A Fresh Start x2

January can feel bittersweet. It’s hard to say goodbye to the rich Christmas decorations, delicious indulgences we gave ourselves permission to enjoy, and the string of visitors that added even more liveliness to our homes.On the flip side is the clean 2020 calendar, decluttered house and blank pages of new notebooks. Who doesn’t love a fresh start and clean house?January brings a new beginning that I embrace.

The only other time I get a similar feeling is when the gray skies part in May and the last bit of black snow melts on the street curbs. The warmer air allows us to open windows and stay outdoors longer than a freezing hour in snow pants.

Who knew that this year, January would also bring 60° temperatures in the northeast?

Yesterday, I took advantage of the few rain-free hours of an exceptionally warm day. My husband and I went walking at the park and before I knew it, two out of our three kids showed up as well, their lacrosse equipment in tow.

My husband started tossing lacrosse balls on the turf and I continued walking laps, breathing deep, very grateful for the Spring air. The same newness of January 1st swept over me. How wonderful that just a few hours of warm air in a state usually frozen solid in January, lifted my heart and my mind. I felt ready to set a goal or two for the year which I hadn’t yet done. The fresh air gave me a sense of hope and overall well-being that tends to fade when for weeks at a time in NY, you may only catch occasional glimpses of sun and never leave home without boots on.

While I didn’t Spring clean when I arrived home, I did enjoy God’s gift of renewal. He used the great outdoors, warm air and my good people to give me a lift.

As hard rain pelted the windows in the later afternoon, a positive feeling about the year ahead remained. While each year of our lives brings some difficulty along with the joys, two fresh starts in the same month just felt generous and gives me great hope for the year ahead.

Happy 2020 and God bless your week!