Suddenly it is spring.
After a few false starts, snow on the Easter weekend, frozen puddles and ice on the windscreen the previous week, we had a week of warm days.
Although I am learning to survive winter, the warmer weather and sunshine are like a tonic to my body, spoilt by a half century in a warm, tropical climate and even after 11 years, not yet accustomed to the cold of a Northern Hemisphere winter.
Being able to go for a walk in shorts without a heavy coat and work on the never-ending task of wood cutting, splitting and stacking without being weighed down by winter clothing is a real pleasure.
It’s almost a novelty to wear a wide-brimmed hat again to keep the sun off my face and ears. A few experiences of skin cancer damage being surgically removed from ears, nose and face are huge incentives to take precautions.
Buds on the trees are already opening, more species of birds are back in the garden, the Canada geese are back. Sadly so is avian flu, apparently brought by migrating tundra swans on their way north. Sadly because a number of poultry farms have been quarantined and turkeys and chickens on two farms are being destroyed.
Spring to me signifies a new start much more clearly than the New Year on January 1. Perhaps it is because I was accustomed to a tropical climate with little seasonal difference between temperatures and sunlight hours for most of my life. Living in the Southern Hemisphere, the start of the year was in the middle of Summer.
The major differences between the seasons were rainfall, some wet days in late Spring and Summer, dry and dusty for the rest of the year. And colour, green grass, bush and a huge variety of colourful flowers and shrubs in Summer, brown except for a few winter flowering plants at other times.
Whatever the reason, I find it easier to increase my energy and enthusiasm, to get moving on new projects, now than in January.
I have used the last few weeks of winter hibernation to de-clutter my life, withdraw from activities that were not doing much for either my enjoyment or bank balance. A business project that was taking up too much time, creating stress without a reasonable return and no longer fun. Something I had invested a lot of time and energy in over the last 6 months. Some financial cost too.
Did I give up too soon? Or was it a case of realising that I was flogging a dead horse and a sensible decision? I could make a good case either way, but I am happy with my decision.
It took some thinking to reach that decision, now I have a huge sense of relief that I made it and have moved on.
There were times in the past when I put off a decision to make a major change, close a business or even fire an employee because of the time and money I had already invested in it, or a misguided hope that a person might change.
It is a very fine line between never, ever giving up and recognising that the best possible decision is to stop doing something, recognising and learning from failure and moving on. Very often, waiting and hoping only increases the pain and cost when the decision has to be made or is made for us.
How do you handle that fine line? Decisively? Or do you straddle it for a while leaning this way and that until the decision is made for you by outside events beyond your control?
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Spring Blossoms photo courtesy of xedos4 / Freedigitalphotos .net
Horse graphic by artvex