As is the custom, I extend greetings this New Year's Day to all who take the time to read my humble blog. Thank you for being my unseen audience, and for your tolerance with me when I find not only my blog page, but my mind, blank!
The arrival of a new year is a melancholy event in that it is a reminder of times' passing. yet it offers a sense of renewal to one's spirit, as well. "Out with the old, in with the new" may work for some, but I tend to keep in the old, and keep out the new as much as possible. (I've listened to a fair share of "hoarding" jokes from my children... I just smile and bide my time!) I admit I do have an attachment to old things for whatever reason, and I believe it comes down to the fact that so many items from long ago are still amongst us. Plastic just doesn't have the longevity and feel that iron, glass and metal do, and to me, there is such a charm and nostalgia to anything passed down through the ages, whether it be advice, furnishings or implements from the farm or home.
Over this past year, I have kept a private journal of daily happenings in an old notebook by my bedside. When day was done, I jotted down not only what happened that day, but what got accomplished, how many eggs were collected, how many dozen were sold, how much grain was purchased and used, what was planted or harvested, and so on. My main reason for doing this was to get an idea of what I spend on organic grain and hay compared to what I save using my own eggs and how much I make back from the eggs I sell. It has been one year to the day, so I hope to get all the calculations together in the next week or so. I have had chickens, geese, guineas and ducks for over 20 years, and I feel the need to put into perspective everything involved before I give in to ordering more chicks this spring. Can I justify the monetary outlay for the satisfaction I get from raising my own birds? Hmmm...
I don't make New Year's resolutions, but if I did, I'd like to have the ambition to keep track of all my spending for a year. How much goes out to groceries? To feed the wild birds? How much on gas for a year? What about catfood and cat litter, let alone vet bills? I think it would be fascinating to see exactly what a year's worth of expenditures would look like. I feel I am pretty frugal and thrifty, but I'd like to see it all on paper, so I'd know where I could cut back even more!
I leave you with a quote by William Ellery Channing which shall serve as my resolution...
To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to the stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear on cheerfully, do all bravely,
awaiting occasions, worry never;
in a word... to, like the spiritual, unbidden and
unconscious, grow up through the common.