I bet I’m not the only one with a full-blown case of Spring Fever right now, am I?
I get this way every year. We get a day or two of warm weather, sunshine and breezes and I’ve got the windows flung open, tank tops and shorts on, hair pulled up, ready to do battle with all the winter clutter and grime. And that usually includes some serious internal deep cleaning, too.
No, I don’t do any fasts or cleanses. Are you kidding me?!? Spring cleaning does NOT mean spending a week in the bathroom pleading for an old priest and a young priest. No siree, Bob. I just mean that I usually do the kind of re-evaluation and contemplation that most people do on New Year’s Eve when they’re making their resolutions. And then I put that into action. The reason it takes me until Spring to do that is I generally do not have the energy or motivation to do so in the dead of an Ohio winter. (It’s that whole hibernation thing, y’know.)
So right now, the urge to pull EVERYTHING out of my closets and start tossing the old is really strong. But even stronger is the urge to get rid of all the mental and emotional clutter that simply isn’t working for me. I think it’s time to let the sunshine and fresh air breeze through my whole life and spark some renewal and regrowth.
So here’s what I’ve decided: for every physical thing I clean up and declutter around my house, I’m going to find one aspect of my life that needs the same attention and treatment. I’ve already started going through my inbox and my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds and unsubscribing to anything that was an impulse” follow” or sign-up, anyone whose posts I typically hide, or any page I’ve liked that doesn’t really contribute to my growth or at the very least entertainment in some significant way. (But never underestimate the value of a cute otter video or kitten picture when you’re feeling down. Those are keepers.) Instead of just deleting emails from companies I’m not interested in, I’ve started unsubscribing from their sites. It takes a second now, but it’s a whole lot less mess in the future!
I’ve made a pact with myself: I’m not signing up for any new webinars, meetings, workshops or anything else until I go through and use the stuff I’ve already downloaded and/or signed up for. I have a really bad habit of collecting information because I’m afraid I’ll never find it if I don’t act on it the moment I see it. And as a result, my life over the last few months has grown more and more overwhelming by the day as my attention is drawn in 1,000 different directions. It’s time to find some focus and eliminate some distractions.
I’m cutting way back on Netflix time. It’s too easy to just turn something on and think, “Oh, I’ll just let this play for background noise while I work”, but I need to face facts: I’m not someone that deals with distraction well, so I need to eliminate it as much as I can. I’m also making it a habit to only check e-mail twice a day, as that’s just one more interruption that I’ve allowed to suck up a lot of my free time.
And as much as I despise routine and schedules, I’m forcing myself to finally adopt one – somewhat. I have a tendency to get involved in a project and lose all track of time and space and then 3 hours later realize I’ve wasted half the day on one thing. It’s especially bad for me when I’m working on genealogy research because those little green leaves on Ancestry are like crack. You’re always just one little click away from discovering the Holy Grail of your family tree. Except you’re not. EVER. It’s an endless search and that’s the entire point! Quite honestly, most of the work I do is like that. So from here on out, I’m blocking out my day into incremental segments of time with breaks in between. And I’m going to set up a timer so that I stick to my schedule.
I’m taking a mental broom and sweeping out feelings and hang-ups that no longer serve me. There’s no way to move forward into who I’m meant to be if I hang onto old grievances, grudges and doubts. I am letting go, lovingly, of relationships that are toxic for me. I know that some folks are best loved from afar, or you risk being cut to shreds on their broken pieces. I have learned throughout my life how to be compassionate to others, but turning that on myself has been a far more difficult lesson to learn. But at the end of the day what keeps me stuck is me. Plain and simple. So I am letting go of my attachment to the things and feelings that just don’t work for me anymore.
And then there’s the health thing. I make all kinds of promises to myself to eat better, get more exercise and then beat myself up when I don’t stick to it. I’ve already gotten halfway there by deciding I’m never going to diet again. That does nothing but make me obsess about eating and generally just backfires and makes me gain more anyway. And I’m sticking with my gym schedule because it makes me feel good. But I’m trying to throw in some extra activity every day to give me a little boost – maybe a walk after dinner or some yoga. And I’m going to try to keep eating better – more whole foods, less junk and just more of what makes me feel better. Because in the end, that’s what it’s all about for me – feeling better. Not hitting a number on the scale or a certain dress size – just feeling better.
Voila! My spring cleaning plan. I’m excited and determined to put this new-found energy to use in the best way possible – growth. (And yes, I’m also going to get my house cleaned up.) So here’s my question for you (well, actually two):
If you are, or think you are, and would like some ideas on where to start, click here to download my Spring Cleaning Affirmation! Print it out and post it on your refrigerator, in your planner, on your mirror – anywhere you need a reminder of why it’s important to get rid of all the clutter and junk in your life. And hey – I expect you to report back and tell me how it’s going. I want to hear what you’re letting go of and how it’s changing your life. Let’s do this!
Click on the photo to download and print your Spring Cleaning Affirmation!
Much love. – Mama Bear