As you may or may not have noticed, this blog sat dormant for over a month. I could list of a litany of excuses to try and explain myself (it was the holidays, I was on vacation, work was stressful, [insert more justifications here]), but those would be lies, and the last thing I want is for this blog to become an unrealistic, un-achievable tableau of a life that I am not living.

Blogging, especially about veganism, is difficult. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that I have an agenda – I’m here trying to promote my beliefs, to show how easy and fulfilling it is to live this way, but in the process, posts have the tendency to portray a sanitized version of my life. I know this is not just an issue with me, but with social media as a whole – Instagram and personal blogs do a great job of giving very calculated glimpses into very manicured worlds. They do not show the cooking failures, the messy kitchens, the obsessive checking of analytics, or any of the other “behind-the-scenes” images that truly encapsulate what goes into making and running a successful social media account.

I want creaturefree.com to be an authentic representation of myself, so I am going to be honest with you now. The real reason I haven’t written for over a month is because I am currently managing an episode of depression. Depression is something I’ve struggled with in the past. It is also something I will continue to struggle with in the future, but at least for now, I seem to be on the upswing.

I had a lot of posts planned for December. I was really jazzed to write them, but  the act of taking my laptop out of its bag, sitting in front of the computer, and actually making something seemed like too big a feat to achieve. My depression feels like this: a constant, lofty (re: unattainable) wish that I will do better combined with a hateful, nagging voice in the back of my head that says I will not, followed by the subsequent disappoint in myself. When I fall into this state, I make goals just so I can fail at them, just so I can berate myself later. In order to make myself feel better, I’ll pick a new goal, and well… you get the idea. This feedback loop tends to gain weight with each repetition, exponentially growing harder and harder to break from.

The only upside to my case is that I’ve been through it before and that I am able to recognize when its happening. Right before the holidays, I was able to schedule an appointment with a doctor, and I’ve been on a low dose of Zoloft ever since. The plan is to combine medicine with bi-monthly talk therapy sessions. Honestly, I’m excited to begin unpacking my emotional baggage. Although the last few months have been hard, I really do feel like I’ll be able to turn a corner. Perhaps this mood shift is simply a chemical re-balance, but I do believe it’s also part of the magic of a new year.

Like millions of people, I make a list of resolutions and goals on January 1. I’ve historically kept them in a journal, and I like to cross them off and add dates as I complete them. This year, I thought I’d share my list with y’all.

2016 Resolutions & Goals

  1. Learn to write on a schedule. Write more (and more consistently!) than 2015.
  2. Run three 5Ks
  3. Run my first 10k
  4. Continue to grow professionally
  5. Read (at least) 12 books, 6 of which are non-fiction
  6. Double my savings
  7. Make more of an effort to keep in touch with long distance friends
  8. Spend more time in nature
  9. Take more pictures
  10. Be kinder to myself

(Sidebar: If you’re interested in giving veganism a try as one of your resolutions, be sure to check out Veganuary‘s website. It’s chalk-full of helpful information and tips to help you on your cruelty-free journey.)

I think the last, albeit the most abstract, is the most important. As a vegan, compassion is one of the values that I hold most dear. Now I just need to learn how to share some of it with myself.

Here’s what’s on the menu for dinner this week. Moving forward, I’d like to start posting recipes on Sunday nights in case any of you use these lists as inspiration.

 

Cheers to a happier, kinder 2016.

xoxo,
sb