I think that most people tend to agree that the springtime is an inspirational time of new beginnings. Unlike New Years, even the budding flowers, the Easter celebrations, and baby animals (like itty bitty baby sea turtles if you live near the coast like me) seem to naturally shout “IT’S TIME TO START AGAIN!” The rebirth is not forced but integrated into every aspect of life.
Whether you enjoy spring despite seasonal allergies or would rather go back to the cozy sweaters and football-laden weekends of the Fall, there’s multiple ways to integrate this idea of “new life” into your everyday walk through the metaphorical (or literal) daisies. Plus, I’m listing some of my favorite suggestions in each of these categories at the bottom to help get you started.
- Learn a new recipe, and add it to your repertoire. You might love standing at the stove, perfecting the perfect dish, or maybe you’re best friends with the pizza delivery guy. Either way, spark something new in your kitchen by picking out a favorite recipe (perhaps a family favorite from your recently consumed Easter meal) and trying it! This is even more life-giving when done with friends. Have folks over for a pizza night where you’ve made the dough from scratch and they pick the toppings! Whatever your favorite meal is, have fun and get back in the kitchen.
- Add something new to your wardrobe. The idea of spring cleaning is genius, especially for department stores, but that purging doesn’t always make you feel like you’re left with good options. Go grab those new sunglasses you’ve been eyeballing, or that watch that has been calling your name since Christmas sales. Maybe a bright new hat or new black socks will do the trick. Adding something new to your couture can put a little more pep in your step this springtime.
- Plant something green. Got a green thumb? I sure don’t. But I certainly appreciate the beauty of fresh greenery. If you’ve got a yard, a green space, or room for a window box, head to your local all-in-one hardware store or plant nursery for some advice on plants that suit your amount of sunlight and watering habits. No room for outdoor plants? Try a succulent or two inside for a little extra oxygen around your space. There are even more resilient indoor plants than succulents out there (I know, right; who knew?!), so be sure to ask the advice of your friendly nursery associate…or Google.
- Pick up a new spiritual practice. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20 years as a resident of the age of reason, it’s that I’m terrible at Lenten practices. I’ve never been good at it–much more of an Ordinary Time kind of girl, trying to consecrate the ordinary to the extraordinary. So whether you are sticking with a spiritual discipline you started in Lent or just need something new to wake up your spiritual life, this is the time! Find something that brings you joy, that brings you life: a new daily devotional, a challenging theological book, an inspiring podcast, a different prayer routine, etc. Believe me–inviting the Author of Life more intimately into your own life is literally the definition of life-giving.
- Get back in touch with someone who brings you joy. All of us have probably fallen victim to Lack of Time Syndrome. There’s just never enough time to catch up with that one person you’ve been meaning to get to: your best friend from school, your old Grandma-like neighbor, a former coworker that always made you laugh. Hear me say this: there’s ALWAYS time to catch up with compadres who, as Marie Kondo would put it, “spark joy” in your life! So just do it. And if you’re feeling confident after that first conversation, what about making a monthly FaceTime date with your best pal? I doubt you’ll regret getting back in touch with your college roommate who used to go on late night adventures to Kroger with you…
- Try a new habit, or refresh an old one that you’ve lost. Lack of Time Syndrome often extends to self care and hobbies; they are the first things to cut out when things get crazy. Take some time to recreate a space for these things you enjoy, simply because you enjoy them! Pick up a new book, dust off the keyboard, dig out your camera, or pick up a new hobby like painting with watercolors or throwing axes. You know, whatever fits your personality. Be sure to invite your friends to throw axes too; I’m sure your evenings will be that much more memorable.
Update your office or study space. My office tends to look cluttery during April and May because it’s the end of a peak season (aka end of the school year). Here, spring cleaning IS the life-giving option. Pare down the stacks of random papers you need to file, clean out your emails from those that you’re saving to read that one article, and consider purchasing something new for your desk or wall space. For me, something bright and shiny that makes me laugh usually does the trick. Like a gilded sea lion.Or revisit number 3 and buy yourself a plastic plant that won’t contribute to your 02 levels, but it just might bring some life into your cubicle.
Go outside and reconnect with nature. My mom used to walk around outside barefooted to discharge buildups of electricity in her body…or something like that. I have no idea if that’s actually a thing, but there is little better than being outside when the weather is not too hot or cold, the sun is out, and there are so few clouds in the sky, the world seems like a painting. Around Southern Alabama, there are lots of beautifully maintained city and state parks to visit, but if you’re in a Metropolis, you might have to try a little harder. But it’s going to be worth it to visit Mother Nature. Whether you just want to sit and read a book in a hammock (heyoh college days), or you want to hop on a bike and ride multiple miles to stretch those calves, just go for it!
Whatever you choose to do, pick one thing that’s going to bring you into a more full life. This time of year is not a time of renewal just for the baby geese and daffodils, it’s time for you to grow too! Remember, B4B is all about living life to the fullest, and living each day as the gift it is. Whole life, pro-life!
- I might be learning my husband’s favorite family holiday dish: apple and cheese casserole (seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). But I really think my next cooking adventure is sourdough bread. So many Instagram friends have had the same idea, it’s inspired me!
- I just bought some new shorts the other day in the color of “paparika,” and I cannot WAIT until they are delivered right to my doorstep. These southern days of 80* weather are screaming for them!
- My husband and I were recently gifted two very practical plants from my parents: a tomato plant bred to thrive in a small pot for a small porch, and a citronella plant to keep mosquitoes away. Again, Alabama in the summer: anything to keep the mosquitoes away is a win in my book.
- I never did finish my Lenten commitment of following a particular podcast, but I have a book sitting on my bedside table that I’ve been working on for a while that I think I want to finish!
- I have some beautiful friends from my previous college days in a different city that I haven’t kept up with well, so Erin and Michelle, y’all are at the top of my list!
- The guitar sitting in my hallway closet has been calling my name for a while now, so I think I’m going to try learning it…yet again. Finger blisters, here I come!
- I really am going to try and find a gilded sea lion…or print out some pictures to update the pictures from 2016 on my wall! Highly recommend printing your pictures out instead of letting them just live on your phone!
- I have been trying to get outside and walk on my lunch break, but have had a very low rate of success…SO renewed commitment to get outside for at least 30 minutes! Y’all hold me accountable now, ya hear??