It's the season for new beginnings, and while I don't typically create resolutions per se, I do take time to set goals at the dawning of each new year. More than ever, I'm aware of the desire many of us have to simplify, slow down, and create more joy in our lives.
"Healthy by Design" is the title of an article in Eating Well magazine this month. It lists how one might "match your kitchen layout to your New Year's resolution." Author Lucy M. Casale suggests posting a weekly meal plan in a visible spot, and displaying a bowl of fruit for easy healthy snacking.
The piece also encourages displaying fresh flowers as a way to "brighten your room and outlook." The article cites a Rutgers University study which found, "flowers have a positive effect on mood, lowering feelings of depression and anxiety, and elevating enjoyment and satisfaction."
I couldn't agree more. In fact, it's why I started Tanglebloom - to bring joy. So, why don't I - one whose life is literally filled with flowers - do so more often?
It's the classic cliche. The cobbler's son has no shoes. The mechanic's car is unreliable, and the carpenter hasn't finished the kitchen cabinets he began for his own home a year ago.
It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, isn't it?
There's always so much we "should" do, so we do those instead of sitting down with a cup of tea. Work on a farm is n e v e r done, so I try to squeeze in one more task rather than take a half-hour to put together a simple arrangement for my own enjoyment.
Another farmer-florist, recognizing the absurdity of this senseless situation, recently compared the solution to the instruction you're given on an airplane:
You have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Most of us have a tendency to postpone joy. Perhaps it feels selfish, or so simple that we reason it's not worthy of our non-renewable resource of time.
I suggest this year we resolve to turn down the volume on the guilt we may feel when choosing something that makes us happy over something we think we "should" do.
Earth will continue to spin even if we don't tackle the laundry pile tonight. The weeds will be there tomorrow (oh, will they ever!).
We have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. We deserve joy.