I mentioned a couple of months ago that I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I think any time of year is a good time to make a resolution. That said, I think spring is one of the better times.
Part of this for me is the association of this time of year with Lent. I was raised a Roman Catholic and grew up with the concept of giving up something for Lent. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been reading articles online about Lent and I noticed more of a theme around renewal and regeneration than penance and deprivation. Writers discussed everything from renewing one’s relationship with God to focusing on one’s relationship with the people in one’s life to releasing oneself from negative habits.
Last year, friends of mine took the opportunity of the structure of Lent to go vegan for six weeks. I asked one of them towards the end of that time if they were going to continue that practice. He said no, but that he thought they’d be incorporating healthier food choices into their menu. That makes sense—we’re heading into the time of year when we want to be ‘lighter’—less weighed down in our bodies and spirits, less weighed-down with stuff.
Thinking about what resolution I would make as we head into spring prompted me to try something that echoed an experience from when I was in the Big Sisters program several year ago. One evening, my little sister said to me on the phone that she was bored and didn’t know what to do. Off the top of my head, I reeled off several suggestions. I’m going to try to do that now!
- The 40 bags in 40 days challenge (http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/40-bags-in-40-days-2014/).
- Make one or two days a week meat-free.
- Go whole hog (hee hee) and eat vegan or vegetarian for a month.
- Go for a 15-minute walk every day.
- Schedule two waking hours every day when you are untethered from your computer and communication devices.
- Have a family and/or friends dinner once a week.
- Try a new hobby—learn to crochet, take a painting class just for the heck of it, grow some herbs.
- Volunteer—it’s hard to commit to something every week, but what about once a month? Explore possibilities at www.volunteermatch.org.
- Every day, write down one thing for which you are grateful. It can be as small as having a great cup of coffee or hearing a child laugh or seeing the first flowers of spring.
By the way, one of the things I like about the article on the ’40 bags in 40 days’ challenge is that the writer addresses the question of ‘what if I’m just now finding this article’ and says to start whenever you find it. I like that. I am the kind of person who tends to say to myself, ‘well, I’ll wait until this perfect day’ to start whatever I’m going to do. I am so much this kind of person that I was tempted to not post this because the first day of spring was yesterday or, at the very least, to backdate the post! Maybe that can be one of my spring resolutions—to start ‘whenever.’