At the end of each winter, a solitary hydrangea at the corner of my house lets me know that spring is near. Little spurts of green begin to emerge from the brown shriveled remains of last year’s growth. As if following the hydrangea’s lead, other plants bound to life. Before I know it, the yard is abloom with the daffodils. The dogwood is budding. The long, cold winter is finally over.
Spring has many definitions. There’s the verb “to leap up or jump.” And the nouns, “a device that recovers its shape” or “a source of water.”
My favorite definition, however, refers to the season, the time “between winter and summer when many plants bring forth leaves and flowers.” But, we don’t need a dictionary to tell us that. All we have to do is look outside.
Spring is symbolic of new beginnings and fresh starts. While nature seems to transform quite rapidly, it takes most of us a few weeks longer to truly feel springy. Here are some simple ideas for finding your own growth and renewal this spring:
1) Start a good habit (mine is drinking more water).
2) Recommit to exercise. Better weather is a great motivator for fitness. This past week, the sun brought out the bikers and walkers in my neighborhood.
3) Re-do a room in your house. It’s amazing what paint can do. My mother-in-law recently made-over the living area in her home by re-painting, paying a friend to sew new throw pillows, hanging newly framed art and removing a stained rug. It was very affordable and looks amazing!
4) Get in touch with friends. Winter (especially this past one) encourages hibernation. It’s time to get out and socialize.
5) Plant something. Check with your favorite nursery or online gardening source for information on what seeds or starts to plant during April.
6) Pamper yourself. Treat yourself to a pedicure, facial, or my favorite spring refresher, a good haircut. Stylists and estheticians seem to be offering a lot of discounts right now.
7) Get organized. Put Feng Shui into practice by eliminating clutter to increase tranquility in your home or workspace.
8) Try something new. Break from routine by trying a new restaurant, exploring a new part of town or signing up for a new activity.
### Erika Weisensee is a writing mom. She lives in Milwaukie and teaches journalism at the University of Portland.