It’s little over a month into spring, and many of us are feeling it. The days are longer, brighter and more inviting. Tasks that were imperative a few months ago are suddenly tedious, and the stuffiness of responsibility withers in comparison to any number of alluring alternatives. Once again, an outbreak of Spring fever has infected the populace, and many are grappling with how to treat this dreaded affliction!
Alright, maybe dreaded isn’t the right word. True, a longing for flowers and sunshine when we’re steeped in fast food and rush hour can leave us feeling disappointed, and that spring-induced restlessness has a way of interfering with our concentration on other matters. But there is something undeniably life-affirming about this time of year. And with a little shift in perspective, the tension that has a tendency to set in after the vernal equinox actually work for us.
Spring has long been a time of harvest, celebration and renewal. It is also an excellent chance take stock of where we are in our lives and where we want to be. Without dwelling on what you should have done differently (which may not have lead you where you think it would have anyway) or what misfortunes have befallen you (which no one can control), ask yourself what has truly lead you to this moment in your life. They were your choices, your talents, your preferences that mingled with chance and circumstance to produce this outcome. Which of those preferences remain the same? What has changed? You may not have the life you foresaw when you were a child, but your perspective has grown in richness and complexity since that time. What positives exist in your career, your family and your personal growth because of the choices you have made and the responsibilities you’ve taken on since then?
And if you feel there is some part of yourself you’ve been neglecting, how can you address that need? It may be that your creative side has been stifled as you tended to other priorities. Give yourself permission to take an art class, go to the theatre, take up journaling again. If your family or personal life is not as full as it once was, plan a couple days away with a loved one or reconnect with an old friend. Try to identify what it is that you are restless about, or simply what might make your life feel more complete, and indulge that need.
Spring is also a prime excuse for savoring moments you may ordinarily overlook. The season practically begs for wonder, so wander away. Visit a state park or local natural wonder you never seem to find time to see, or take a weekend trip just for yourself. Even a lunch spent at a park instead of a cafeteria can remind us of beauty and possibility.
Finally, don’t forget to take the time to appreciate what you have harvested. Acknowledge your strengths, your accomplishments and the people in your life who are meaningful to you. The season can get us itching for something more, but it is first a time to assess what we have sown and renew our sense of direction for the future. After all, our efforts through the rest of this year will lead us to the next season of renewal.
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