It’s about that time, guys. The delicious combination of revelry and sloth brought about by whatever peppermint/eggnog/chocolate/bacon flavored sin you may have indulged in over the holiday season is no more. We’re fixin’ to scrub it away with the determination and elbow grease of another new year.
2014 was an amazing year for The Homestead Atlanta; we keep growing, folks keep spreading the word, we’re lucky to have some of the best instructors sharing their know-how, and lots of places generously let us descend on their stores/restaurants/homes to share the knowledge of the handmade and the sustainable. We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. So thanks!
But we’re at a bit of a crossroads: the goal of the first year and change of The Homestead was simply to see if it was a valuable resource to the community, if folks really did want to make and learn more. The answer was a resounding yes.
So now what?
Good question. We’ve been thinking about that a lot ourselves…
I’m not necessarily one for New Year resolutions – I find it usually works a lot better to make little daily ones than the Mighty Yearly Aspiration – but it is a fantastic time to pause and reflect. When you think about it, the act of creating resolutions has less to do with a tangible result and much more to do with the decision to act, with one’s “resolve.”
Take growing your own food, for example. You may decide to cut your grocery bills by a fixed amount or grow a specific weight of vegetables or only go to the store a certain number of times a month. And those are all completely wonderful and admirable goals. But it’s also easy to lose the spirit behind your choices when it’s a bad season weather-wise or you ended up having to work extra shifts at work.
If you go into the new year with the resolve to nourish yourself and your friends or family with food you grow, seedlings you start while you still have to wear heavy sweaters, the joy of it will buoy you through any challenge and every obstacle will seem easier to overcome because the spirit never changed.
There are a lot of ambitions and dreams on the horizon for The Homestead Atlanta, and we’re not entirely sure what shape they’ll ultimately take. But whether we grow as a nonprofit or social enterprise, put down roots in a permanent spot or keep bouncing around different neighborhoods – or even if we take some crazy left turn that surprises even us – the spirit will remain the same: to help connect you with a lifestyle imbued with integrity, responsibility and enjoyment.
Whether your homestead extends as far as a condo balcony or over a hundred acres, you spend your days in the soil or behind a computer, having a “by hand” spirit is the first – and most important – step. Lasting change is incremental, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re not living they way you “should” – or even the way you want to – yet.
Being more self-reliant, knowing how to fix things that break, spending less on your bills, living lighter on the environment: no matter what is most important to you, the very act of holding it beside your to-do list in your crowded brain and alongside your quiet dreams in your heart will bring it into your life. It might be more slowly than you had imagined or so subtle you don’t notice at first. But if you resolve to move your life in that direction, you certainly can’t fail.
Happy 2015, Homesteaders. Let's make some great stuff.