Since last we spoke, spring has truly arrived! While there are still some frosty mornings, the harbingers of that most hopeful of seasons – dogwood, azaleas, tulips – are on full display. Plus, the days are getting longer, so there’s ample time to enjoy it all. It’s feeling like time to pack up the heavy, dark colors of my winter wardrobe and shake out my lighter, sunnier clothes. And, if you’re a Diva who enjoys make-up (as I do), it’s a great time to sort through your cosmetics and make some changes. Throw out the old (mascara is really only good for three months – that’s why it’s always included in the “gift with purchase” bags) and treat yourself to some new colors via the samples that are usually pretty easy to pick up around this time of year (see previous comment about those “gift with purchase” bags). And don’t pooh-pooh the bargain basement brands you can find in drugstores – some of those products are actually quite good as well as being affordable! While doing this “switch to spring,” don’t overlook perfume – scents should change with the seasons, just as clothes do. Why not stroll through one or two of the amazing small perfume companies and try something new?
For me, the coming of spring has meant a return to nesting. We’re restarting our house search, but we’ve also decided to nest where we are, too. So there has been some re-arranging of furniture and some unpacking of boxes to make us feel more “at home” in the place that currently is home. For me, that meant organizing my painting supplies and beginning to put brush to paper again. I started small – I haven’t really painted in months – but I swiftly worked my way up to a project I wasn’t sure was within my reach. I was delighted with the end results, I have to say!
I’ve also continued to practice French with Duolingo – I now have a hundred-day streak. My conjugation is still weak, but it’s definitely improving!
Big on my list has been socializing and getting out of my own head. For me, socializing is something that was put on the shelf during the pandemic and it still feels slightly unnatural to be out and about and unmasked. However, getting together with a few friends from work or another couple for delicious food, a scrumptious dessert, or just a cup of strong coffee is a balm for the soul. (And it’s especially nice right now, since our kitchen-less state means that we can’t reciprocate. It’s always nice to know that people are hanging out with you because it’s enjoyable, not because they’re keeping score.) I enjoy cooking – I tried a new recipe for my household that had me asking two different people in the grocery store to direct me to ingredients – and breaking bread with others is certainly one of the surest ways to get to know them. Getting out of my own head is accomplished by working to help someone who is unlikely to be able to help me back. (Seriously, scorekeeping is for sports, not personal relationships.) Volunteer, drop off magazines in the oncology department waiting room, drive someone to breakfast – what the activity is doesn’t matter nearly as much as just getting up off my self-pitying tailbone and doing it.
When looking for self-care, do not overlook the little things like clean sheets and noticing children playing barefoot on the grass. Be sure to treat yourself to a new book or an old favorite from the library and try an old classic from whatever streaming service you use (or check out a physical DVD from the library, too). We’re going through a classics phase right now – I’ve seen The Best Years of Our Lives, Mrs. Miniver, The Big Heat, and Gilda in the last couple of weeks – and that’s only part of the list! If mid-century movies aren’t your cup of whiskey, don’t watch them. Instead, do a search for your favorite type of movie and just try something different – you may be surprised to discover that you enjoy Wes Anderson, Fritz Lang, Peter Weir, or the screwball comedies of the Marx Brothers or Howard Hawks.
Give yourself some credit – try something new!
And Merry Spring!