I am currently looking out my kitchen window at the snow spiraling down, masking the world in white. The birds are swarming to the feeders; all of the other animals are holed up away from the storm. It is a very peaceful setting, and one that is putting me in quite a reminiscent mood–perhaps that comes more from the fact that it is New Year’s Eve, however. I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. They never seem to stick any more than the resolutions I make at any other time. Or, I should say, some resolutions stick and some do not, and it doesn’t seem to matter (at least for me) when said resolutions were made. However, if resolutions are your thing, I say resolve away!
Despite my lack of affinity to resolutions, I do find New Year’s to be a very reflective time; it’s a time to look back on everything that happened over the year, both the good and the bad, and to take what was good and try to make that a more prevalent aspect of the next year. So, what do you think were the highlights of your 2008? Why?
For me, the first thing to come to mind was my job this past summer, in Amy Goldman’s heirloom garden. I must say that it was the hardest job I have ever had, physically. And when I would come home, I would be too exhausted to do anything but collapse. Yet, despite these cons, so many pros came out of it. I have, in all honesty, never been more connected to the Earth and to nature than I was this summer. There is something so grounding about working in the soil, and it gave me such peace of mind. I think that this experience truly pulled me out of a depression that I had gained over freshman year. It reconnected me to myself, to what was important to me, and to the qualities that define who I am. It also put me in the best physical shape I had been in in a long time; using my body all day and being in the sun all day did wonders for my body and for my spirit. I am incredibly grateful for that experience to an extent that I am not capturing in words; you simply have to trust that it gave me new life and new spirit at a time when I was desperately frustrated and unhappy with the life I had adapted in college.
The message I take away from this is one that I without a doubt want to maintain in 2009: Happiness comes from being true to yourself, and connecting to nature is important (at least for me) for grounding myself, de-stressing, and creating a more peaceful state of mind.
Of course there are other experiences. Obama’s election is probably the next thing to come to mind, and we all know the message to take away from that: Hope and change. I urge you to look back on your year and to figure out what really made a difference in your life; then take that experience and explore what made it so important to you. Take the insight you gain and work to incorporate it into your everyday life in 2009; help yourself to make the next year one of abundance, happiness and peace.
Note to self: Maintain self.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.