In the comments thread to my previous post, Greenpa, who apparently gets a kick from watching She Who Cruncheth over at The Crunchy Chicken and me competing, suggested that I ought to try to top her “latest post.” In the interim, La Crunch put up a fascinating post about bull semen and the genetic diversity of dairy cows, which left me deeply, deeply confused. Was I supposed to top her by talking about some other crisis in genetic diversity? Spotlight some other species’ semen? Or was I supposed to put my own contributions to species diversity up for scrutiny? (Sadly, we don’t pass muster, all of the spawn were fathered by the same stud, I fear. Were I truly committed to genetic diversity, I guess I’d have tried harder on that front, but I’m a lazy, lazy woman and ridiculously fond of Eric.)
Once we cleared up that Greenpa was talking about previous post, which was about Crunch’s new year’s resolutions (something of a relief, I must admit), I was happy to comply. I don’t feel any need to compete with her – I think her goals are awesome, and she’s totally awesome, plus we have a secret plan to take over the world which will be revealed later in the year – but I should post up my resolutions, in the hope that again, posting them here means I’ll be more accountable for breaking them. So here are my goals, none of which involve semen of any kind.
1. Spend less time in front of the computer and more time on the farm. This is the most important to me. In order to do this, I have to finish my latest book, at the end of March, but then I’m going to take an extended hiatus from books and other major writing projects, running only periodic classes and the blog – and maybe scale the blogging back a little too. I started seriously writing _A Nation of Farmers_ in the winter of 2006, and four years later, I’ve been writing, editing or publicizing a book now constantly for four years. By the time that the AIP book comes out next winter, I’ll have written four books in five years – and I’m done for a while.
As I wrote here, I’m so frustrated by the things that we’ve let slide in order to have me do as much writing as I have been, and I admit, I want to be back – I need to use my body more (I’ve gotten stiffer and fatter over the last few years, more than I think can be accounted for by the mere transition from 34 to 37), and more importantly, I need to be outside more. I want my farm to be my primary work and the writing to be secondary, so my primary goal this year (and once the book is finally done) is to focus on that – get the new projects up and running and spend less time alone in a room and more time working alongside my family.
2. Get my body back. There are two strains of physiology in my family – the lean, angular native American side on my Mom’s end, and the tall, large Polish peasant side on my Dad’s. I fall firmly and naturally in the peasant side, what someone once said was “built to pull the plow when the mule falls down.” This doesn’t bother me, but four years of heavy writing following five years of near constant pregnancy and nursing means that I’m just a lot less physically apt than I once was. I don’t think “thin” is ever going to happen for me, and I don’t care about that – but I don’t want to deal with creeping weight gain or loss of strength and flexibility. My great-aunt Emily who was gardening well into her 90s is living proof you can have the Polish peasant genes and remain strong and healthy – my goal is to follow her example. I suspect that more farmwork, along with more stretching, will take care of it.
3. Try and keep the house a little nicer. This is tough here, and I don’t want to devote tons of energy to housekeeping, but it bugs me to be embarassed to show people certains parts of the house. Ideally, I’d like to get to the point where at least everything that shows is pretty much always passable.
4. Our expenditures on little things like eating out and small luxuries have gone up, and this worries me because Eric is not tenured, and the New York State budget is a disaster. It would be incredibly stupid for them to get rid of him, since they pay him less than many comparable faculty, and get more out of him, but if an across the board “get rid of non-tenured faculty” order ever comes out, he’ll be out of a job. I want to be spending less and saving more.
5.Finally get the front garden all converted to raised beds. The 37 inches of rain we had just over the summer have pointed out that I can’t get away with my existing drainage, even partly. So just do the work.
6. Get bees. Yay!
7. Be a little nicer to the spouse and the kids. Try not to snap so much. Be a little more patient.
8. Finally either find housemates or shut up about it .
9. Learn to chant Haftorah.
10. Reduce the sheer number of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and other bits in my writing.
How about you? Happy New Decade Everyone!