A New Way to Look at “Spring Cleaning”
The days are getting longer. The piles of snow are shrinking. The tulips are bravely pushing their way through the soil. Spring is, indeed, coming to Wisconsin this year and I for one am quite excited about the prospect.
As I’ve pondered how to best celebrate the impending arrival of spring, I’ve decided it’s time for some “spring cleaning.” No, not the kind you see in magazine headlines (though the idea of shiny windows and floors is certainly appealing). I’m thinking something that requires a change of attitude more than a bucket of soapy water.
How about these for a start?
Ask someone for advice. I completely confess I originally said “pick your brain” until I saw this article in the New York Times (Thank you Anna Goldfarb for YOUR great advice!). Whether you’re struggling with a co-worker challenge, can’t decide what color to paint your living room or always wondered what it would be like to work in a certain field, there’s bound to be someone who wouldn’t mind sharing their expertise. Poke around online for an expert on the topic you’re investigating (and use all of Anna’s tips to connect). Or, hey, check in with your parents or grandparents. They’re amazing sources of all kinds of wisdom—you might be surprised! —and, don’t you owe them a call anyway?
Change your mind. Most of us have beliefs we’ve potentially outgrown but we haven’t taken the time to dig in and check. In today’s very divided world, it’s all too easy to stay in our little bubble of confirmation bias—only paying attention to the information that matches our beliefs (check out this Wired article for more on how platforms like Facebook profit from the social media echo chamber). What can we do about that? Check out media from the “other” side (I’ll let you choose what that means to you!). Or see what some new-to-you voices have to say—one of my kids recently told me about a friend who makes a point of doing this. This might confirm you still agree with your long-held beliefs, and if that’s the case, good for you for actually believing in what you say you believe in. And if you find yourself warming up to a new way of thinking? That’s exciting too.
Blow something off. No, no, I don’t mean a critical work deadline your co-workers are counting on you for or that really important something you promised to do with your child. But surely there must be SOMETHING you’re only doing because you’re “supposed to” that doesn’t benefit anyone, including you. Stop reading that book you hate—if you’ve never tried this, it’s an easy option and one you (might) just love. Cancel that Wednesday morning meeting that’s outlived its original purpose. Skip cleaning the bathroom (just once won’t kill you and you can use your new-found time to read a book you want to read).
What could a new approach to “spring cleaning” look like for you? Give it some thought—and give it a try.