Festive limits: Too much of a good thing
Does your life need a good edit?

Taking care of my most important eco asset

Views from Gloucester Falls Track, Barrington Tops National Park Tricia Hogbin

Over the past few years I’ve gained an appreciation for my most important eco asset. It’s not solar panels, rainwater tanks, or a passively designed home, nor is it local food or public transport.

I’ve learnt that my most important eco asset is my health. I often forget how important it is until it fails me.

Trying to live a simple, sustainable life does take more time and energy.

Usually I don’t mind. I enjoy cooking from scratch rather than eating processed packaged food. I like visiting the greengrocer, butcher and farmers market rather than the supermarket and I’d rather hand make gifts than buy them.

I even don’t mind hanging the washing on the line rather than tossing it into the dryer. I look upon time spent at the clothes line as an opportunity to relax and meditate.

Similarly, one of my favourite memories from my daughters first few years is evenings spent folding cloth nappies with my husband. This time was an island of calm amongst the chaos of having a new born. I would have missed those moments of connection if we’d used disposables.

But my willingness to do so much from scratch disappears the moment I become too busy, tired or sick.

Processed and packaged food creeps into our home, we order in takeaway, and I find myself buying rather than creating.

I usually put a huge amount of effort into trying to make our lifestyle sustainable, yet put little effort into looking after myself.

I want to have the energy I need to live the life I want, so have changed my priorities.

My New Year's resolution is to put my health and well-being at the top of my list, rather than let it languish somewhere near the bottom.

I’ve made this promise before and broken it. I think I know why, it’s clutter.

Next week I’ll be sharing my plans to edit not only my space, but also my time.

[Originally published in my column LESS IS MORE in the The Newcastle Herald Weekender Magazine 29 December 2012]

Do you have a new year's resolution? Do you think you'll keep it? 

I hope you are enjoying the festive season. We've just spent a week farnm-sitting Jane's small farm paradise. There were horses to pat, sheep to herd, and a river to kayak. 

Now we're packing our belongings and moving into the shed at our little farm. I'll be honest, the novelty has worn off. It's hot and dusty and the task or reducing our belongings so that we fit seems insurmountable. I wish I could just shove everything back into the cupboard like I usually do.