By ANNA FREDERICK

Spring cleaning puts me in an energetic mind. Throwing open the windows, letting in the mild sunshine, I scrub and organize and discard with a renewed vigor. It’s the time of year to wash all the quilts and throws and banish the dust from all the fixtures. Winter is gone; warm weather is on its way. Time to spruce up our homes in preparation. It seems like too much stuff accumulates during the Christmas season, and spring cleaning is a good time to address the piles.

Purge, organize, donate; let go of the things that aren’t helping you on your way. Clearing out the clutter helps me clear out my mind. Once the piles are gone, cleaning is easier and will probably happen more often. With that out of the way, there’s time for the pursuit of other important work or of equally important hobbies. Do you see how it all begins with an intentional spring cleaning? 

About a week ago the season of Lent began; a fast observed by Christians in the forty days leading up to Easter. It’s a time of reflection, discipline, and renewal, when we look inward to recommit our hearts to God. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Lent occurs in the spring: it is a spring-cleaning of the heart and mind. Whether you observe Lent or not, the season offers a perfect opportunity for refocusing our lives. It’s a good time to put everything in order; to purge the habits that aren’t helping us achieve our goals. 

With or without a Lent discipline, you can spend a few minutes meditating on what needs to go. What habits are keeping you stuck? Commit to working on them; the year will only get busier from here with the coming of weddings, graduations, and summer holidays. Reinvest yourself in those New Years’ resolutions. Have any of them fallen away from lack of proper planning? Building new habits can be tricky. It almost always means we have to choose to say “no” to something we’re used to in order to say “yes” to the habits we want to create. Exercising every morning means saying “no” to sleeping in. Beginning to eat healthy foods means saying “no” to some of your old favorites. The person you want to be is well within your control because it’s your choice when to say “yes” or “no.”

It’s difficult to find discipline, but the journey is rewarding and energizing. Rise from the torpor of winter and welcome the activity and optimism of spring. Happy March!