We can all use a little sunshine

woman in a field of sunflowers

jill111 on Pixabay

I stopped doing blog awards a while back, but Samantha at My Bipolar Mind and Victoria at Girl with the paw print tattoo nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award, so it seemed like a good time to spread a little sunshine.

Spring is slowly springing – the days are getting longer, the sun is making an appearance more often, and the birds are happily singing away.  Soon it will be time to plant my little balcony planter garden, although I have quite the black thumb and if anything grows I’ll be lucky.

The building where I live is kind of like a hollow rectangle, and I face into the quiet, enclosed courtyard.  My balcony is south-facing, so it gets lost of sunshine and is a very pleasant place to sit in the summer.  It’s a nice way to be mindfully at peace while watching the birds dance and the wind rustle the leaves of the trees.  Sunshine certainly doesn’t make everything all better, but hey, every little bit helps.

There’s also a lot of sunshine, of the non-visual variety, spread around the blogging community.  It’s a place where people support one another, and that’s really wonderful to see.  It’s something that brings a lot of light to my days on a regular basis.

So here’s wishing plenty of sunshine to all of you!

 

And for anyone who enjoys answering questions, here are the questions, taken half from Samantha and half from Victoria, and feel free to join in and give your own answers:

  1. Why did you enter the world of blogging?
  2. What is your lifelong dream? Have you accomplished it?
  3. What are 3 of your favorite books?
  4. What is your dream job and are you currently working in that field?
  5. What is the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?
  6. If you would have any superpower in the world, what would it be and why?
  7. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with all of your extra time?
  8. If you could be any character in a TV show, movie or book, who would you be and why?
  9. What job would you be terrible at?
  10. What’s your favorite drink?
  11. What do you wish you knew more about?
  12. What would be your very first question if you woke up after being cryogenically frozen?

My answers:

  1. Why did you enter the world of blogging?  To express myself and do something that felt meaningful.
  2. What is your lifelong dream? Have you accomplished it?  I don’t think I ever had one, and I’ve kind of given up on the whole dream thing and figure it’s better to just stick with reality.
  3. What are 3 of your favorite books?  A Tale of Two Cities, Pride & Prejudice, and Anne of the Island.
  4. What is your dream job and are you currently working in that field?  Ixnay on the dreams.
  5. What is the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?  That people can be really cruel.
  6. If you would have any superpower in the world, what would it be and why?  Flying, and I’d go tropical island-hopping.
  7. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with all of your extra time?  Oh I would definitely sleep anyway.  Bedtime is absolutely the best part of the day.
  8. If you could be any character in a TV show, movie or book, who would you be and why?  The first thing that came to mind was She-Ra, because after all, she is princess of power.  The second to pop up in my head was Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell.  She was feisty, and life was nice and simple at Bayside.
  9. What job would you be terrible at?  Anything involving sales.  I wouldn’t want to bother anyone, so I’d just stand around and wait for people to come to me if they needed anything.
  10. What’s your favorite drink?  Tea, with milk and no sweetener.  I consume copious amounts every day.
  11. What do you wish you knew more about?  Taking care of plants so that they’re actually able to survive.  I’m a serial plant killer.
  12. What would be your very first question if you woke up after being cryogenically frozen?  Why are you bothering me?  I was sleeping!

Time for some spring cleaning

yellow cleaning supplies and flowers

Spring can represent many things.  It can be a time to clear out the cobwebs, both internally and externally.  I like that spring brings sunshine (or at least sometimes) after the rainy, dreary Vancouver winter.  There are a lot of birds near where I live, including my family of woodpeckers, and they all go crazy with the birdsong in the spring.  There’s some nice flower beds in my area, and I love the simple beauty of seeing the flowers blooming.  It makes it much easier to be deliberately mindful when I’m walking  out and about (on a side note, apparently we Canadians say this as “oot and aboot”, although personally I don’t think so).

Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo to represent resilience, and I asked a Chinese coworker what he thought would be the best Chinese characters to represent this.  The characters he chose literally translate as “return to spring”, and the tattoo artist created the template for the tattoo from my coworker’s writing (the purple in the photo is part of the phoenix tattoo that I got later).  I like his choice; it fits with spring being a time of regeneration, renewal, and growth.

tattoo: return to spring in Chinese characters

Lately I’ve been trying to examine my thoughts and reactions to see if there are things that really aren’t serving me well that I can work on adapting.  For the first time in quite a while it’s feeling like maybe some change in possible, and maybe some healthier ways of reacting will start blooming.

I’m a very neat person in that I don’t leave crap lying around, but a little dirt has never bothered me.  Over the last couple of years, my mental health hasn’t been very good, so not only have I slacked off when it comes to routine cleaning, I haven’t done a full-scale intense clean for at least 2 years.  I decided that this spring it was high time to give the place a thorough scrubbing.  It felt pretty overwhelming, so I broke it down into individual tasks and have been trying to get 2 tasks done every day.  I’ve discovered that I must have been willfully blind because my home was actually quite disgustingly dirty, but that is slowly changing.  It’s been exhausting, but breaking it down task by task has made it easier to pace myself.

One thing I don’t really have to do as part of my spring routine is getting rid of excess stuff.  I get great satisfaction out of decluttering, so it’s something I tend to stay on top of.  Wardrobe tends to be a bit more challenging as my weight and body shape have shifted quite a bit over the last several years.  I’ve come to the conclusion that rather than getting rid of clothes that no longer fit I should probably just pack them away because they may well fit the next year.

Last year I made a half-assed attempt at planting an herb garden on my balcony, and nothing grew.  To be honest, half-assed is probably an overestimate of the amount of effort I put in.  I will try to make a real attempt this year, and the guinea pigs would be very happy to have a regular source of parsley.

Is spring a time of year that has associations or routines for you?

 

Image credits:

RitaE on Pixabay

photo by me