By: CHRISTINA CLARK
Last year right after New Years, my column included a resolution to eat less meat and highlighted Meatless Monday.
Quite by accident, and having completely forgotten about it (as any good resolution maker does), I was very pleased to realize I had increased my vegetarian tendencies and decreased my carnivorous ones (though I’m still an omnivore, there’s no hiding that).
So maybe the key to keeping a New Years resolution is making it something completely attainable (as opposed to losing 20 pounds in two weeks and gaining a dedicated entourage. Wait, what?).
So what have I chosen to forget this year? I’ve chosen to sweat the little stuff: deadlines, picking up after myself, freezing meat in portions as opposed to chunks (like I’ve just learned my roommate does, he’s kind of a genius), studying at the library, working out a few times a week and speaking up when something bothers me.
Why sweat the little stuff? So it doesn’t turn into big stuff.
Lots of big stuff could be avoided if we paid more mind to the little stuff. Those 15 pounds wouldn’t have crept up if we’d paid more attention to lifestyle decisions. Maybe grades wouldn’t have slipped with that 30 minutes of studying you promised yourself. Friendships and relationships might be stronger if a little maintenance was given here and there, just a cup of tea or a beer, or even phone call every so often.
The New Year has already brought some great victories and some intense tragedies to the area. While little things don’t always bring big things back, little steps can help heal and can help make all of us better in the end. Little steps help bring us all closer together as a group of friends, or a club, or as a campus or even a community. Setting aside differences and adjusting your parking job (yes, you know who you are) or even using a turn signal helps make the whole area a little safer for everyone. Little choices mean a big change.
Eating less meat over the past year helped me lose a little bit of weight, but the weight wasn’t the biggest change. My palate has changed and I’ve branched out a bit more in the foods I make at home and order when I’m out on the town. Little changes in diet change the way that you eat, and though it closes some doors, it also opens other windows. The same thing happens when you close some doors on bad habits or alienating behaviors, and open windows and doors to being more productive for yourself and your community.
While the year has started on mixed notes of cold and bitter, tragedy and feelings of warmth and community, it does everyone good to make small, forgettable steps to make a big difference in the little world that is Michiana.
You don’t need that entourage, but we could all use a healthier perspective to tackle 2014.