December 30, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Historically, I haven't really done the whole New Years Resolution thing.  My habit, instead, is to take some time praying about the year ahead and ask God to give me a verse or a word to focus on.  Often, I end up with a goal or a theme as well.

But I did make a few practical New Years Resolutions last year; I was reminded of them when I read a recent blog entry of my cousin's in which she reviewed what she'd learned in the last year and listed resolutions for the new year.  I thought it was a great idea, so today I'll share my New Years Resolutions, Verse and Goal for 2012.


1.  Learn to make more homemade household cleaners, body care items and herbal remedies.

I am becoming increasingly aware of how many weird chemicals we allow into our bodies just because some company somewhere made a product and marketed it in such a way that it became a part of mainstream American life without the general public questioning whether it truly was beneficial or necessary or whether it might be harmful.  It seems to me that the more heavily a product is marketed, the more scrutiny the product deserves.  This is certainly true in the grocery store.  Think breakfast cereals, soda pop, margarine.  Lately I'm specifically questioning cleaning products and body care products.  Actually, I've been using vinegar, baking soda and bleach for most of my housecleaning for a while, but I still have toilet bowl cleaner, a couple of all-pupose cleaners, window cleaner and Tile & Shower cleaner and Drano cluttering my cleaning supplies shelf.  Do I really need all of those or are there more natural, more frugal alternatives available?  There are all sorts of recipes online for household cleaners.  This year I want to try some. 

And what about body care items?  I had never really thought about this until I started reading about fluoride.  A lot of the same groups that are passionate about raw milk are anti-fluoride.  I'm not familiar enough with the research yet to have an informed opinion about it, but after years of brushing twice a day, flossing religiously, rinsing with fluoride daily, and still having cavities annually, I've switched to brushing my teeth with a paste of coconut oil and baking soda and  rinsing with a Xylitol rinse. There are all sorts of recipes online for things like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioning rinse and facial treatments.  This year I'll try some.

Herbal remedies are perhaps the thing I most want to research in the coming year.  I absolutely hate giving my generally-healthy-kid-who-has-allergies multiple medications.  I worry about the side effects of taking so many medications together and the long-term health effects of relying on medications.  During her most recent bout with an infection, we were administering seven different inhaled and oral medications daily, plus one topical steroid for eczema.  Each of one them (except for all the useless over-the-counter cough medicines we tried) served a purpose.  I am not against taking a medication when it is necessary, but if a frugal mixture of raw honey and onion is as effective as an over-the-counter cough medicine, I rather trust the one with the familiar ingredients.  And I'd rather build up my children's immune systems with healthful foods, than trust Big Pharma to undo damage that our culture finds "normal."  (End of rant.)

2.  Set aside adequate time for hygiene with my daughters.

Life gets so busy.  And so often I find myself rushing the girls through bath time to get bed time.  Both my kids are anti-hair-combing.  I understand; with wavy hair, I just finger comb my hair.  But kids' hair gets so tangled, that it requires more attention.  Often, I am too busy to care, or I assume that my husband will do it, and it doesn't happen.  I find myself sending my girls to the bathroom to brush their teeth while I go in the opposite direction to get a drink of water or get Grace's medicine for her.  It would be better to intentionally budget sufficient time for a bath, a hair-combing and for applying lotion a homemade lotion bar to my eczema-prone-kid's skin.  It would be better to follow them in to the bathroom to supervise their tooth brushing and to teach them how to floss.  I must remember that these simple tasks aren't automatic, they are basic life skills that must be taught and practiced.  And, if I can get myself out of the nightly-rush mentality, we might find some quality-time in these moments.


Psalm 139:23-24: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."

No elaborating here. I just know I am supposed to meditate on it, and I believe that by the end of the year it will have some special significance for me.


Raise Kids who Enjoy Life

This has been a goal of mine since last spring, but I think it's worthwhile enough that I don't need to replace it with a new one just to mark the passing of time.

The first six or seven years of our marriage were so caught up in surviving financially that I think I lost sight of having fun.  In fact, I don't remember "fun" ever really being a priority to me in the past.  I have the type of personality that is more interested in "doing the right thing," "completing the task," and "figuring out the budget."  But in the early part of 2011, I realized that I needed to learn how to relax, to figure out how I have fun, and to intentionally enjoy life so that I can allow my children to relax, to have fun, and to enjoy life.  No huge lifestyle changes, just simple things like not rushing through the details, appreciating simple pleasures and budgeting the time necessary to do fun things.

What about you?  What are your Resolutions or Goals for the New Year?  

What do you do to enjoy life?

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