year is as good a time as any to re-evaluate and set some goals and, since the tradition is already there, why not? I’ve also found that writing it down and revisiting it throughout the year helps. I am often amazed at how the act of writing something down can seem to affect it’s outcome. Something about putting things out into the quantum universe I suppose. Last year’s list included a few things I thought were highly unlikely that actually did come to pass, so this year I’m going to just put it all down and see how it goes.
The first resolution I’ll list is this blog. I pretty much covered that in the intro, so we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how I do there.
There are a couple carry-overs from last year. I wanted to see all of the AFI’s top ten films, which are actually twelve films because they did the original list in 1997 and then changed it in 2007. I missed On The Waterfront, Vertigo, and I only made it through half of Lawrence of Arabia, but I watched (or had already seen) the rest. This year I want to finish the top ten and start in on some of the seven that I haven’t already seen in the top twenty-five.
Another carry-over is to continue eating food, not too much, mostly plants. A resolution straight out of Pollan’s, In Defense of Food, I did a pretty good job eating better last year and I want to continue to get better. The gardening, canning, and freezing all help us do a better job of eating seasonally and locally and it is my intent to look for ways to improve there as well.
I had a resolution last year to be able to reload by the end of the year. I did acquire some of the tools, but not all and I still have yet to learn the actual process. However, my wife’s uncle has offered to teach me and we have made plans to do it while we are in Portland during the next few days. In an added bit of serendipity, my wife’s grandmother just told us she has a couple boxes of her late husband’s reloading gear and that I am welcome to it. So this one is just a little behind schedule, but should right on track this time next week. It’s kind of crazy how just putting it out there colluded and the pieces came together.
Not really a carry-over so much as an expansion of last year’s resolutions, we are planning to add another raised bed for the garden this year. I hope to pay closer attention to the planting-harvesting-replanting schedules to get a little more out of this year’s garden. I hope to have more canning and freezing to do next fall. We are still eating peas, green beans, pickles, and tomatoes from last summer’s garden and corn, jam, and jelly from other local sources, but I would like to be able to buy even less from the store next winter.
I’m going to put camping and hiking together here since our goal this year is to do some hike-in camping. Back when I was single my transportation was a motorcycle and I could strap everything I needed for a camping trip to the seat and handlebars. Now, with the wife and child and the VW bus, our camping gear has expanded quite a bit. During the last year we began picking up things like hiking packs, a small tent, lightweight sleeping bags, etc. By summer we hope to have everything we need to do at least two or three family hike-in camping trips. It would also be nice to do at least one big hiking trip like last fall’s Mt. Ellinor hike.
I made good on last year's goal to get out deer hunting. Since I am relatively new to the area my goal here was primarily to learn the state regulations and where the deer are. I did that and also found a really good elk spot. This year’s goal is to actually fill a deer or elk tag. Now that I better understand the seasons and where to go, I think this can be do-able.
I need to get more exercise this year. The first year we were here we did a pretty good job of getting out on the bikes or going for walks but this year we’ve been busy and regular physical activity has fallen by the wayside. I need to figure out a way to remedy that.
I have a good friend in North Carolina who is getting married in October. I resolve to make it to that wedding. Since our family lives on a pretty moderate budget, cross-country trips require planning and saving. We have already started, but we will need to keep everything on track to make it happen.
A couple things I would like to try this year are cheese making and homemade pectin. I’m not sure when we’ll find the time, but I’m going to put it out there anyway.
This past year I acquired a pick up truck and a chainsaw (thank you to my uncle who upgraded both!) and I would very much like to harvest some of my own firewood this year. There is no reason for me to pay to have some else cut and split it – I need the exercise!
Finally, I always need to do more with my son. Between our family’s schedules and homeschooling, we actually do spend quite a bit of time together as a family. Still, I feel that we always need to be striving to do more together. This is a constant goal.
…So, that’s it. I did actually leave a couple things off, but I think this is enough to keep me busy this year. Besides, I need to save something for next year, right?