This past week has seen spring starting to break over Lincoln. From pink stained skies to daffodils starting to bloom, the feeling that the new season is almost here is palpable. Life much like the weather, runs in seasons, and as the warm(er) weather begins to break through, so too have things in my life begun to shift.
In two weeks, I will be starting a new job, working in an education sector marketing role as part of a national project. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. In part, these last few months have been so fraught because of job stress, including the threat of redundancy. Underlying that however was the unhappiness of being in a role that felt so far removed from who I am, causing conflict within myself and stripping away my joy. Counting down the days until I start, I can feel myself coming back to who I am. There’s more laughter, less frustration and greater still, there’s peace.
While there are moments where I feel the new season emerging, there’s still a sense of ‘not just yet’. In my desire to bring the change, I’ve taken to spring cleaning and pruning the garden to make way for spring. Yesterday, I spent the day cutting off the parts of plants that died off over winter to make way for the new shoots that have bashfully started to raise their heads. Smiling to myself, I couldn’t help but think what an apt metaphor this was for the season.
Cleaning out my cupboard, I feel the need for a more minimal style with more basics and less clutter. Five bags of clothes later and I think I may be getting there. These days, I feel my style changing with the cut and quality of a great pair of black trousers settings my heart a flutter, rather than buying yet another frivolous piece of fast fashion. Trends no longer hold the appeal that they used too. While I may embrace one or two trends like flare sleeve blouses; I find myself more concerned about the source of the clothing and how sustainable it is, both to the environment and the person who made it. I want to buy less, but buy well. While I’ll always love a vibrant print and can’t promise that I won’t indulge in prints, these days I love the simplicity of a white t-shirt paired with a great pair of straight leg jeans.
In embracing the new season, I want to:
- Be more intentional with my time. Learning to run these past few months has made me realise how much I need to be intentional in setting aside time for the things that set my heart alight. Too often I get bogged down in day to day frustrations, putting off doing things that take effort because I’m too tired or there’s ironing that needs to be done. Already, I’ve joined a social justice themed book club in Lincoln, where I hope to broaden my understanding of others’ collective experiences. I’ll also be pushing myself to write and create more on this blog. I am happiest when putting my words to ‘paper’ and this blog plays a huge role in my personal happiness.
- Spend as much time outside as possible. During winter, I feel like a caged animal confined to living inside. Spring in the UK is a wonderful time of rediscovering nature, where just watching the flowers bloom feels like the first time you’re seeing it. I can’t wait until we can swing the patio doors wide open all day, eating and drinking in the sunshine. I’ve got my eye on a bicycle so that we can cycle to the Pyewipe for pints in the early evenings after work, or walk along the Saxilby canal, eating chips by the waterside. Not to mention getting my hands into the soil and finally sorting our backyard out with some proper landscaping and plants.
- Host more people. This will be the first spring and summer where our home is ready to have people over without me cringing in embarrassment at the state of the kitchen or bathroom. Growing up in South Africa, we always had friends and family visiting and the kitchen was full of people and food. Hosting is a large part of South African culture, and its something I miss deeply about my home country. But at last, we’re finally there to entertain and I plan on having many dinner parties in the garden.
- Begin planning our wedding. Because of the challenges in the first few months of the year for both Matt and myself, we decided to give ourselves some time to sort out these things out, before moving ahead with our wedding plans. With things finally settling down, we can now look to the future. We know that our wedding will be in South Africa, which in itself adds another degree of complexity! So if anyone has any tips for planning a destination wedding, please let me know! Now to set a date…
As I finish writing, I’m watching the sun set over the garden and I feel at peace. Spring has finally sprung.