After a long, dreary winter that was only slightly less horrible than the last one, I am ready for spring. And that’s saying a lot because I am a winter baby and very much enjoy playing in the snow. But for the last two winters, it has been extremely cold and playing outside in -40 degree weather is too much even for me. So I’ve been hibernating and snuggling the dogs all winter, which doesn’t sound all that bad, except that I think I may have a touch of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) because of the lack of sunlight.

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My peaceful and happy new way of life has been compromised in recent days because my perspective has been thrown off kilter. In an effort to regain some balance and composure, I have been revisiting some of the ways that helped me to laugh in the face of adversity. And since I feel badly that I haven’t posted in the last few weeks, I wanted to write a post about how I get centred, which doubles as a post about how I am getting ready for spring…

Spring cleaning: I don’t totally love cleaning, but when some gorgeous, warm, sunny, spring weather showed up just in time for March break, I was actually pretty pumped to clean the cobwebs out of the corners, and IT FELT GOOD! There is nothing else that helps me clear my head quite like a cleaning binge (in fact, its the first thing I do to relieve stress when I am pissed-off at the Mister, lol!) Afterwards I feel accomplished, productive and proud. I didn’t get everything done on my list, but dusting off corners that don’t normally get much love totally got me motivated to keep moving forward! Now, instead of crying about all the ‘millions of things’ I need to do (I can be a little dramatic sometimes), I am focusing on what’s left. BRING IT!

Purge: Before I saw the light and let go of my anxious thoughts, I would allow physical clutter to permeate my psyche and infect my soul. Learning to purge my home of any and all unnecessary stuff was incredibly therapeutic for me in the past, so it was the first thing I did recently so I could focus on what truly matters. I went through the kids’ clothes and got rid of things that were old, stained and outgrown. Then I went through their toys and threw out anything broken and donated a few things that were designed for younger children. Less is more, as they say, and our family has a greater appreciation for our things when we aren’t buried in a bunch of meaningless crap. GOOD RIDDANCE!

Get back in touch with nature: When I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed, getting back in touch with nature is GUARANTEED to help me. It is spring now guys, there are robins everywhere!!! What is more heartwarming than the promise of new life? So I let go of my worries, and I imagine the birds bringing worms to their babies. I listen to the wind in the trees and feel the sun on my face. SOAK THAT SUN IN folks, or if it’s raining, soak that in too… nature is wonderful, relish it. FIND HOPE IN IT!

Uncover new growth in the garden: I was already dirty from dusting inside the house, so I figured I might as well clear up some of the dead leaves in the garden so the sun could shine on the soil, and I sure was glad I did because something magical happened… when I pulled back the wet slimy leaves, there were adorable little bulbs already sprouting up! I tend to think that all the natural things in our world are pretty darned amazing, so if a tiny little sprig of green hope pops out of the ground as a prize for enduring a horrid, grey winter… I’LL TAKE IT!

IMG_0601_2Lovin’: Sometimes when I’m not centred, I get a little grumpy and push people away, but the exact opposite is what I really need. If I’m totally spazzing out over something that doesn’t truly matter in the grand scheme of things, my hubby has a tendency to offer me a hug. And even though at first I just grudgingly go along with it wishing I could continue with my tirade, it is actually pretty comforting. And the best part is, he doesn’t let go for a little while. Around here we believe in a good long hug. So by the end, I’ve forgotten about whatever was irking me, and my heart is full again. Then, when the kids get home from school, I HUG THEM TOO! Plum is my ‘snuggly little teddy’, so I get the warm fuzzies when I cuddle her squishy little body. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I like to snuggle the dogs. Caressing the soft fur of an animal is also amazingly therapeutic. HUGS GROW HAPPINESS!

IMG_1420Baking/Cooking: When I get busy trying to cross tasks off of my to-do list, I find myself taking less time to do the things I love. Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE to bake. It’s kinda my thing. I love filling the house with delicious smells and turning the mushy, brown banana’s into banana bread in an effort to prevent waste. It makes me happy to know that my family has freshly baked goodies to take as snacks in their lunches, and any visiting friends go straight for the goodie stash. I especially love when Hubby or the kids get involved in cooking because it is a fantastic learning experience and I’m left feeling like I was productive but also spent time bonding with my loved ones. DO WHAT YOU LOVE!

Take a break from Tech: In the age of technology, it is easy to get lost in all the information. Sometimes I focus so much on absorbing ideas and knowledge online for this blogging endeavour that I forget to pay attention to my true muse… MY FAMILY! So in an effort to connect with my loved ones and become inspired to blog about what is truly meaningful to me, I have stepped away from this project briefly. Taking time to reevaluate my goals and dreams has helped me to remember why I started writing again. But I have some awesome stuff planned for this site, so I appreciate your patience. I kind of feel bad about not writing much this month, but it was what I needed to do. #sorrynotsorry

In a nutshell, I am doing whatever it takes to be happy. I worked very hard to get to a place in my life where I can laugh and find meaning among the drudgery, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let that slip through my fingers. But alas, I am only human. So when I falter, I will not beat myself up about it. I’m just going to keep remembering the things that inspire me and nurture my soul. And maybe do a bit of spring cleaning in the process.

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