This first post is one of those things. It is from the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a favorite author of mine, one who almost always sets my mind to pondering.
Make a New Beginning, January 1918
We should bring ourselves to an accounting at the beginning of the New Year and ask these questions: What have I accomplished? Where have I fallen short of what I desired and planned to do, or to be?
I have never been in favor of making good resolutions on New Year's Day just because it was the first day of the year. Any day may begin a new year for us in that way, but it does help some to have a set time to go over the year's efforts and see whether we are advancing or falling back.
If we find that we are quicker of temper and sharper of tongue than we were a year ago, we are on the wrong road. If we have less sympathy and understanding for others and are more selfish than we used to be, it is time to take a new path.
I helped a farmer figure out the value of the crops he raised during the last season recently, and he was a very astonished person. Then when we added to that figure the amount he had received for livestock during the same period, he said "It doesn't seem as if a man who had taken in that much off his farm would need a loan."
This farmer friend had not kept any accounts and so was surprised at the money he had taken in and that is should be all spent. Besides the help in a business way, there are a great many interesting things that can be gotten out of farm accounts if they are rightly kept.
The Man of the Place and I usually find our something new and unexpected when we figure up the business at the end of the year. We discovered this year that the two of us, without any outside help, had produced enough in the last year to feed thirty persons for a year -- all the bread, butter, meat, eggs, sweetenings, and vegetables necessary -- and this does not include the beef cattle sold off the place.
If you have not done so, just figure up for yourselves, and you will be surprised at how much you have accomplished.
I don't need an account of the past year to know I've fallen short repeatedly. I have fallen short of just about every plan I had in mind, every direction I set out to take. Time to start fresh and ring in the new year with a new game plan here!