Degree by degree. One degree at a time I notice a change in temperature. The change in temperature brings a smile that only the thought of warmth can bring. I haven’t run comfortably in shorts since the end of October. That’s five months.
Another noticeable change has been the additional light. Last night it was light until 6:30. This doesn’t sound important but for me it’s as important as the increase in temperature. Now when I run there is a noticeable spring in my step; a spring, no pun intended which has been absent since sometime in mid-January. The winters are long, the days short. Daylight remains in short supply. As daylight dwindles so does my desire to run. Sleep or simply being lazy becomes a new constant. This is also the time I begin to collect…not things but feelings. Sadness and often depression set in.
I have always used this time of year; it’s shorter days and slower pace to adjust my own pace. It feels so natural to slow down from the frantic pace of summer. Trying to fit in as much as possible into every day is no longer my goal. Relaxing and resting becomes my goal for this time of year. As this time of year approaches, I reflect more and more. Periods of reflection are built into each day but during this time I become increasingly contemplative.
As I grow older the seasons seem to arrive with greater speed. My father told me years ago that as I grow older, time itself will seem to speed up. I find this to be true. I also find myself needing a reminder to balance my day, to not overwhelm myself. I often find myself lamenting the fact that it has taken me so long to “wake up”. Now I look at the fact that I am waking up and begin to take things as they happen, in stride.
For the last few years I have read and followed the blog of Vanessa Rodriguez. Vanessa’s blog can be found at vanessaruns.com. Vanessa has been an inspiration to me. Vanessa lives the life many of us dream about but are too filled with fear to contemplate having for ourselves. Instead, we put our heads down keeping our noses to the proverbial grindstone and angrily forge ahead. The thought of relaxing or taking time for ourselves becomes an increasing struggle. We angrily excuse our behavior and attitude with statements that blame others for the path we have chosen in life. Vanessa’s life choices have inspired me to make similar life choices.
Recently much time and energy has gone toward minimizing my life and removing the clutter which has caused me to lose control of my life.
Spring is a time for renewal. We use phrases like “Spring Cleaning” to refer to the junk we remove from our lives but rarely if ever do we look within; to see the junk which holds us back from achieving our best. A recent post from Vanessa Rodriguez suggested we have several identities. Vanessa talks about “professional” Vanessa and “play” Vanessa. After she and her boyfriend moved into an RV and really began living their life she identified there was now “just one Vanessa.” Spring for me is an opportunity for rediscovery. The years, especially those recent years have taught me the importance of looking within, identifying what i am happy with and what I feel needs to change or simply be removed from my life. The excess baggage which we all carry, often without knowing it is there. The baggage becomes second nature,m a comfortable companion, much like the “stuff” we accumulate which we also feel brings meaning to our life.