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2015 Samhain Resolution

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Happy Halloween to you all, and a Blessed Samhain to my Witchy friends! Most site viewers already know Samhain is also known as the New Year to many Pagan folks, and I attribute the notion of New Year's resolutions to it. (You may recall my post from last year.) Basically, every year, I strive for self-improvement that will in turn make the world a little bit better of a place. It's not like the traditional resolutions like losing weight or quitting a bad habit. No, I  believe Samhain resolutions are much deeper than that.

Reflecting on my resolution for last year, I do believe I've done good on it. Last year, "I resolve[d] to be better at the whole green thing,", as well as continue to "be less judgy". Both I've done good, but both are ongoing. Coincidentally, this past August, the city of Chicago had banned plastic bags from big stores, though many have found enough loopholes that so far it seems to not have made a big difference. We're still miles away from even a decent recycling system, too. But that's on the city - not me. So, I just have worked a bit harder at figuring out my own loopholes, so to speak.

One big thing we do is simply bring our own lunches to work. Especially in summer, I all but live out of my car, so I have pretty much turned the back seat into a little pantry, as I don't always have time to actually make a lunch. (I used to have a drawer at work for the same thing.) Now that I have fewer showings, I do have time to make lunches, which mostly, Ron and I use bento boxes. (He calls them pendejo boxes haha.) We're not sushi people, so that's not what we put in the little containers at all. Mostly, it's variations of the Thanksgiving relish trays, a.k.a., nibbles, and different stuff all the time. Black olives, carrots, celery with cream cheese, crackers and cheese, thinly sliced radishes, peeled and sliced apples (dipped in a touch of lemon juice to prevent browning), green onions, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, mini sweet pickles (as well as sliced dills), lunch meats, ranch dip, hummus, and so on - all ready to munch on throughout the day. Sounds good, right? As long as we mix it up, we don't get bored.

The reason I started going back to making more lunches is multi-faceted: For one thing, even cheap drive-thru food isn't all that cheap anymore, unless you specifically order from the dollar menu. (And yes, we're Cheapie McCheapskates when it comes to food. We hate spending money on it.) For another, it gets b-o-r-i-n-g. Of course, even the healthier choices aren't as good as people think. And yes, there is always the issue of the trash that cheap drive-thru creates. Think about it: Styrofoam clam shells are the go-to container for most take-out joints anymore. I've noticed that even with pizzerias that sell by the slice. And the cups - if not the entire cup being Styrofoam, the lid and straw are probably plastic. (That poor turtle.) So it just made sense all around to go that route. We also do the bento boxes for another reason: Packing traditional lunches take more time, and sandwiches are boring. As a Dutch lady I met once commented about American food, "Everything is sandwich". If you think about it, she's kinda right: We do eat a lot of stuff wrapped around a type of bread (sandwiches, subs, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, tacos, wraps, burritos, and so on).

Another big thing I did was switch to vaping over smoking. Now for years, Ron and I have made our own cigarettes with the tube machine. They're better than what we can buy at the store, especially compared to price, and the tobacco isn't sprayed with a gazillion chemicals. When I was getting ready for PSG this year, I dreaded having to make myself a carton of cigarettes like I have been doing in the past. It's a chore for sure. That, and our son was coming with me, who has never smoked, so I knew I was going to get the nagging from him. So a week before, I got myself a vape pen and juice, and I got used to that instead of cigarettes. I will say, it's so much more convenient, I can smoke it with the windows rolled up (or yes, even in a tent) and I don't have to figure out what to do with the butts. Oh and the price? It's about the same as making our own cigarettes.

Anyway, I will continue to find ways to be a bit greener that are also practical habits, because I won't kid myself: Anything that requires drastic change, I won't stick with it. Slow and steady wins the race, after all. For this year, I will continue to also be less judgy, as I really am a much happier person. Mostly, the only thing that irritates me anymore is seeing other people judge others. (I'm not talking bigotry. That's a whole lot more than an irritant). People who are elitist/snobby about something, people who say things like "_____ (people) can't do ____ because ______" (often in shaming ways) and people who begin introductions with, "As a _______, I _______, ...", as to me, it carries a tone of elitist superiority. These things grate on me, but less so than before. More often than not, I find taking Elsa's advice to let is go is a good idea.

For this year's resolution? Hmmm... as I posted before, it has to be more than just "I'm gonna lose weight!" or "I'm gonna quit smoking!". No, a Samhain resolution, to me, not only is an oath-bound promise, but it has to somehow make the world a little bit better. So while I'd like to say, "Buy our own house!", that doesn't do anyone else any favors (well, except the property mangers, so they can get in here and rehab, then jack up the rent to market rate, which we're currently about $500-600/mo under). No, this year's resolution is simply to be a bit kinder. Sounds easy, right? Not for me, it isn't. I get irritated really easy. For one thing, I go crazy anytime I hear a baby or kid cry/whine at the store. I'm that guy who says shut up-Shut up-Shut Up-SHUT UP! when I hear it, and half the time, Ron says he doesn't even notice it. "But I waaaaaannnnnnt itttttt!" Oh man, I want to pull a Reddit on those kids so bad. Or yeah, this one has crossed my mind a couple of times. But no, Lori. Pull it back. Maybe the kid is a brat. Maybe Mom is a bad parent. Not my issue. Don't be judgy. Let it go. Just push through to the next aisle, get the cereal, and let the old dude with three things cut in line. It'll lower my stress, it won't further raise their stress, and it will make the old dude a bit happier, too

Let me know what plans you have! And have a blessed Samhain!

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Lori Dake is a life-long native several generations back, a mom to an adult son and has been together with her husband over twenty years. She is a real estate broker primarily serving the North Side and has also worked as a paralegal for several years. Sometimes, she’s a hardcore fashionista, and sometimes a concert shirt and jeans are more her style. Hobbies include painting while listening to 80’s metal, writing, participating in various forms of philanthropy and creating fabulous meals on a budget.


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