Happy New Year 2024
We’re hours away from ending 2023. For me, and so many others I know, it has been a year that rushed by, leaving us feeling like something was lacking somehow. As I contemplate the beginning of a New Year, a Blank Slate of sorts, I hope to write a somewhat different story.
This year has been a struggle, for us in our small business—personally, as I’ve wrestled with the challenge of making that same business into something that contributes as well as earning a living, and that speaks to my own higher purposes and priorities as well.
I have watched our small town struggle as well. It is true that in many ways, we are only a reflection of the bigger picture out there—inflation, sky rocketing food prices, housing and the cost of living rising faster than people can compensate for, and so much more. In Fort Davis, some unfortunate circumstances, and sometimes just lousy timing, left us with fewer restaurant’s open, empty storefronts, and folks struggling to find employment.
That, combined with tourists that still came, but seemed less willing to spend than in years past, made for a less than perfect year for a retailer. Still, we have muddled through, and are proud to have been in business for going on three years soon.
At the end of a somewhat trying year, I think it is time to count our Blessings instead of dwelling on shortcomings. They have been many. We have our health, and a life that includes all of the necessities, and more. Both personally and professionally, we are blessed with friends and patrons who make life in Fort Davis a pleasure. I feel particularly lucky to be friends with so many of the other small business owners in this and surrounding towns. It is a support system that I can’t put a value on. Regular customers are the backbone of any small business, and ours are a delight. We have tourists from as far away as Dallas and Houston who visit us one or more times a year. And our Social Media Followers and Friends make of something that might otherwise be a chore, a worthwhile endeavor and sometimes a Joy. We are truly blessed.
Instead of Resolutions
I have nothing against New Year’s Resolutions— except that I seldom Keep one in the long run. I do start every year with certain Goals in mind though. However, I don’t kick myself if I fall short or am unable to fulfill my sometimes too ambitious plans. If I have discovered anything in Life, it is that it has to be an organic process, that we each evolve and transform at our own speed, and sometimes in directions that we never anticipated.
I have written on this Website during these last three years about my wish to merge my ecological and spiritual ideals more fully into our business model. I have not been nearly as successful in this area as I have hoped, but I am undeterred.
I have a New Year, that Blank Slate I referred to earlier, to write upon, and I am looking forward to it. It has been a while since I have found myself actually looking forward to much of anything, so I take this as a positive, or at least optimistic, turn. I have been pulled back a few years of late, to a time of transition and even crisis, when some part of me kept whispering to Make Time for the things that matter most.
So, if I have anything even resembling a Resolution this year, it is to Make Time. I want to make and take the time to resume my studies of regenerative agriculture and permaculture systems. I need to take time to exercise [yoga and walking are my top choices], and to garden. These things nourish my soul as well as my body.
I want to make more time for other people, and for my community. I wish more than most things to find a way to Live Kinder and Gentler on this planet we call Home. While these are pretty large challenges, I will start with baby steps, and keep trying even when I fall short of these goals.
Today, I am wishing all of my friends, family, our customers and neighbors, the larger community we live within, our readers, and Everyone the opportunity to Make Time for themselves.