Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year´s resolutions.

(Berliner, German filled doughnuts, for New Year's Eve)

New Year's resolutions.

(Ich entschuldige mich bei meinen deutschen Lesern, die möglicherweise Schwierigkeiten haben die folgenden Zeilen zu lesen. Nach hin-und her überlegen habe ich mich entschlossen den Eintrag auf Englisch zu lassen. In dieser Sprache ist er aus mir rausgeflossen und da er von persönlicher Art ist lass ich ihn nun mit meinen Englischen Worten ruhen.)

On reflecting, most resolutions I have made in the past years were, as the word 'resolution' implies, wishes I wanted to convert into reality.
This year my resolutions are values and habits that I have started including in my daily life and which I am set on continuing in the new year.

Firstly, traveling and meeting all those beautiful souls that the universe has thrown in my path has humbled me to a great measure. I have had the honor to take a step into the reality of other's life's and to be blessed with their generosity. I started giving back by offering to wayfarers what I had received from others.

My life was based on the contents of a backpack and my nights spent in the very same sleeping bag. To be fair, I did gift a couple of things I accumulated to friends in Portland (a comfy chair, large mirror, some clothes, kitchen and living tidbits that I picked up for a couple of dollars used). I admit, I did sometimes miss the comforts of my material things at home, though I realized though they weren't necessary. And being back 'home' also made me realize that surrounded by all of my stuff doesn't make me happy, it's based on much more.

I have cut back my consumerism a lot. I buy second hand clothes, with underwear and socks (and one skirt on Urban Outfitters that was on sale, haha), excluded. I am much happier with less, but with choice pieces. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy going out and looking at pretty clothes - it just means that I will buy something if I actually need it, and not because I'm bored.

I DO spend my money on good food. I cannot afford to always buy organic, I cannot eat out and support awesome places all the time. But I am more aware of what I put into my body. Preferably it's organic, with local and seasonal ingredients. And if I eat meat, it's certainly not something from a chain or discount store - having no idea about the origin and it being super processed does not appeal to me in the least.
Moreover, if I can support local businesses with the same foodie values as me, I'm happy to spend that extra money.

I said I became much more aware of what I put into my body? Indeed, I have become much more aware in general. I read articles about environmental, health, political and personal concerns. I also haven't watched TV since I started traveling and I came back to Germany and watched news. I know this is generalizing, but for the most part it was full of information that didn't interest me (sports, celebrities - our Formula 1 star Michael Schuhmacher injured himself and it's everywhere, there must be more important news than that?) and information that lacked content that would make an impact on our daily life's. So maybe you think that what's happening far away is no concern of yours, but I feel like I do have a responsibility toward Mother Nature and keeping her preserved for the generations to come. Again, I am advocating awareness and acting on it - I am aware that I am using resources and I am thankful. That mindset enough makes me take action, I pick up litter, I leave nature as I've found it, I try to be more sustainable.

Sustainability. That's my last value that actually weaves in and out of my habits. Reusing, instead of wasting. Making due with less. Sharing. Also ride-sharing if possible, to reduce my carbon-footprint. Biking of course! Not letting food go bad, and not throwing it away. Growing my own food - as soon as that's possible. Recycling. Supporting the community I live in, because that's what we need to survive - community, and not every man or woman for him- or herself.

Why am I relaying this in so much detail? Why let YOU know? Because I think awareness is important. I'm still figuring out what I can do better and it's all baby steps.
I really don't try to be judgmental, but I think it's the lack of people educating and setting an example that´s resulted in a mass unawareness. 
I needed others to show me it could be done. This is where I draw the circle back to where I started - all those beautiful souls that roused awareness in me and showed me a lifestyle that will help preserve the environment, help the community, which in the end is helping myself and making myself, and the people that surround me, happier.

I resolve to keep on continuing on the path of awareness.
Happy New Year, my dears! May your resolutions also become reality.