Try as I might, I just couldn’t wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and leave it at that. I can, however, promise this will be brief and positive because we are all busy spending time with family and friends.

Here are my deep green thoughts as we say good-bye to 2013 and get ready to welcome 2014.

coffee#1 Take care of yourself – good care. Shoot for life in balance every day. Make dates with yourself to catch a movie; have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with a friend; take a nap, go on a picnic, or sleep in. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else. As my friends and family well know, I slip on this one occasionally, and thankfully, they let me know it!

#2 Keep sustainability simple – put your reusable bags in the car, just say no to plastic bottles, make more healthy eating choices, eat something raw (not meat!), unplug your many devices whenever you can, pick one more step to take. (Plant a garden? Meatless Mondays? Volunteering? Solar power? Green vacation?)

#3 Don’t be sad about the shape our planet is in; it doesn’t do any good. Be the change instead. Others will follow your lead – trust me.

#4 Treat Mother Earth as you would your own mother (which is hopefully with love, respect and kindness.) You wouldn’t drop garbage on her living room floor, nor would you mindlessly take all the food, water, and sources of energy out of her house, feed her food not fit for your pets, spray toxic chemicals all over her house and hope it doesn’t harm her. You get the picture.

#5 Practice intentional kindness at least once a day [thanks, Ben’s Bells!] If we all do it, peace has a chance. Let’s be proud of being dreamers – of a kinder, stronger, caring world. The very thought sustains me. Thank you for being a part of my world. I know how blessed I am.