It was around this exact time last year that I decided I needed to freshen up my life. And so I did what housewives have been doing for centuries--I opened my windows, got on my hands and knees, and scrubbed every surface of my house. If you remember, I even soaked my fabric lampshades in the bathtub. And I emptied my spice containers, washed them all out, and applied new labels. And I moved ALL the of the furniture to dust and vacuum underneath.
I was, absolutely, a cleaning maniac. Craig was concerned for my mental health (although also secretly enjoying our new, spotless residence).
Funny--I don’t feel the compulsion to do the same this year.
Oh my house needs it--rest assured. There’s an alarming pile of dirt resting precariously on the blades of my bedroom ceiling fan as we speak. And my magazine stack has definitely regained its former girth.
I’m sure that eventually I’ll get around to it. Once the weather gets warmer and the windows can actually be opened without fear of hypothermia. But even still--I’m not sure I’ll pursue spring cleaning with the same vigor as I did last year.
Why? Well, mainly because I’ve been focused instead on this practice of reCentering. The goal is the same--to bring freshness in--but the means are different. Whereas last year scrubbing and mopping was sufficient for removing the vestiges of winter, I’m afraid that this year requires a bit more intention. And a few different strategies.
You see, last year was a doosie. Even the memory of some of its challenges still spook me like an unwanted phantom. And so what I’m trying to figure out is how to gracefully exit a difficult season and enter one that promises to be lighter. And spring cleaning, I’m afraid, just isn’t all that helpful toward that end.
The tricky thing is that I’ve gotten used to things being dormant. Used to, for instance, this blog tinkering along in obscurity. And used to being infertile. And used to isolation (working from home can definitely do that!). But now I feel like it’s time to start getting used to different things--like attention and fertile-ness and community. And I’m not ashamed to admit that part of me is genuinely afraid to leave my comfort zone! I mean, I’ve learned how to survive in winter. It’s comfortable. Familiar.
But spring is coming. And somehow during this transitional time I’ve got to practice letting go of the familiar and saying hello to new attitudes and projects and hopes and fears. I’m not sure how to do this, exactly, so I’ve been walking more and waking up earlier (ahem...as of this morning), and eating better (as of...well...later today). And I’ve been trying to spend A LOT of time quietly listening to my heart and praying and pondering the future.
And I think I’m on the right track, but time alone will tell. In the meantime I’ll just keep practicing.
I’d love to hear about a time that you turned a corner--and what helped you let go of the past. I invite you to please share your story below--