Sunday, January 17, 2010

My New Year's Resolutions.

Just so you don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth, my new year's resolution for 2010 involves spending less time on the computer. I also hope to work more toward less energy usage, and certainly not having our server running our in-home network of 5 computers every day will help that, if nothing else. The boys will not like it, but I am re-instituting the old "tv-free" day rules, wherein they can only use tv/computer/video games 4 days a week.

I have decided this year to work more on my spiritual, mental, and physical health. I intend to spend more time in prayer, more time exercising, less time worrying about things I can't do anything to change, regardless of how much I write about them in blog posts.

I hope this year to spend more time gardening - expanding my raised beds to the backyard and grow more vegetables, though our space behind our townhouse is quite limited, I now have a book on square food gardening that I think will be very helpful. Of course, more canning and preserving goes along with that, necessarily.

I hope this year to de-clutter a bit more, and put more things into boxes or baskets. I have done this a few times in the past, but amazingly enough, junk really does expand to fill space available (a corollary of Murphy's Law).

I'm planning in general to take a more "Zen" approach to life - let it flow and stop trying to direct it myself.

I'm not planning on giving up meat entirely, but I'm going to be having more vegetarian days this year. I'm also going to spend time learning more old fashioned, from scratch, slow and healthy international cooking. I have a recipe book from Morocco, and I hope to obtain a tangine this year to go with it. I also have a book of curries from India. We have already tried several of the recipes and the boys have really enjoyed them. They're not all "hot" but they are all spicy, and use only a bit of diced meat with lots of beans, rice, and veggies in each dish. I hope to find a good sephardic cookbook - I have a couple of small ones, but I would really like one that goes deeply into real old-fashioned cooking - things that simmer all day, or even take two days to prepare.

At any rate, the Standard American Diet (aka SAD) is very bad for everyone's health, so I'm thinking a more traditional ethinic style of cooking using non-processed foods will be more healthy - or at least less artificial, processed, and nutritionless.

I intend to spend more time reading books about spirituality and Torah. I am satisfied with our level of observance - what I'm looking for is a deeper understanding of how the covenant and good deeds connect us to God and how right living and tikkun help the world on the spiritual level (as quantum physics shows, the ripples spread out).

What I don't intend to do is spend a lot of time looking for news articles on economics, Judaism, or current events to blog about. If something falls in my lap, I'll write about it. I may let you know what books I'm reading, or what theories I'm rolling around in my head. But I'm not going to spend a lot of time blogging.

If anyone wants to discuss anything with me, from their personal budget, peak oil and climate change preparedness, or questions regarding modern and sane Torah observance, feel free to post a comment here or to email me. I am notified by email when any comment is posted (because I moderate all comments to weed out the nasty chereidi ones), and even though I might not check my email every day, I will get back to you in a reasonable amount of time.

I will work with anyone who wishes to help straighten up their finances or their relationship to God via observant Judaism - but I'm no longer going to stress about our communities' lack of ability or willingness to prepare en masse for the continuing decline of the US economy, peak oil, the collapse of the dollar, nor the self-induced implosion of the OU/chereidi paradigm. I have noticed some progress on that last issue - some people are realizing that real jobs are a necessity of life, even for people who study Torah, and that men need to step up to the plate to support their families. (But I fear it is too little, too late.)

I had a strange and profound thought a day or two ago - I will be 42 years of age shortly. That means this will be my own person sabbath year. I intend to enjoy it to the fullest, and have peace. I hope you will, too.

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