As we all contemplate the close of 2012 and welcome the dawn of 2013, I have been reflecting on the successes and not so of the past year.
How many of us have reached this point every year, good intentions in hand, to make a list of resolutions for the new year ahead? How many of us, a few weeks in, find those promises to be ‘Pie-Crust’, easily made and easily broken?
2012 has been very challenging for the fabcycler household especially so with reference to money! My efforts to ‘grow my own’ got swallowed by volunteering for a community garden. Although we reduced our outgoings to a subsistence level and increased our efforts to earn money, we still struggled to ‘make ends meet’!
In November I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Artist/Craftswoman, the ensuing conversations revisited concepts that I first had growing up as a child and later as a teenager at Art School.
Both my Mum and Grandad (also craftspeople) would be paid for their skills, in part, by exchanging goods or skill ‘in kind’.
The decorating of a house was paid with window frames (including glass) later becoming a conservatory on our home. The making of a Haute Couture outfit ( a collaboration of tailor, milliner, cobbler, seamstress and leather-worker) was paid in the leftover fabrics and turned into hats and coats for my sister and I.
So my reflections looked at our situation in a different light. Unique, handcrafted Christmas cards have been exchanged for products from my market stall and the most successful gift given this christmas was a hand-knitted scarf made from yarn leftover from a workshop I had delivered.
In one of those ‘Law of Attraction’ style moments I stumble upon this article in ‘Permaculture’ http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/moneyless-manifesto So this coming year my resolution will be to exchange skills and services instead of money whenever I can because Richness is not just measured financially alone but it has social benefits too!