Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Freshen Your Soul for 2010

"Jump out into the water and freshen your soul."

(Photo Courtesy of David Snodgress at the Herald-Times)

This comment was left by an anonymous reader on the local paper's website in response to a story about citizens taking the annual polar bear plunge into Lake Monroe.

It amused me because whenever I read stories like this, I can't begin to imagine why someone would plunge their scantily clad body into freezing water except to say they had done it. But then, I read the comments listed after the story and I realized, ahh, soul freshening. That's it!

I guess it is that time of year. The lights and excitement of the holidays are over. Two solid months plus of cold winter weather and darkness awaits us. If you are like me, you are hunkered down to face the winter onslaught with a huge stack of books and something hot to drink. I think that this is the time of year our souls could use a good freshening.

I'm thinking of the polar bear plunge as a metaphor now because there is no way I am sticking my big toe in anything less then a 160 degree hot tub, but there are plenty of ways to freshen your soul without having to get fitted for a thermal bathing suit.

Here are a few of my favorite soul fresheners:

1. Read some poetry. I was given this book of poems as a holiday gift and I love it. I open it up to a new poem every day. If there is a better way to air out the stuffy corners of my soul I would like to know what it is.

2. Sing in the shower. I had the great fortune to see The Cardinal Stage Company's production of The Sound of Music last weekend. Listening to me belt out the song "Favorite Things" really opens up my family's soul, too.

3. Eat really spicy food.

4. Laugh a lot. Try this funny book. Or this classic crazy movie.

5. Go square dancing or take a belly dance class or learn to dance thriller. My soul really gets fresh when I move the body it lives in.

6. Go 1980 and write a letter to an old friend. Remember letters? Remember stationary? Remember what it feels like to write your thoughts in more than 140 characters? Stamps are only 0.44 cents and you can make a personalized stamp with you own artwork.

7. Spend a weekend and cook a big feast for your closest friends. Make something you would never make with that old stale soul. Try roast duck or risotto with truffles or something from Mastering the Art of French Cooking with pounds and pounds of real butter.

8. Write a pantoum.

9. Grow an indoor herb garden.

10. Check out this new Women Writing for (a) Change class.

See you on the other side of March. Hopefully we'll all have fresh souls and we won't have to get a bikini wax to do it!

--Amy for the Poplar Grove Muse

1 comment:

  1. What a great list of suggestions!
    We did the Polar Plunge two years ago. Kate really, really wanted to, and our friends the Duffys started it, in support of bladder cancer. What a shock. Kate got into the frigid water, and with 0% body fat, it was like she went into some kind of arrest--cardiac, circulatory, brain, whatever. Chris grabbed her and got her out of there immediately. She was so surprised by the experience. Perhaps her soul was cleansed. A letter to the editor a few days ago cited the Polar Plunge and urging parents to have more common sense; to my surprise, I had to agree. MKP