Saturday, June 22, 2024

Steven Ivory: Spring Cleaning

It’s about more than just clearing your closet and garage.

Spring Cleaning - via Freepik
Spring Cleaning – via Freepik

*Spring Cleaning is the annual custom during which we commemorate springtime by ridding ourselves of the old and making room for the new.

It’s when you throw out those magazines stacked in the corner of your den featuring articles you said you’d get around to reading but never did (aren’t those articles online, anyway?); when you purge your closet and drawers of all the clothes you won’t live long enough to see come back into style.

Spring cleaning refers to all those items, antiqued or useless, that have you resembling a hoarder-in-training.

However, spring cleaning doesn’t apply only to material things. If you wish, it can easily signify a personal metamorphosis mentally, emotionally, and socially. Spring is a fine time to make changes in your life.

Dispense with the plans and lists. Yes, you do need a plan; preparation is vital. But don’t spend a lot of time contemplating your mission. Just figure it out and get to it.

Spring Cleaning- via Freepik
Spring Cleaning – via Freepik

First things first: Be honest with yourself. None of us can change if we don’t tell the truth about where we are in our lives.  You’ve lived with your yearnings and shortcomings long enough to know what needs to happen. Do what you need to do to do what you need to do.

Stop blaming your situation on the dearth of time. “Where does the time go?” we love to lament. Time isn’t moving any faster now than it did when you were a child. It’s just that, as adults, more living fills our daily lives. The real enemy is procrastination. Enough, already.  Get busy.

There’s no better occasion than spring to embark on a new physical health regimen or tweak the one you’re using now. Going for a daily walk benefits your mental and physical well-being.

This spring, retire old eating habits you know damn well are detrimental to your health. Those TV commercials may look delicious, but processed fast food is a killer.

And stop being a scaredy cat about seeing a doctor. A medical exam is nothing to fear.

Spring Cleaning - Depositphotos
Spring Cleaning – Depositphotos

Perhaps you’ve heard this cynicism about physicals: “If you take your car to a mechanic, they’re bound to find something wrong with it.”

This can be true. But you’re not a car; you’re a human being. If a doctor does find something, the earlier you get on top of it, the more time you have to fix it. Emotionally, you’ll feel better just making the appointment.

In your springtime renaissance, it might be time to take inventory of your “friends.”

Ask yourself: Why do you know these people? Do they emotionally enrich your life? Are you nervous around them? Does their presence make you walk on eggshells? If this sounds familiar, you should consider gracefully eliminating them from your life.

Spring is arguably the coolest (as in the best) of the four seasons. It is a time of new beginnings—when nature pries itself from the brutal grip of winter, animals awaken, and flowers bloom. You don’t need a ticket or VIP pass to enter nature’s annual coming-out party. It’s not about having a contact at the door; the only person you need to know is you. All that’s required is desire. Wake up, and let’s go.

Steven Ivory
Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory, veteran journalist, essayist, and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, and the Internet. Respond to him via [email protected]

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