Spring is proceeding in its usual fits and starts here in the Lake District. Last month we bypassed it altogether and went straight from winter to a summer heatwave. For a week it felt like a little miracle to be able to shed our fleecy jackets and boots in favour of last year’s shorts and sandals, hardly able to believe the March madness of wall-to-wall sunshine in the rush to get out the sun-loungers and barbecues.
Of course it couldn’t last – a snow-laden blast from the north soon reminded us of the capricious nature of spring. Nevertheless, with the fields full of frisky young lambs, Wordsworth’s daffodils waving in the breeze and the trees budding with fresh green leaves, the sense of new life and regeneration is energising.
It always strikes me that spring is a much better time of year to be motivated to make plans and resolutions that gloomy old January, when the temptation to hunker down with the left-over Christmas cake is a much more attractive proposition that starting that diet, taking up jogging or cutting out the booze.
And why do resolutions always seem to involve giving something up? Maybe some of you have been abstaining over the last few weeks too, like on Father Ted where the priests try (and fail) to give up cigarettes, alcohol and roller-blading for Lent. (I hear on the Archers that the parishioners gave up gossip – that should be pretty easy as nothing happens in Ambridge).
I’m going to suggest that we give up giving up! Why not make a spring resolution to take something up instead? Or do more of something that encourages us to be happy? Here are three of my spring happiness pledges:
Dance more. I did a bit of dancing recently at our crazy local Sunday live music teatime session (thanks Fiona!) but realised I couldn’t possibly compete with the stamina of a hard core of regulars – all ladies and gentlemen of a certain age (the oldest one is 85). One look at their wacky moves and smiling faces has convinced me that dancing is the elixir of youth and the source of happiness!
Try something new. I don’t know what it would be for you – join a band, make jam, take up morris dancing (or maybe all three?) – but for me I think it’s time to get our that box of paints I bought on a whim six years ago and have never opened since. I may be the next David Hockney or produce a murky mess, but I’ll never know unless I give it a go . . . and it might be fun finding out.
Support a good cause. I keep hearing of people’s plans to run the London or our own Brathay Windermere marathon, not to mention other crazy feats of endurance in fell-running, swimming and cycling triathlons. Inspiring, especially as they aim to raise money for breast cancer charities, supporting disadvantaged young people and a host of other worthy causes. So am I lacing up my running shoes? No, but I’ve been told that one thing I can do is provide cake . . . now baking’s an extreme sport I’m pretty good at!
Spring into action! Share your resolutions with The Happiness Kit Bag.
|Poem of the week
Here’s a lovely poem by American poet Billy Collins which could have been written about the weather we had two weeks ago . . .
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
that it made you want to throw
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
a day when the cool brick paths
seemed so etched in sunlight
a hammer to the glass paperweight
releasing the inhabitants
so they could walk out,
into this larger dome of blue and white,