One of the things I was warned of when entering training school last fall is the amount of suggested reading we’re given throughout the year. We are currently about halfway through, and I just this week, brought home my SEVENTH book.
Those of you who know me, realize this could be a slight issue, as reading doesn’t top my list of favorite activities. I wish I enjoyed reading more, and have in the past made a New Year’s resolution to read a book a month. (It was not too long afterwards that I decided the simple turning of a new year doesn’t help me resolve to make lasting changes in my life.)
My favorite book so far has been one I found in the training school room, though it’s not on our recommended list. It was an extra copy up for the taking, so I took it right home and couldn’t put it down. The book Year of Plenty tells the tale of a family in Spokane, WA as they spent 2008 intentionally consuming products that are either local, used, homegrown or homemade. They did this for a year. With only 3 days to prepare. I realize over the past 5 years this has been a popular thing to do: change your lifestyle drastically for some righteous reason and then write a book about it. However, I felt this story was different. The Goodwins seemed to fall into their year of going without, stumbled a bit along the way, but found that life became richer when they raised their own chickens and walked their daughters to school.
I didn’t intend to read this book over the New Year. It just happened that way. Regardless, I’m thankful for the timing of it and find myself looking forward to 2013. This year holds the potential of moving overseas, to a place where many of these practices are a way of life. In the mean time, I like the thought of baking my own bread, eating seasonally, and buying more things locally. I want to learn to assign value without using dollars. I’d like to build relationships, spending more time at farmer’s markets and less time at Target. In the pattern of non-New-Year’s-resolution-ism, I have no grid or legalistic plan to use as a guide, just a hope that as I begin to dabble in a simpler way of living, I’ll find that it is plentiful.