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Possumhaw: When more really is more


Shannon Bardwell



"I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that you don't really need to have a New Year's resolution." 


-- Tom Ford, American designer 




Now that Christmas has passed, shopping is done and all the Christmas goodies consumed, it's time to decide if you'll make a 2018 New Year's Resolution. 


I stumbled on a January sugar-free challenge on the internet. Seems like it's been done collectively from at least 2011. The idea is not to eat any added sugar for 30 days. Each person can make up their own rules, like whether you'll eat honey, maple syrup, coconut or artificial sweeteners or not. Most participants report they feel much better when they don't consume added sugars, and once your body gets over the shock of no sugar, foods with natural sugars taste really sweet.  


We've found it to be so at our house where we've been doing the "no-added sugar" thing for about six months. It has been helpful though to allow ourselves one sweet thing a week at our church's Sunday fellowship time. I've always thought legal stimulants of sugar and caffeine can keep one coming back Sunday after Sunday. It's not a bad idea, really. 


One year I read the book, "Not Buying China," where the goal was not to buy items made in China. Not that China was bad, but it seemed just about everything was made in China. If anything, it caused you to look where things were being made. I did find that my older shoes and boots that were made with genuine leather and lasted forever were made mostly in Italy, not so with newer shoes. I also noticed a lot of clothing was made in China, but I could also find clothing made in India, Indonesia, Canada, Germany, Peru and Sri Lanka. It did seem like a good idea to look for a variety of labels, including the "Made in the USA." 


The year following was to not buy anything at all for a year and to wear what I had which was plenty, only it made me absolutely miserable. I had a couple of important weddings to attend and had to be satisfied with what I had, and I wasn't satisfied at all. That resolution only lasted for about half a year because I was miserable, and I made everyone around me miserable, too. For me, the no clothing resolution was just a little too strict. Unlike the "no-added sugar," nothing about it ever became sweet. 


So this year I'm not doing a resolution. I've pretty well handled the decluttering goal and the wardrobe reduction with the help of several "how-to" books like "The Curated Closet" by Anuschka Rees. Anuschka lives in Berlin, Germany, and creates suggestions with flow charts. I get that. I also follow blogger Signe Hansen at Signe lives in Denmark and promotes an ethical and sustainable overall lifestyle. 


So if I do anything for the coming year, I think I'll read more, walk more, watch the stars more, laugh more, sleep better and enjoy all the days of my life a whole lot more.  



Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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