“Spring Cleaning, Aging In Place, & Daylight Saving Time”

Our annual ritual of turning our clocks ahead an hour (in most paces) signals more than just a time change.


Time to spring forward

It’s that semiannual time again when we adjust our clocks forward or back. In this case, it’s forward, meaning that it’s now an hour later than it was this time yesterday. It gives us an extra hour or so of daylight at the end of the day, but this is at the expense early on of losing an hour of sleep. Still, it’s nice to have extra light at the end of the day for outside activities.

Many people feel a little bounce in their step with the extra daylight and don’t really miss taking it from the beginning of the day. It takes a little adjustment for some people, but the benefit is that we have more daylight at the end of the workday to enjoy outdoor pursuits or just the daylight.

Speaking of springing forward

We call the action of setting our clocks ahead “springing forward” which coincides nicely with the feeling of spring that we have – just based on the length of winter and the anticipation of nicer times ahead, even if spring hasn’t officially arrived yet. However, it’s extremely close – close enough to count. The spring or vernal equinox is this coming Saturday, March 20th. Essentially, turning our clocks ahead and celebrating the official beginning of spring are happening at the same time – all good!

Spring brings with it so many pleasurable thoughts and activities. The weather will be turning nicer. Snow and ice, in areas where this occurs, will soon be a thing of the past. Below-freezing temperatures will be a memory, and temperatures in the 70s and above will not be so rare. Of course, this is speaking of the northern hemisphere, and it’s the opposite for our friends south of the equator.

We also get to change how we dress to go outside. The heavier winter jackets will give way to lighter jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, and eventually shirt sleeves. The boots will change to sandals and flip-flops. Gloves and scarves will be put away until the next season.

This spring is different

A year ago our springtime was a big unknown. We were in the beginning stages of combatting COVID-19.  There was so much that we didn’t know and much to learn. A year later, we are still making adjustments and feeling the effects of the past year. With great anticipation and optimism, we are looking forward to a spring much different than a year ago and one in which we can pursue more of our normal activities.

A year ago, our outdoor activities were curtailed, many of us spent extended periods of time indoors, our sporting events (that we watched or participated in) were canceled or postponed, and in general, our springtime experience was severely interrupted. We are looking forward to a much better outcome this year. While we still have some restrictions in place, many of us are getting vaccinated, and we can begin to see how there may be an end to our limited activity.

It’s been a long year full of adjustments, but this spring holds real promise for returning to the activities we have come to enjoy at this time of year. It may not be exactly the same as it was prior to the virus, but it should be close.

We can look forward to this spring with more enthusiasm than last year.

More benefits of spring

Besides the obvious benefits of spring – the warmer weather and lighter apparel that we get to use to go outdoors – spring ushers in many sporting activities and that perennial activity of spring cleaning.

As we are spending time indoors in response to the virus, many of us learned a new appreciation for our homes. We maybe hadn’t considered aging in place long-term in our homes prior to this need to stay inside, but many of us found that we could get along with our homes and that they functioned quite well for us.

In being in and using our homes over this extended period of time, many of us found things that we no longer needed to have, items that were somehow in the way or taking up more than their share of space, or some minor improvements that we would like to make to turn our homes into even nicer places for us to be.

This brings us to our annual ritual of spring cleaning which likely did not happen last year but can happen with more fervor this year. As a result, we have determined many things in our homes that we can release, and there are continuous items to disinfect and clean. We have become experts at disinfecting in the past several months, and there is no reason to discontinue that process now.

Therefore, spring cleaning has taken on a new direction and meaning for us. We appreciate why keeping our homes clean is so important, and we look forward to removing some of the excess items we have in our homes that are just in the way.

Happy time change and springtime!

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