Twas the night

Before Christmas

When all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a mouse…

Watermelon Christmas Trees

(via Real Food Real Change)

It’s Christmas Eve! What a crazy time of year, full of festivities, family, friends and fabulous food. It is also a time of reflection on the year that was, the good times, the challenging times, and things that have changed along the way.

Last Christmas I didn’t have a plan, a goal or even an idea for a New Years Resolution. All I knew was that things had to change, things had to be better than what I had at the moment, better than being overweight, better than feeling overwhelmed and tired, better than my current state of health. I struggled how to keep our home ticking over and some what tidy whilst living with an energetic toddler and working part time. I struggled to deal with the state of our home, the piles of clutter and paper.

So I escaped the only way I knew how, into the magical world of books. The library has always been my safe haven, a place of quiet, a destination of knowledge and mystical stories. On the good days, I would pop my son into the pram and walk down to our local library. On the not so good days when my son was snuggled up for his nap I would jump onto the net and download free ebooks from the library. I read books and magazines, anything that sparked interest and I created a what seemed endless wish list in my library account of books to read on my Kobo.

I also had a new way of escaping, a way that I had been fighting not to join for so long. Facebook! My main reason for joining was to keep in touch with my Mothers group from the local Childhood clinic. However, there was a whole new world to explore of pages, posts and blogs, inspirational quotes and pictures, and seeing what was going on in the world. Through out most of 2013 I gradually got the hang of social media, liking posts, and blog hopping my way through many pages reading endless ideas on what it is like to be a mother, how to save the world as an eco warrior, and how to makes changes in my life. I recently read a post by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits on what he terms “Self-improvement porn” which I guess I spent most of 2013 doing. I needed to take action and stop fantasising.

There was never a good time to start something new, as I wanted to be sure it was right, that I had researched enough to know all about it or I was simply too tired or overwhelmed to be able to face something new. So I started with something I enjoyed. As a child, I loved going to markets with my family, always on the look out for new or different markets and revisiting our favourites. So I took the plunge one Saturday morning and we visited our local Organic Farmers markets. I wanted to check them out as I had been reading about how supporting local farmers markets is better than supporting supermarkets, how to cut down on waste and reduce plastic, and how eating organic was better for your health. But mainly I wanted to go because markets to me are an enjoyable place. The markets were amazing but I will tell you more about this another time.

Twelve months ago I made one simple change. As I got better and I continued the action, the change became a habit. I only made one change at a time so as not to let my head race off without me. Making one change gave me the confidence to make another change and then another. I love this post by Brooke McAlary at SlowYourHome about Bird by Bird. The changes I have made in 2014 I could never have dreamt would lead me to where I am today: I have lost 23kgs, all but eliminated wheat when I never thought I could live without a slice of bread, I have an organised tidy home where cleaning is no longer a mammoth task, have melded a number of environmental ways into our household and I have dramatically reduced my piles of clutter. I will share with you the changes I have made towards living a healthier and simpler life and hope you may join me on my journey of change in 2015.

Grinch Grapes

(via Natural New Age Mum)

…But I heard him exclaim

As he drove out of sight

Happy Christmas to all

And to all a goodnight!