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Opinion

Spring cleaning away weight of the past year

Helen Laxner
Helen Laxner

Spring officially begins between the 19th and 21st of March each year and from that day forward I anticipate the weather’s cooperation in motivating me to clean things up.

Even though I need more help to get things done during spring cleaning, I still look forward to that first week when temperatures range somewhere between the upper 60s and the mid 70s. The week I can open all the windows and breathe in the earthy scents nature sends me is probably the only week of the year I feel excited about cleaning. It’s so much more than removing the buildup of dust and grime in hidden places. The decluttering and reorganizing goes far beyond clothes and boxes. It’s the fresh start that New Year’s promised — but failed to deliver.

On New Year’s Eve, many of us make resolutions to let go of the past and make changes for a brighter future. However, most of our motivational words evaporate into thick air quicker than it takes to complete the sentence they were intended for. Spring cleaning is a time when we don’t simply say we’re going to do something, we actually do something. No matter how short lived our efforts might be, many of us unknowingly work on our resolutions.

The vow to begin an exercise regimen often gets its start during spring cleaning. It might even catapult the motivation for some people to join a gym or begin a workout ritual at home — resolution No. 1, check. When the inside of the refrigerator sparkles, isn’t it natural to fill it with colorful fruits and vegetables to make it pop? As a result, we can check eating healthier off our resolution list.

I spend hours going through unopened or tossed aside mail I received throughout the year. When I finish, I organize what’s left and I’m able to budget better or take care of other matters I overlooked. This process may also be the beginning of recycling for people who resolved to do so. For me, spring cleaning presents me with an opportunity to spend quality time with my son, as I have him help me move boxes into storage, pull appliances out or rearrange furniture.

Something about fresh air and loud sing along music revives the feel good spirit buried under memories or concerns about the negative happenings in our world, on the internet, and, perhaps, in our own personal lives. With my classic rock or oldies turned up, I can almost feel the pine, bleach and grassy scents swirl those thoughts from me as the renewed bounce in my step carries me from room to room. I feel so much lighter. In effect, I’m much more cheerful and kinder to people — resolution No. 5 and 6, check, check.

My mind wiped clean with the worries of the past gone, the present incredibly invigorating, and the future clear to gradually take in more bits and pieces to shine up, collect dust, or toss out. Spring cleaning is much more than cleaning the house we live in, it’s unloading the weight that bogs us down over the course of a year.

HELEN LAXNERálives in Granville. Her columns delve into issues affecting Americans and provoke thought to find solutions. She can be reached via stephanies@mywebtimes.com.

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