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I’m really not one for the New Year’s resolutions, as you can probably tell by the date. Yes, it is Jan. 13. That’s why I don’t make resolutions like: I’m going to write a column for the Jan. 6 issue of the Beacon on the merits of New Year's resolutions and/or procrastinating.
I have a long history of not following through. But now I have used it to my advantage — to give me a reason to write this particular column. This year, I resolved to use the same resolution as last year — to not make any resolutions. It has been working GREAT.
How many of you made New Year’s resolutions that you haven’t kept? A lot — I know. That is why I have a better idea: New Month’s Resolutions.
Why didn’t someone think of this before?
The idea of only having to plan or commit to something for 30 days really does appeal to me. If things don’t work out quite as planned, you can regroup. It’s a renewable, get-out-of-jail-free card that you can use for 30 days and then, get a new one and try again.
Think about it — most of us can commit to something for 30 days, can’t we?
For example: exercising. I have never stuck with that for more than a couple weeks straight—except about 15 years ago, when I was young, in peak physical shape, biked, walked or ran every day, and ate and drank everything in sight.
Now, I only have to say that I will use the Total Gym three times a week or 12 times a month. No problem! No, wait, let’s change that to twice a week. February is a short month, so I’ll only have to commit to ... rats, eight times that month, too.
Then, I must commit to doing aerobic exercise twice a week, right? Does shoveling manure and spreading hay count as an aerobic exercise? What about chasing my horse around when he gets loose? Nope, that won’t work. He follows me everywhere and never runs away.
But, I digress.
Back to this commitment thing. I think the plan should be: start small.
Don’t vow to become a full-blooded vegetarian (is that an oxymoron?) in 30 days. Vow to start with Meatless Mondays or Sushi Sunday or maybe Eggless Easter.
Do you want to grow all your vegetables in your backyard? Good luck with that. After 10 years of trying to grow a decent tomato in Cedar Key, I’d suggest starting with half a whiskey barrel, lots of manure, radical chemical fertilizers, a couple of tomatoes, some basil plants and progress (hopefully) from there. Add a new half a barrel every couple of years. Do NOT over do it.
Come to think of it, join a food co-op to be on the safe side. You think recycling is too much hassle? Start with cans and glass this month and graduate on to paper next month. Don’t worry, if you don’t put the recycling bin out until Monday morning, your neighbors won’t have time to count all your wine bottles before the truck picks them up. Or, hide them under the baby formula bottles.
Composting? Great idea. But, you really don’t need an elaborate set-up. Just a round bin made out of some scrap wire you have sitting around from that chicken coop you never got around to building last year.
This is my advice: pace yourself. After all, you have to keep this up in 30 day increments — for a whole year. You don’t want to wear yourself out. If things don't work out in January, you always have February. It's only 28 days.
Ada Lang is a reporter for the Cedar Key Beacon. She can be contacted at email@example.com.