Existential Spring Cleaning
Spring is around the corner. To me this means cozy rainstorms, fresh citrus fruits, and dining al fresco. In the spring, I try to breathe in all the magic that comes with the turn of the season, basking in the 70-degree weather before the stifling Texas summer heat hits. However, with all the lightness and renewal of the spring season, I also feel the weight of the previous year and post-holiday slump in my home and how desperately I need to purge and scrub. Every year, I do the usual; donate clothes I have not worn in a year, give away toys the boys have grown out of, and trash any unnecessary loose paper (my biggest pet peeve). Yet, something is different about this spring. I know what I “have to do”, the list is right in front of me, but this year it all just seems so much harder. I want to lay in my bed a little longer, I sigh a little deeper, and when I finish a task, I am only met with feeling a little more drained instead of the usual sense of accomplishment. In this state, spring cleaning was a mountain I just did not want to climb. As my friends and family know, normally there is nothing I enjoy better than a full reset, cleaning out and cleaning up. Knowing this about myself, I decided to take stock of my life. Where had my motivation and joy from accomplishment gone? Why was the spring in my step suddenly sludge?
After a few days of “life auditing”, I realized my to-do list had become this hamster wheel I couldn’t escape, where I knew what I had to do, but none of it seemed to be moving me forward. It had become so dense with tasks between family, work, friends, errands, etc. there was no room to enjoy the life I was working so hard to build. It was in this realization that I decided to do an existential spring cleaning.
We all want to live our best life, but we are told the only way to get there is to hustle and work to “have it all”, yet I have found all the hard work is actually what is getting in the way of enjoying… anything. It has left me with nothing to give back or grow from. I started to challenge the idea that more is more, busier is better. Would it be the worst thing if I took an hour for lunch? Will anyone notice if I miss a social media post? Do I really need to stay up until midnight creating a newsletter for Bow & Sprig? After crossing off everything on my list, if I don’t even have enough energy to play with my sons, then what I am I actually doing?
The past 6 months of Bow & Sprig launching has been an amazing journey and something I am proud of. It has also been an extremely educational and enlightening experience. Through all of the successes, trials, and tribulations, I have some perspective on what NEEDS to be done to sustain and build, and killing myself in the process is simply not what will ultimately get Bow & Sprig to it’s full potential. What I had lost in the time leading up to this spring was my passion. I started to forget why I started the company and what I truly loved about our mission, making goods that are both beautiful and functional. My drive got lost in the burdens of marketing, financials, and sourcing. All of these things are important, obviously, but I was letting it eclipse everything about running the business that I actually enjoyed.
On this introspective journey, I realized I am probably not the only one being stifled by the idea that if you work a little harder, do a little more, you will be better off. This spring, I encourage you to go beyond cleaning out your closet, and do an audit of your life. What are you giving your energy to? Is something or someone draining you? We are all wanting to get to happy, but it will never happen if we lose our passion in the process. Give yourself permission to enjoy what you have here and now. If you don’t, you may miss the best parts.
Cheers to having the best spring yet!