This is a nice time of year for setting some goals for the future, don’t you think? Not resolutions. I mean, just the word itself, it sounds so grim and unyielding. And our “resolutions” tend to be pie-in-the-sky ideals. But goals? Those are visions – flexible, adaptable, maybe even just a smaller part of a bigger vision, a stepping stone on the path to achieving a dream. We’re big dreamers here, Davey and I, and Davey has a knack for turning dreams into realities.
We have a pretty big year coming up here, with our eighth baby due in just a few more weeks. And babies are so big, they pretty well force a slow-down in all other areas, so, for us, this is a holding year. Some things will continue to grow and expand, because that is their nature. In other areas, we’ll scale back a little, maintaining the successes we earned last year, but not looking for much improvement. We’ve been expanding our activities at a pretty phenomenal pace, so this will be a nice break, mentally, if not physically.
Here are some of our/my goals:
In The Home: Honestly, I’ve been pretty overextended for the past few years, and homemaking has suffered a bit for it. I plan to focus on the essentials of food and laundry and keeping the dust bunnies from multiplying in neglected corners. Our credit/demerit chore system has been revamped and revived, and it works well; I just need a more organized plan for getting things done that need to be done, without me having to do them myself. We also plan to remodel the children’s bathroom upstairs in the next couple of months, and I hope to save up some cash for some modest kitchen work next winter. My range is on its last legs, and I hope it lasts through one more year.
On The Farm: Our cows will calve pretty late this year, due to various issues, and I want to get them back on a good schedule, so we’ll probably only have one or two bred next fall. The rest will wait for spring. (I’ll have four to be bred, in case you’ve lost count.) The cows are our only profitable venture, and probably the one most enjoyed, so they may continue to grow at whatever pace they can manage. We had really good success with our chickens last year, but we need to cull more aggressively for both size and laying ability. Also, we need to figure out how to keep turkey chicks alive long enough to reach butchering size. We had none to harvest this year, and barely enough to provide fertile hatching eggs this spring. We have pastures to finish fencing, and a non-productive pig that needs to get her act together. The girls are in 4H Sheep Club this year, so we will have a sheep or two, at least temporarily. (That’ll be our one exception to the No New Projects rule.) Lastly, we had good success with our garden this year, but we definitely petered out by July. We need to maintain our momentum through the autumn, and also see if we can’t get a decent amount of produce preserved for winter use. Oh, yes. We’ll need to find a new meat processor, too. I haven’t been happy with ours since the business changed ownership and the grumpy guy left. He may have been surly, but apparently, he really knew his business.
In our homeschool: Brenna will be graduating this spring, and with a little luck, we’ll be able convince her to go get a job, at least. Her torture begins on January second. We intend to make her life miserable enough that joining the official workforce will look more appealing. Unfortunately, neither one of us puts any particular value on college, and she doesn’t have any particular goals that will make the expense of college a worthwhile investment, so, really, we’re just aiming to get her out of the house. Beyond that, what we’re doing is working pretty well, so we’ll keep plugging along!
As children of God: I got pretty burnt out on all things religion with our weekly bible studies. We quit that at Thanksgiving, and I don’t intend to pick it back up again. It’s too nice to have a little space. So, as the new year turns, I look forward to finding my way back to this living, active God of ours. Now, the children were not as pleased as I was to give up the bible studies. They miss the snacks. 🙂 So what I plan to do is host a little family study of the Sunday scriptures, complete with tea and coffee and, of course, something sweet to nibble on.
Financially: We use Quicken to track our accounts and spending categories, and every time I open it up, it greets me with a graph of steadily declining assets and the cheerful words, “Your plan is working!” Apparently, my plan is to be absolutely broke in the next few years. 🙂 Actually, we’ll have a little more income this year, and we hope to start making extra payments on our mortgage again. It’s extremely frustrating to see that this big number has barely budged year after year, and we consider that mortgage a major liability, a chink in our armor, so to speak. We also need to start saving for a new(er) tractor. Our ’52 model is still plugging along, but she has some catastrophic defects, and it’s only a matter of time.
All in all, this is kind of a rebuilding year for us, a back-to-basics year, even though, reading this list, it doesn’t really seem like it.
What are some of your goals for this year?