Archive for April 13th, 2009

Independence Days Redux

Sharon April 13th, 2009

Recently someone kindly pointed out that it has been a dog’s age since I bothered to post an Independence Days Update.  I really appreciated the kick in the pants - this is a project I really don’t want to let go.  It has been nearly a year, and it would be easy to say “ok, I’m done now.”  But I’ve found it so valuable that I really want to keep up, if not the “challenge” elements, the idea of integrating your food security and basic preparedness into everyday life. 

The idea of the Independence Days challenge was pretty simple - every day (or every week, or every weekend, or whatever) we try and do at least one thing that gets us towards our goals.  It came from the wonderful Carla Emery’s observation that from February to July, she tried to plant something every single day, and from May to December, to harvest something each day. 

And since all of us - me especially - are vulnerable to letting our lives get away from us, to getting so busy that there’s no way we can allot two hours to weeding the garden, this is the necessary approach.  This says “ok, but you can walk down there and pick the sorrel, and while you are there, pull out a half dozen weeds.  That’s enough.  You can be proud of yourself for that.”  And once a week or a month, I get to make a list of everything I did - without all the caveats “well, but I never…”  “oh, but I didn’t get to…” That was the best part - it forced me to make a list that didn’t include apologies or my failures, it forced me to look at the accomplishments, not the inadequacies.

Last year, despite the fact that I essentially wrote two books, I planted more, preserved more and kept up better than I ever have before.  I certainly didn’t do all I wanted to, nor did I do it all right.  But recognizing that just because I couldn’t do it all didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything mattered a lot. 

I don’t know if Independence Days was useful for the rest of you, but it worked like a charm for me.  I do know that I have a lot of new readers since last year, and perhaps it might be helpful to at least a few of you.  So I’m restarting the Independence Days Challenge - all you have to do is do something every day that you can, however large, however small, and credit yourself for planting,  preserving, harvesting, adding to food storage, reducing waste, expanding your preps…

Last year I divided things into categories, and there got to be quite a lot of categories - I’m not sure if I should bring them back or just ask people to list what they’ve done in general.  What do you think?  Is having categories like “increased your preps” or “reduced waste” helpful to you, to remind you to do a little of everything, or is it just distracting?  And was I the only one who found Independence Days useful?  For those of you who participated, has it helped?

And if this is new to you, please just sign up in comments!