Spring Resolutions

By Kim Seeley

Spring Resolutions

By the middle of January, many of the best-intentioned New Year’s resolutions have bitten the dust. It is too cold to run in the morning, too dark in the afternoon, the couch is much more inviting than the tread mill, and homemade macaroni and cheese is more comforting than a grilled chicken salad when the chill of January arrives. In my opinion, January is simply not the best month to make resolutions. I have an alternative to offer, one that fits more closely with my own personal emotional and physical needs.

Think about it. December has the distinction of being the darkest month of the year, with the winter solstice on the 21st. These are the shortest days of the year, and those of us who love sunshine and warm weather would probably be quite depressed in December were it not for Christmas tree lights and decorations. While the candles and lights remind us of the light of the world, the coming of the Savior, they are also a very appropriate way to light up our homes in the darkness of winter. I find special delight in coming home from Christmas shopping to find that my husband has plugged in our candles and our lighted wreath, making my home cheery and welcoming.

When we set New Years resolutions for ourselves, we are attempting to make changes at what is, for many of us, a very emotional time of year. I take my Christmas decorations down the first week of January, usually after the arrival of the Wise Men, around January 6th. Nothing lights up the darkest month of the year like Christmas tree lights and candles, but in January, they are packed away. Sometimes my post-Christmas depression rivals some women’s post-partum depression. I have been known to shed a few tears while packing away favorite ornaments. Nothing looks drearier than the post-Christmas house when the tree and lights are once again stored in their plastic bins in the attic.

Now, I ask you, is this a good time to start a diet? Is this a time to make over our personalities? I think not. January should be called Narnia, after the C.S. Lewis magical kingdom where it was “always winter, and never Christmas.” After New Years Day, there are no real holidays to celebrate until Valentine’s Day. The only way to survive January is to be well-armed with homemade vegetable soup, popcorn, hot chocolate, favorite movies and comfy blankets.

February is no time for resolutions, either. February is usually our worst month of weather with the coldest temperatures and highest chance of snow. All of these are great for the ski resorts and the snow bunnies, but for the sun lovers, February is drab. Not even Valentine’s Day can salvage that month. Even while most of us do not suffer from serious cases of seasonal affective disorder, short days and lack of sunshine can cause the winter blahs and mild cases of cabin fever.

Logically, we should set our resolutions to begin in spring. After all, spring is the season for renewal. It is easier to make resolutions and keep them when the days begin to lengthen. The first crocuses of spring bring us hope, encouragement that warmer weather is approaching. Resolutions happen more naturally when one is cleaning closets, washing windows and planting flowers. Spring is nature’s season for renewal; it just makes sense to me that humans should follow.

So, I propose changing New Year’s resolutions to spring resolutions. Resolve to eat better, walk farther, visit the gym more often; but do it at a time of year when the world is awakening, flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. For now, go light a fire in the fireplace, heat up a cup of cocoa, wrap up in your snuggly robe and watch Titanic. It’s January. Be easy on yourself.

About this writer

  • Kim Seeley Kim Seeley, a former librarian and English teacher, lives with her husband, Wayne, in Wakefield, Virginia. She is a frequent contributor to Sasee and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her most recent story, “Amanda’s Jonquils,” can be found in Chicken Soup: Messages from Heaven. She loves to read, play the piano, travel and spend time with her grandson, Evan.

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