It’s that time again, when the seasons are on-again, off-again, on and so on, like a child flipping a light switch for fun. Snow, hail, sleet, rain, sun, wind, cold, hot…sometimes they trade in whole days, and other times, merely hours.

Isn’t it interesting how many of us humans feel the need to clean and dust and organize and purge major areas of our lives in the spring? For some, it’s almost a fanatical turn-over, a near-desperate need to renew our surroundings and sometimes deep swaths of our everyday lives.

For others, it’s a quieter thing, more of a shaking-out of winter into the backyard, sending the snow back to Old Man Winter and dusting the ennui of dark and cold into the bin for a good six months (hopefully).

Normally I fall into the latter category, quietly pruning the plants in the yard, maybe wiping down my kitchen cabinets, and thinking about all the things I should do now, while the weather isn’t actively trying to kill me. I enjoy watching the flowers pop up, the color gradually coming back, and being able to walk my dogs late without all the bulky layers and gloves needed in the colder months.

Spring always brings a bit of dread though, too. In the midst of all the renewal going on, there are still losses, and I’ve suffered enough of them in the spring that I’m somewhat on edge until summer sets in, wondering if there will be another casualty – one of my dogs, a friend, someone in the family. I try to ignore it as much as possible, but it’s always there in the back of my mind, until the weather gets hotter and the interminable heat of summer takes over.

This year, my husband decided to “refresh” our backyard. Once upon a time when we first moved in, we had a wild idea to put a dry riverbed through one side of the yard, and plant it with flowers. There was to be a tiny bridge to cross over it with, and a fountain at the end. And for a little while, all but the bridge existed.

But, grass seeds spread, weeds took over, and neither of us had the time or energy to stay on top of the maintenance. The fountain got covered over, the rocks started falling in, and the whole thing just got way, way out of control. We don’t work well in the heat, and weeds tend to grow great in the dead of summer, which is not a great combination of things to keep a neat-ish patch of yard.

So, the job being too big to handle ourselves, we decided to hire the landscaper who tore out our front lawn for us to come back and take care of the mess we’d made in the backyard. He’s been working all week, and a third of our yard has been torn up, and is in the process of being graded to fix a drainage problem (water in our basement), and to look much less wild than it did just a week ago. It will be rock and grass, easy maintenance (just mowing, no weeding), and I’m sure the neighbor who shares that fence line will find it refreshingly clean as well.

When the landscaper asked if I wanted him to “scrap” my handmade raised bed by the patio, I declined. It, too, needs a refresh, and I fear I’ve lost the roses in there, including my favorite Peace rose, which was over 20 years old. But I want to do that work myself. I want to finish those beds, fill them up with good soil, and replant them myself. I don’t want someone to do it for me – I want the satisfaction and ownership of doing it myself.

Sometimes, you have to just admit that the job is too big, and pay someone to get you back on track. Other times, it’s not necessarily about the finish line, but rather about continuing to work at it whether you ever crawl over that line or not.

I am looking forward to seeing our completed yard. And also to getting out and trimming up the front gardens where things have already begun to grow. I’ve started doing some spring-cleanup of routines and workflows, too, which feels good, and is already bearing some productive fruit (such as creating a dictation schedule again for writing).

With any luck, everything and everyone will keep springing up, rather than the alternative.

Are you spring-cleaning? Anything noteworthy this year?

That’s it for this week! If you have a favorite thing to share, or want to recommend a book, TV show, video or podcast, comment below, email me at, or catch up with me on Facebook or Instagram.

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