As spring comes into its fullness here in the Midwest, it's hard not to feel inspired by the brilliance of color and the variety of blossoms. My favorite new arrival—the one that always stops me in my tracks and inspires me to thrust my awe-inspiring moment onto my children—is the fluorescent green tips that emerge on the evergreen trees. "This is exactly how life should be," I announce to them, feeling undeterred by their occasional eye-rolls, "We should all be so lucky as to feel like we're growing into fresh, new territory every year. Don't forget that, when you grow up."
I understand that for them, this reminder seems abstract and irrelevant. Like most children, they're presented with new ideas in every teacher's curriculum and each text book that they open. As they continue to pursue their extra-curricular activities, they're also stretched into fresh skills: adding topspin to their serve and finishing a double-turn with precision. They're perpetually "greening."
It's a bit different for adults. While we may receive occasional pointers on our golf stroke or learn something new in a required continuing education seminar, we can't count on such newness regularly arriving at our doorsteps. Often, we have to be more proactive in looking for it.
When life is filled with activities and responsibilities, the thought of adding anything new can feel like the opposite of what we need. Sometimes, however, our feelings of too-muchness aren't based on sheer volume, but rather a combination of volume and the sense of fatigue that comes from life's staleness. Simply put, we can get sick of doing the same thing just because it's the same thing, and we need a break from the redundancy. By adding something fresh to our lives—a new exercise routine, a new creative endeavor, a visit to an unfamiliar place—we can feel rejuvenated, and from this place, feel able to bring more energy to the demands on our plate.
It's worth reflecting on how we'd like to grow and stretch this season. In what ways do you feel called to freshen up your life?
For more ideas and inspiration, follow the links below to read brief articles on pausing, turning within, filling up, coming back to life, embracing difficulty and lightening up.
Best wishes during this season of growth,