I can't believe it's the last month of 2009. Wow. It seems like this year went by way too quickly for me. I started it with a cleanse, only three months of veganism under my belt, and a feeling that I had a lot that I wanted to accomplish this year. And suddenly it's December! How did that happen?
The stockings were hung in the Brooklyn apartment with care...
A few moments in Lindsay's 2009 worth noting: dressing up as a cow for the Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals, visiting my first Farm Animal Sanctuary (if you haven't done this yet, you must make it a part of your 2010), participating in my first cooking throw-down as a vegan - where I won the Audience Favorite award, getting to play a mini-mart clerk on Guiding Light before it got canceled, being a part of two plays this summer that I absolutely loved, the awakening of a new dream in my life - to one day have a small farm sanctuary, a trip to California that changed my life, a wedding that changed my life, my blog finally finding a small base of dedicated readers, and my (and Steve's) very first vegan Thanksgiving. I note these moments because when I look back on them, I can't believe they were packed into a single year. Sometimes I feel like my life is a dream - especially in the case of my wedding. I'll live it so quickly, turn around, scratching my head wondering - did it all really happen? Was that me?
I've decided to spend my last month of the year doing much reflection. It's been a tough three weeks since the wedding, because I've been job hunting like mad, which has left not much time for blogging. And I hate that, because I love writing here. But reflection has also shown me that despite the tough times, I have so much to be thankful for. It's easy to forget the positive moments when you're knee deep in a negative one, but I'm working hard to lift myself up and really put everything into perspective.
On the vegan front, I have much to be thankful for. People in my life have been affected by my change, so much so that they have adapted small changes of their own. This blog has led to people reaching out and asking how they can take the first steps to going vegan. All around me, I see the world opening up to the idea of veganism - be it through Alicia Silverstone's new book and website, Jonathan Safran Foer's new book and website, or even Ellen's brave and wonderful decision to publicly talk about why she lives a vegan lifestyle. Dr. Oz had a cowboy on his show who, when confronted with his overwhelming health problems from eating a meat-heavy diet, tried a vegan diet and was forever changed. Even President Obama acknowledged the value and worth of sentient beings by passing legislation that protects downer cows from being slaughtered. I am blown away by the positive changes veganism is doing for so many people - and here I sit, comfortably in my vegan lifestyle. After over a year of living this way, it has become a part of me. Sometimes I just can't believe I'm a vegan - but for whatever reason, I was meant to watch a video three years ago that would impact me like nothing else. And here I am today. To people who haven't lived this way or who are just starting out, I know the experience can seem overhwhelming and complex. But just know - it's easy for me now. So much easier than I could have ever imagined. Because when you make something a part of you - when you commit to it fully - yes, it can be a challenge at first. But just like a bad habit, good habits can stick and become second nature, if you want them too. Be it a husband or a lifestyle. :)
As the holidays near, I am full of so much joy for the weeks to come - the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is where I am at complete bliss. Last year around this time, I made a list of some of the best ways to be a compassionate shopper at the holidays. I think it was a great idea, despite only reaching a few readers at the time, so I've decided to do it again. Below you'll find a short list - a cheat sheet, if you will - of a few ways to add compassion to your holiday shopping. Remember - all you have to do is click on the underlined words to go their link. Enjoy - and if there's anything I've missed, feel free to add a few of your own as a comment!
1. Animal Sponsorship
2. Support a Vegan Company
3. Support Vegan Merchants on Etsy.com
Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the rest of the season - as with everything else, it seems to go by all too quickly each year. Thank you for all of your support this past year!