It’s Finally Spring—Time for Some Spring Cleaning
By Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Certified Life Strategies & Stress Management Coach
Spring is finally here! I don’t know about you, but there for a while, I was doubtful about it arriving. (Not really—but if you have endure the long slog of winter that we experienced in this neck of the woods this year, you will know what I mean.)
I have two favorite seasons, and spring is definitely one of them. Today, for example, is, as far as I am concerned, a perfect spring day. The sky is blue, there is only a hint of puffy cloud in the sky, the tree leaves are turning green, the daffodils are in the bloom, and the temperature is moderately warm with absolutely no humidity. In short…Peeerrrfect!!
Spring is also a time for cleaning up, clearing out, and sprucing things up a bit whether it is in your home, at work, or in your life in general. For me, it is a time to get into the clothes closets and start clearing out the old to make room for the new. I am a relentless closet overhauled when it comes to springtime cleaning. I discard everything that I haven’t worn in the past year, I stick it in a plastic bag, and before I can change my mind, I cart the bag(s) off to Good Will where someone else gets to decide what to do with it all.
Spring is also a good time to consider what other things need to be cleared out or cleaned up. Relationships sometimes benefit from reflection and adjustment, for example. Are you suffering in silence because your sister made a snarky comment about your child or your husband at the last family gathering, but you bit back and now it is eating at you? Maybe it is time to say, “You know, Sis, when you said….it really bothered me, and I need to let you know that it isn’t okay for you for disrespect members of my family anymore than I would disrespect members of yours.”
Or perhaps, your situation at work isn’t what you would like, but you have been fearful of saying anything because you didn’t want to rock the boat and make your boss mad at you. The problem is that the longer you bite back what you are really thinking or feeling, the more it will cause you to feel resentment that will inevitably show up in your work.
It is best to devise a way to approach the person who is creating an issue for you…or devise a way to deal with the specific problem if it isn’t a person…so that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to do your job. It is easy to let things go while they fester and get worse. It isn’t as easy to confront an issue head on in an effort to deal with it…but in the long run, the latter approach is a whole lot better, and you will feel better in the end.
We all need to take time every once in a while to take stock of what’s going on in our lives and to consider what “clutter” is keeping us blocked from living the lives we deserve to live. You see, I believe that each and every one of us is supposed to be living our lives full out and we should be enjoying ourselves each and every day without fear and without worry. Life is simply too short to let anything get to us or to wear us down. We have choices in the matter, after all, regarding whether we are going to suffer in silence about something that has been bothering us for a while or if we are going to deal with it in a proactive, positive, and healthy way.
If you aren’t sure how best to address an issue that is bugging you, perhaps you should consult someone for outside advice. The counsel of a clergyman (or woman), a trusted friend whose judgment you trust. Failing that, or if the problem is more serious, seeking out professional advice is also a wise course of action on occasion.
Regardless of the situation, keep in mind that spring is a time for recharging yourself after a season of hibernation and rest. Get into your closets, your garages, and other areas where things have piled up and get them organized. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel. And do the same for your relationships. Get them cleaned up so that they aren’t holding you back and causing you to live in fear or frustration. You owe it to yourself to clear things up and clean things out so that you can live the life you deserve to live.