When we think of spring, we think of new beginnings, a sensation at first reflection akin to the crisp call of fall and the promise as-yet-to-be-filled notebooks, fresh pencils and dog ear-less books all hold. Except for in springtime, the notebook spirals careen out of control into odd figure 8-like shapes, the pencils have been chewed down to nubs and the book pages are desperately clinging to their well-worn spines. While fall inspires a renewed work ethic and devotion to projects (be they academic or otherwise), spring beckons us to ease up on the work and hastily bring things to a close. Fall cheerfully calls us back to work while spring naughtily tempts us out-of-doors and away from our desks.
This sensation applies whether or not you are a school teacher. Long lunches soaking up sun in the park and even longer afternoons stuck in front of a computer screen constitute a reluctant work-day when spring triumphantly arrives. By the time summer rolls around, the nice weather is old hat and we (almost) look forward to the cool haven an office (or classroom or house) may provide.
Oddly enough, spring-like temperatures were nowhere to be found this week. Instead, summer enticed us with 80 to 90 degree weather. Plenty kvetched their way through the week, moaning and groaning that spring had skipped us over and summer had arrived. Come on people! We dealt with THREE MAJOR BLIZZARDS this winter. I, for one, refuse to complain about warm weather after living through the likes of a winter I never thought I would witness. Now, come July and August, it’ll be a different story. We shall all have earned our right to vainly try to whine away the heat and the humidity. But not yet.
This being my first spring in C.T., I am filling my off-hours with a variety of activities, both old and new. (Hence my title. Get it?) Afternoons are blissfully free thanks to a completed yearbook, so I find myself with a few extra hours to plan before I am completely zapped of energy for the day. So work is good, but a girl needs a break every now and again, right? I am also trying to coax myself back into running, which I admit, is not the most successful endeavor to date.
Oddly enough, I have picked up knitting in the past week or so. My mother is a knitter, as was her mother, as was her mother (I think). Generations of women in my family have been trying to get me to knit for ages. Despite their earnest attempts, I was never able to muster up much enthusiasm. Last summer, my mother not so subtly bestowed me with knitting supplies for my birthday. So I learned to knit for approximately the 8th time in my life during the months leading up to the big C.T. move. I was living at home and thought I should comply.
Following Knitting 101, I gave my mother what I hoped was a sweet smile, told her how much I enjoyed it, then promptly put it back in the basket when she wasn’t looking. Every time I went home it went a little like this:
“Have you been knitting?”
“Nope. I just can’t seem to find the time. I’m so busy with school and I forget it’s there at night when I finally have some free time.” This was mostly true, at least the part about being busy. But the part about forgetting it, not so much. I didn’t forget it, I just didn’t want to knit.
I don’t know what moved me to pick it up last week, but I did. Miraculously, I remembered how to do it, and – presto! A week and half later, I’m knitting like clockwork every night. The irony of taking up this hobby when it’s 90 degrees outside and following a winter of many week nights and ends spent cooped up like hens in a factory-farm chicken house (sorry, I never miss an opportunity for a jab at the food conglomerates), is not lost on me. But I don’t care. I had Harry Potter to keep me company this winter, and now I have knitting to keep me company this spring. I figure it sort of makes more sense anyways: by the time cooler temperatures make their appearance next fall, I’ll have lots of new scarves to wear. Hopefully, I’ll have mastered the skill by then so they aren’t all jaggedy-edged and riddled with holes. I like imperfection anyways, so I’m fine with it. Plus, I know Mom is perfectly capable of knitting me perfect scarves if I’m not able to pull through.
So get on out there! Stick with some old pastimes this spring, but cultivate some new ones, too. Whether they seem springy or not. I bet you’ll have fun in the process.