After more than 7 years in the northern hemisphere, I appear to have suddenly reverted to living my home (southern) hemisphere’s seasonal pattern. The planet’s south has passed the magical date of 1 September and launched itself into spring. That means the north is on it’s way into autumn – not exactly the traditional time to begin the behavior of ‘spring cleaning’. It appears to be part of an elaborate plan of resistance to taking back my “old” life in an effort to have more of what I truly want and less of what I have settled for.
I am clearing, cleaning, culling, washing, airing, tidying, and making space between the stuff. I am recycling all manner of work-related paper that I was sure I would ‘do something’ with one day. I am vetting carefully the social engagements I accept.
I am choosing nothing over 'something' ... instead of settling for less-than.
I have to admit that, aside from a few attempts in the area of spring cleaning (even on-season), I haven’t done this properly in years. I put it down to a recently restorative two week holiday where I didn’t cook, clean, grocery shop, do laundry, organise a babysitter, follow a routine attend social events or work. The holiday created space for awareness and reflection – for detaching from my life.
Post-holiday, I feel a strong resistance to falling back into the old way simply because it was “the old way”. An automatic response that pre-holiday was simply there – perhaps even something I would have labelled ‘natural’- is no longer the leading force in my actions.
Instead, there is a delay … a moment when I find myself thinking “umm is this what I want? Is there a better way/different response/alternative thinking I could be using? Do I need this in my life? Is it bringing me closer to Self and the ones I love? Am I living my values”
Of course it’s not a sweeping change. It will come as no surprise to you that there are times when I just do it the old way because it doesn’t feel like there is time to suddenly create a new one. Other times I choose to do nothing instead of just doing the same ole, same ole.
There is a very strong sense of coming up for air – from daily life, from habit, from a kind of sludgy place where I always felt I was struggling to keep my head above water.
For years, when asked what I want I would respond “a simpler life”. Now I feel like I am creating it.
Why did it take me so long?
I suspect it comes down to letting go – to just simply having the chance to STOP and step back. Doing nothing of the normal allows us to reflect on the ways we normally spend our time and energy.
It's spring somewhere ...