Happy April one and all. I don’t know how the fourth month of 2018 managed to arrive already, but here we are, 3 months and a horrible number of centimetres of rain down. It’s been a pretty good year so far, but when I think back, I’m surprised to find that I don’t actually remember all that much of it, and I’m attributing that to my tendency to focus only on what’s ahead rather than being present for the little things that make life so weird and wonderful.
Generally speaking, I’m awful at stopping to appreciate the small stuff, or be wholly present for moments of quiet contentment; instead I rocket around, my main objective to ‘be productive’, intent on moving on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the next. It’s not a particularly good quality, I know, whereas the ability to recognise and love the simple, unassuming things that could so easily be lost beneath the big ticket items of life very much is. In the spirit of not wanting to wish the next month or three away, and in lieu of any major plans to tell you of anyway, today I thought I’d spend some time thinking about the small spring pleasures I’m looking forward to noting and enjoying.
And yes, I’ve probably sort of failed already, for choosing to focus on things that I will enjoy and am looking forward to when spring makes it’s entrance, rather than the things in the here and now, but if that bothers you; flannel pyjamas, a beautiful easter egg I hardly dare break (but will take great pleasure in doing so) waiting for me on the shelf, the sound of a cookery programme on TV in the next room, and the luxury of time to tap away at a keyboard in bed while it’s raining outside are all contributing to a current and very enjoyable quiet moment.
A warning, before we begin: these may turn out to be incredibly cliché. That’s probably what all those weird pink quote graphics saying ‘appreciate the little things’ in twirly fonts have done to this topic, as they do to so many, but at the heart of it the sentiment is usually a great one. I shan’t pretend to be above a cliché or two.
Oh, to crack open a window and let the outside breath in to your home in without turning the unfortunate room you opt to do this in into a large walk-in freezer. I love letting a bit of the outside in, but not when the sky seems to be trying to drown us all, so in the next month I’m looking forward to weekend mornings breakfasting and tidying with the windows thrown open.
There’s no other way to say it; fresh flowers are fucking fantastic. They’re completely unnecessary and serve no purpose beyond an (often fleeting) decorative one, but they also feel wholesome in a way that other luxuries sometimes don’t. The joy that comes from treating myself to flowers, or working at a table next to a vase of flowers, or walking into an otherwise neutral room to find a burst of floral goodness greeting you is one I always want to appreciate. Daffodils are a weekly purchase at the moment and I’m in the market for some tulips soon.
You know when you walk down the street in February (or, say…on bank holiday weekend?!), and everything looks grey, even things that categorically are not grey? I’m not about that life; bring me colour, please. This month I want to focus on all that’s colourful; gardens, colourful doors and houses, and the few beautifully bright vintage cars that live in my vicinity, and let them keep me feeling chirpy.
Winter turns a simple task like going to Tesco to pick up sausages for your sausage pasta and accidentally buying crisps and a chocolate bar into an expedition. I do, however, love being outside, and I can’t wait to find joy in my walk to work or the gym again, rather than them simply being a necessity that gets me where I need to me.
Ditching the outerwear
It’s a great pleasure in life to be able to go from home to meetings to lunch and whatever else without needing to think about a million and one things you need to take with you. I feel so much lighter and more relaxed when I’m not wearing an enormous coat, several layers, and carrying an enormous bag to put the several layers in when I have to take them off. It doesn’t need to be a strappy summer dress; give me a midi and a sweatshirt like I’m wearing here and I’m a very happy girl (particularly when the jumper has a pun on it, like this one from JOY). Leaving my flat in the morning and only having to grab a denim jacket is a carefree moment I’m excited to welcome back.
A dose of carefree
I’ve spoken before about the cycle of renewal we get with the seasons, and if Autumn is when I feel ready to work hard and get stuck in, Spring is the one where I feel motivated to try new things or take a leap of faith (it was Spring last year when I finally took the plunge on blogging, after all). There’s something about the season that seems to give me a dose of carefree that I struggle to come by all that often, making things I’m scared of less scary and things I want seem more achievable. I want to grab that feeling with both hands this year and appreciate that airy freeness just for how good it feels.
What are your plans for this month and beyond? Are there any little spring pleasures you’re really looking forward to?
What I’m wearing
Photography: Kaye Ford