I have several New Year’s Eve traditions that I’m quite fond of. One is thoroughly cleaning my house and smudging everything before midnight; I like to enter a new year with good energy and a spotless house.
Another tradition ois celebrating the new year early with Olive. I run her a hot bath with bubbles and candles and we drink sparkling apple juice out of champagne glasses while talking about our goals for the new year – all the things we’d like to learn and do and become.
The last tradition, however, has quickly become my favourite one and it’s only in its second year: New Year’s Eve yoga.
My marriage split open on November 20, 2014, and I made the decision to end it on December 15, 2014.
I don’t think there’s ever really a good time for this sort of thing to happen, but doing it immediately before such a staggering season of events – Christmas, then my 31st birthday, then New Year’s and then Valentine’s Day – felt like a barrage of punches to the face in quick succession. Bam bam bam bam bam.
That first Christmas, I invited Olive’s dad to spend Christmas day with us. I was in shock and I didn’t know quite what else to do. I was still trying to pretend things were normal, desperate for Olive to hold onto the sense that things were fine, even though I knew they would soon be very, very different.
Every year for Christmas I buy Olive a book. Not just any book, though, a special one.
Usually, the requirement is that it has to make me well up with tears when I read it and encompass something of the phase or stage of life she’s in. I don’t think I’ve ever shared these books with you, so I’m going to do that now, along with the book I’ve picked for this year and why it strikes a special chord with me.
Once upon a time I was a Literacy Outreach Coordinator. It was a brief period of time, but I gained a lot from that position, the most important lesson being the vital importance of a concept called lifelong learning.
Lifelong learning is the idea that learning doesn’t stop when you graduate high school or university, it’s a process that continues your entire life, through taking classes, mastering new skills, and yes, reading. Basically, it means continually challenging yourself to learn new things and pushing yourself to grow as a person.
I have been thinking a lot about lifelong learning because for a while now, it’s felt like I have been sort of set in my Eco-friendly ways.
I make my cleaners and lotions, I bring my bags to the grocery store, I recycle and compost and shop secondhand. I’m proud of the choices I’ve made and how I’ve managed to continue with them for so long, but it also doesn’t feel challenging anymore. In some this is great, I’m used to not buying paper towels and using a drying rack, it feels second-nature , but although I’m constantly making little tweaks or changes it also really didn’t feel like I was progressing in any significant way.
It’s been ages since I wrote about what’s filling my medicine cabinet and my makeup bag so I thought I’d do a giant post summarizing the products I’m using these days.
When you’re trying to make the switch to natural products, knowing what to buy and where to buy it is often the hardest part. Hopefully, this post will make things a bit easier!