2018: The Year of Willfulness

I generally don’t make resolutions, mostly because I’m constantly revising goals along the way, turning my whole life into a series of benchmarks. Sometimes the projects are little ones, but others can span years. For 2018 though, I’d like to make this a year when I’m more aware of my surroundings, to be purposeful and willful.

Greg thinks it’s funny that I never toss out rainwater that’s collected in the wheelbarrow or other assorted containers that litter my gardening area. I never dump them. I carry them to my plants and give them the water. Picked over chicken bones make broth, and weeds are divided between what’s good for the compost and what’s good for goats and chickens.

I try not to waste anything, but I think I still fall short of the mark, at least in comparison to my ancestors. I can remember my grandmother using everything from a butchered goat. And I mean everything, including the blood.

I was discussing the ‘old ways’ with my mother over New Years. She mentioned one of the grandkids was asking for an old family recipe. A few of the youngsters are starting to realize grandma won’t be around forever, and she is nearly the last of that generation in our family. If they want any family history, they need to start asking now.

This is one reason I love to blog. It helps me document the things I’ve learned along the way. Maybe I won’t have grandkids, but someone out in the ether might Google something I’ve discussed here.

I want to be a better blogger and write about specific problems around the home, garden, and animals. I want to be fearless with the topics I choose. Sometimes I don’t write about certain things thinking that it has too narrow an appeal, but I’ve decided that if I’m interested, maybe there will be others.

Finally, I don’t want to beat myself up about the things that aren’t my forte. I want to learn contentment with my gifts and not be envious of those with gifts I might never master.

So that’s my resolution, to be willful and mindful, to waste less, and nurture more. I want my journey to have value for me and my readers.

By the way, I want to mention that I’ve had numerous people tell me offline that they often read this blog not just for the content but to read the comments. I think that says a lot about my readership. You are read, and your comments have left a lasting impression on others. That makes me very proud to know you.


Is there one thing you want to accomplish this year more than anything else?

What do you think would make me a better blogger? Is there anything I don’t talk about that you’d like to learn more?



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All original content copyrighted by Maria Zannini 2016 - 2018.


  1. I have two big goals for 2018, and they will probably take most or all of the year to accomplish. Those two things are where most of my effort and energy will go. Others things will fall a little more by the wayside. That’s hard for me to accept – I always feel like I should be able to do everything! – but it needs to be that way for now.

    And I already think you are an entertaining and informative blogger! 🙂

    • Madeline: For what it’s worth, I’ve learned that letting some things fall by the wayside while I concentrate on the big picture is more productive in the end.

      I went through that “wonder woman” stage too and it’s not realistic. In the end I got more accomplished by letting some things go.

  2. For 2018 I’d like to do more designing with my sewing, and push my boundaries with more art quilting. I’m also going to get back to making my own clothes again. It’s very satisfying being able to wear a blouse I made myself in the fabric and color I prefer.

    I think you’re a fabulous blogger just as you are, but I especially like when you share ideas on anything to make home life easier, thriftier, and/or more eco-friendly. I love reading about your cooking and the recipes you find that you and Greg both like, too. And I enjoy hearing how things are going with your pups, goats, chickens etc. — I live vicariously through your homestead adventures.

    • Lynn: Many years ago I tried making my own clothes. Actually, I made a shirt for Greg. It was frustrating and challenging every step of the way. Even though I finished it and it actually fit him, it was so unsatisfying for me. That’s when I realized I had no talent for the needle arts.

      You on the other hand have an innate talent for needlework. I live vicariously through your work! I envy that talent. It’s hard for me to find age-appropriate clothes in the colors or styles I like.

      I still remember my mother making us clothes and my grandmother crocheting dresses for us. It’s an art and a talent.

      PS Thank you for the kind comments. 🙂

  3. This year is the first year of the rest of my life. Yeah, I know, not an original thought.But it is one I’ve been hung up on lately. My new years resolutions always seem to be a rehash of the year before, and I’m starting to wonder why. Is it because I keep trying to force myself down a path I’m not meant to follow? Are the dreams I’ve been chasing for decades not really what I want and I’m just chasing them out of habit? Is it time for something totally new? I guess my 2018 resolution is to figure this out. Wish me luck.

    • Linda: Sometimes it’s not the dreams that have to change, but how we approach them. Like you, I sometimes feel I keep hitting myself with a hammer hoping I’ll get a better result.

      What you said struck a chord with me though. I wonder why I blog. And if it makes a difference. I enjoy it, but is that enough to warrant the time and money I’ve spent?

      What I enjoy most is gardening, but there’s not much social interaction, which is what I’d miss if I quit blogging. I’ll figure it out eventually.

      Time is precious. After decades of doing for others, I want to do what makes me happy.

  4. Angela Brown

    I’ve been leary of making goals since the year that Big Dreams Took a Face-Plant (2015). It has been a slow and steady climb to get back to a place where having big dreams seem scary but possible to try again. To “prove it” to myself, I did something that I haven’t done in ages: I entered a writing contest.
    That is accomplishing an unwritten goal just doing that.

    As for your blogging, I love coming here to find out the State of the Homestead, the latest Nana or Iko or goat venture, and how you and hubby are progressing in living the life that is of your own making. I don’t get to comment all the time, yet I enjoy visiting 🙂

  5. The comments add so much to a post and it makes me smile every time a reader takes the time to share. I loved this post, I didn’t make a resolution either, like you I stay centered on goals but this year we did choose a word… Progress…. it reminds us to work hard and keep moving forward and when we hit our goals our soul celebrates.

    Like you I don’t waste rain water either and feed it to my plants as well. I believe the old way of doing things is actually easier than reinventing the wheel. I’m enjoying your space more as it’s such a blessing to hear from like minded down to earth folks. Have a Great day Maria…

  6. Who knows, in years to come Phd students could be poring over blogs like yours. I’m surprised some Reality TV programme hasn’t got in touch already 🙂 For myself and this year to come, I’m coming to the conclusion I need to procrastinate less and get more books out, likely self published. Life is too short 🙂

  7. Mike: A lot of people would have to do some serious schmoozing to get me to do a reality series. I’m better at behind the scenes.

    re: self publish
    That seems to be a common refrain from many people I know.

    For what it’s worth, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that agents are not the hallowed gods they used to be. I keep a few of their blogs on my reader. Their contests entice a fraction of the contributors they used to get. They talk more about the authors they’re currently selling instead of blogging to the authors who want to get published.

    It’s a very different atmosphere. I think they’re hurting. Many have stopped blogging all together which leads me to think business is not good for them.

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