I live in New England and this year, in particular, I feel the hope of the season. There is something life affirming about the arrival of spring- of those first buds on the trees and the shoots of crocuses pushing through the earth- stretching their leaves with the assurance of color and sunny days.
As the dirty snow banks melt away, people’s moods lift. Inherent in spring is the contradiction of dependability and change. Even in the depths of our collective seasonal affect disorder, in the dark days of February (and this year the stormy days of March,) we know that spring will come. We know, just as we know that the sun sets and rises, that spring will arrive. We know that if we can hold on long enough, new life will sprout and color will again populate our landscape. That’s the dependable part.
The second thing that spring offers is the promise of change. As the sun warms the earth with its gentle rays, we begin our spring cleaning. We open the windows to air out our homes and clear away the clutter we have somehow managed to collect since last April. With new life, comes the possibility of new routines and behaviors. With the joy of spring comes the belief that anything is possible. Although many people make new years’ resolutions for change, it is perhaps in April and May that one has the greatest chance of following through on those resolutions (although as I have argued here, we should be making commitments instead).
The season puts a spring in our steps and a smile on our faces. This positivity leads to a spiral of positivity wherein our happier outlook creates the potential for happier outcomes.
So this year as you clean out your cupboards and your closets, do a personal inventory as well. Decide which habits and patterns of thinking no longer fit you. Look at your life and identify the things that are clutter. Open the windows of your soul and let fresh air and new life enter.
Let spring be the season in which you welcome change. Every year we can count on its arrival. Every year we can seize on its promise of change. What will you change this year?