Today is the first day of the second week of spring.
Spring is a time of birth, hope, and renewal.
Flowers burst forth from their winter hibernation.
Baby Holstein calves dot the pastures around Cache Valley.
I love the smell of spring in the air, watching robins flying around, and the rumble of my neighbors on their Harleys.
Like the beginning of a new year, spring gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. Psychologist Dr. Abigail Brenner encourages us “to think about what we can do to renew ourselves” and find better balance in our busy lives. She continues, “What better time than spring to re-group and re-prioritize, and even re-invent ourselves, and the lives we find ourselves living.
Dr. Brenner, writing in Psychology Today, offers seven “spring rituals” to help us get started.
1) De-clutter your living space – Get rid of anything you no longer need. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it (or used it) for two years, out it goes.
2) Clear out mental and emotional clutter – When we think of renewal we often think of rebirth; something old dies and something new is born. Why not use this season of renewal as a reminder to get rid of things that are weighing you down and sapping your energy?
3) Start a Practice – A new discipline will ensure that you invite mindfulness into your life. A daily practice affords you a “time-out” from your everyday routine. This is a gift to yourself; a promise to honor who you are.
4) Begin something brand new – Focus on spring as a time of new beginnings and resolve to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never felt you had the time
5) Spend time outdoors – Plant a garden… Plant a tree with your child and watch it grow together… Build a birdhouse with your child and watch the inhabitants come and go from year to year
6) Take a trip – This is something to look forward to annually, especially if you live in a place that experiences the extremes of winter.
7) Simplify your life – Slow down. As life moves so quickly, surrounding us with the constant stimulation of the information stream, we need to find a way to quiet our minds and make quality time for ourselves.
My favorite suggestion is spending time outdoors, something I simply don’t do enough of. Dr. Brenner extols the virtues of walking as a “wonderful way to help your body while clearing your mind. Walk instead of drive. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. And remember to change your route! We all are so programmed to do the same routine every day. Change the scenery, change your perspective!”
Now that the snow in Cache Valley is finally staying away, it’s been nice to be out walking again.
My favorite part of spring is the baby animals and the freshly plowed fields.
The newness of life is always encouraging and part of me still longs for those days when sitting on a tractor was a regular part of my summer. Yet, in all the farming I did, I never plowed a field. I planted seed, marked furrows, pulled a disk and harrow over plowed fields, and cut, bailed and hauled hay… plus a million other things. But I never turned over the ground with a plow.
Someday I’ll find a farmer who’ll help me fulfill this item on my bucket list.
When I see farmers out irrigating their fields I ached to be with my dad. He was a master irrigator and I loved the time he spent teaching me how to move water. It was his calling, one he continually sought to perfect. While I still miss him deeply, I’m buoyed up by the Gift of Spring, the promise of Easter.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
P.S. Take 13 minutes today to enjoy a drive through Cache Valley, or whatever beautiful place you call home, and enjoy looking for the baby animals and freshly plowed fields.