Manifolds, Manolos and Manure
Our household didn’t see the clock strike midnight. Didn’t toast 2021. And didn’t open all our doors and windows to usher out 2020. We ate our chili, did chores, and tucked into bed long before 2021 technically kicked off.
Most years I scoff at the idea of making New Year’s resolutions, or as we affectionately told our blue-eyed girl that they’re called “New Year’s goal-ishes”. But for 2021, some resolutions seem appropriate.
I have a longtime love affair with Dr. Pepper. I’d forgo coffee, lattes, and most meals for a large fountain Dr. Pepper preferably from McDonald’s. Our well-used farmhouse came with a second refrigerator that we keep stocked full of drinks. Tea. Pop. Water. And some evening, adult beverages. This is the first time we’ve kept pop in the house since our big-little boy arrived on the scene. With the aging refrigerator situated right next to the front door it’s a little too easy to grab a pop on my way out. In. Or just in general. For 2021, I will limit my Dr. Pepper consumption. Limit, not eliminate.
A very good friend of mine introduced me to Sweet Tart Ropes. I’m not typically a candy fan but these ropes are a chewy explosion of licorice and hard candy with a tangy tart filling. Like Dr. Pepper they’re surprisingly high in sugar. And since I keep a package in my glovebox, they’re a little too easy to snack on. For 2021, I will reduce my Sweet Tart Ropes consumption. Fortunately, these chewy goodies aren’t sold everywhere so they’re a lot easier to skip when grocery shopping.
On a more serious note than Sweet Tart Ropes and Dr. Pepper, I spend a fair amount of time on social media. Unfortunately, that time increased exponentially after we bought our well-used farmhouse. We spent a crazy amount of time on Pinterest and the Farmhouse Lookbook on Facebook. We looked at reverse tuxedo kitchen ideas. Farmhouse sinks. Faucets. Flooring. Tiles. Chimneys. And lights. Lots and lots of lights. (Our well used farmhouse is not well lit.) For 2021, I want to spend more time in the present enjoying my soon-to-be reverse tuxedo kitchen and less time on social media even as we look to phase two of the renovations (bedrooms!).
Moving away from my personal New Year’s goal-ishes, as a state and a country we need to look for and find common ground. As individuals have moved further left and further right, the middle common ground is often forgotten and it’s that middle ground that offers compromise and success. As both the state and country look toward solutions for mounting debt, out of control spending, immigration reform, and economic rebuilding all in the wake of a seemingly insurmountable cultural divide, it is more important than ever to find middle ground and compromise.
For 36 years, the Illinois House of Representatives has been led by Speaker Michael Madigan. As the House embarks on a path not directly led by now Representative Madigan, its resolutions should be to accept new leadership, look towards compromise, accept that now-Speaker Chris Welch may be different than his predecessor, and accept that under his leadership the Democratic Caucus may look towards inclusion and open consideration as opposed to a single path determined and controlled by a single individual.
As 2020 looks to be in our rearview, 2021 offers us great opportunity. Even my farmer and I compromised and found middle ground. We agreed on a total of 20 recessed dimmable LED lights to be spread out between our mudroom, kitchen, dining and living rooms rather than the 36 he originally wanted. He installed the driveway doorbell that I shopped for. And together we designed, redesigned, designed again, and finally ordered our reverse tuxedo cabinets. Compromise and middle ground are all around.