There is nothing like some unseasonably warm weather to make a community come alive.

Even though spring is technically here, it felt like we skipped right over it and moved straight to summer, well at least for a week it did.

Welcome to Texas, y’all.

Either way, my family and I capitalized on the change of season and enjoyed the bright sun and balmy temperatures, before it disappeared.

There is something about spring that I find so motivational. Maybe it’s the crisp air or the sight of the first blossoms of the season that invigorate a renewing spirit in my soul.

I see my neighbors emerge from their homes to spruce up their yards, removing the leaves, sticks and debris that winter left behind. Aside from all the beautiful flowers — especially the wildflowers lining roadways — making their debut, my favorite site to see is families, four legged members, too, out and enjoying the sunshine, warmer temps and some quality family time.

For me, spring has a twofold approach. It acts as a reminder that summer isn’t too far away and it’s time to shed those hibernating pounds and it’s also time to purge all the things I have been hoarding.

The road to getting in shape is often strewn with fad diets, gimmicky products and exercise equipment that gathers clothes instead of helping you shed the pounds. Spring’s longer days and warmer weather provide the perfect motivation to break down those barriers and to finally incorporate fitness in to our busy lives. What better time than spring to kick your fitness up a notch?

You are never too old or too big to start making healthy choices. A simple walk through your neighborhood after dinner may be just what the doctor ordered. As a parent, I want to set a positive example for my children and that includes eating well balanced meals and being active. Whenever I get the chance, I lace up my sneakers, buckle the kids into the stroller and out the door we go to enjoy the fresh air. Some days the struggle is real, especially with the two little ones, but I always feel so much better and more accomplished when I stop the moaning and groaning and get moving. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a gym membership, fancy equipment or trendy clothes to get started. You just have to get up and move!

Call me crazy, but aside from a nice walk outside, I find donating and throwing away a bunch of stuff out to be so therapeutic. Who doesn’t love a good spring cleaning? It is an opportunity to open the windows — before it gets too hot — and make our homes clean and more efficient spaces.

Before I buy something new, I have to get rid of things and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. During this season of my life, it’s important for me to collect memories and not things. As a military wife, I know how much of a pain it is to move so often, so the less stuff we have, the smoother the process.

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements telling us that we need certain things to be happy. That these things will somehow make our lives better. Our sense of self and worth has been limited to what we own for the most part, but at the end of the day, you cannot take it with you. So to that I say, dig deep into those closets and purge away. While you are in there, you may find those old sneakers. Go ahead, and dust those off and give them a spin.

Vanessa Lynch is a former metro editor at the Killeen Daily Herald. An Army spouse, she and her husband live in Harker Heights with their two children.

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