This move to Minnesota has taught me a lot of things, one of which is learning how to live more seasonally and in touch with the natural rhythms of nature. The weather here is pretty extreme, and we essentially went from mid-winter to summer just a few weeks ago.
From a practical stand-point, it's more important here than it was in Colorado to enjoy and soak up every single moment when it feels nice to be outside, and to save indoor projects and activities for when the weather is truly terrible. As I mentioned in last month's post, as part of a larger personal project I'm working on when it comes to food and body image, we're getting a farm share for 18 weeks from a local farm, and I'm excited to eat in a more focused, seasonal way over the summer.
From a more reflective, growth-oriented stand-point, I'm finding it really helpful to break up my personal and work project goals into quarters, which of course, line up with the seasons as well. Setting annual goals and intentions is great, but often so many new ideas and opportunities crop up that it's nice to feel it's okay if a change feels better than sticking to the original plan.
The summer solstice is upon us, and before I start laying out my summer projects, I think it's important to reflect on a few things I learned throughout the spring. All of these are still a gigantic work in progress, but they have all been on my mind a lot lately:
- Appreciate the simple pleasures. A day spent trying to keep a one-year-old and a three-year-old alive is no joke and I get few (if any) breaks throughout the day. A few things I really savor when they do happen: fresh coffee from the french press (preferably drunk while not being climbed on), freshly squeezed orange juice (I bought this juicer for $6 and I'm in love!), a power nap, reading even a few pages of a book, sitting out in the yard and enjoying the sunshine, having a few moments of silence to breath and think my own thoughts without interruption.
- Celebrate (really) small successes. Most of my grand plans to clean the entire house, catch up on laundry or finish a set of curriculum are quickly derailed by short naps, fighting children, and sleepless nights. It's been an important practice for me to celebrate even the tiniest victories: ONE load of laundry that is folded and put away, one small piece of one project finished, 15 productive minutes of work. I get discouraged a lot, but this seems to be standard for this phase of life.
- Stop resisting this season. This is a big one, and very much related to the two above. This phase of life, with two young kids underfoot, is notoriously difficult. There is little sleep but more than enough illness. It's the most physically demanding phase, not only because of the aforementioned, but because my kids can literally do nothing by themselves and they are on a mission to constantly endanger their own lives. I know it will get better. More seasoned parents assure me that this is so. But that does little to help me RIGHT NOW. I tend to feel better when I breathe, remind myself that someday soon they will have more independence and maybe sleep a little better, and then give myself about 10,000 gallons of grace for my messy house and completely unfulfilled to-do list. What I'm learning is that it's still important to TRY: to not give in so much that I attempt nothing that is fun or hard or out of the usual routine. Those are the things that keep me going. But I also need to accept the inevitably of canceled plans and reschedules, for meltdowns and times when nothing goes as planned.
Those are the big things on my mind over the course of the spring. What did you learn this season?
Next up I'll be sharing more of my hopes, goals, and intentions for the summer.
P.S. You might also like Spring Cleaning: Small changes, big rewards