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I feel honored that my birthday month is also Women’s History Month. This year I have so much to be grateful for, mostly it is the time I have gotten to spend with my son. As a new mother I have faced many unfamiliar challenges and learnings, and during a pandemic, these have been even more difficult at times. It has taught me how absolutely resilient I am, and it has taught me that taking care of my mind and body is imperative if I want to support another human’s development.

This birthday was for many reasons, different from past birthdays. It was also, in its own way, wonderful and perfect. One activity I have found particularly refreshing is making. Honestly, it can be anything from baking, to cooking, to sewing, painting, dancing. Making space has been a found favorite. Cleaning out the old to make way for the new. With an impending move, close but yet still daunting, I find myself taking inventory and identifying what’s really important. The organization is thrilling and the practical dismissal of unnecessary weight is freeing. With various social media accounts highlighting free items on curbs and groups dedicated to selling and repurposing used furniture, the upcoming spring makes for a perfect reason to purge.

Another great place to make space is in your wardrobe. I’ve mentioned donating in past articles, however, now that there is periodic nice weather, it’s a great time for a style swap with friends. Meet at a park, in a parking lot, in someone’s neighborhood, and bring clothing, accessories and jewelry that you’ve maybe outworn. Have your friends or neighbors do the same and place items out to be scooped up by each other. Anything left over in the end can be donated in any convenient clothing boxes or your favorite charity. Switching it up with friends is a great way to refresh your style, clean out your closet and have a fun get together with plenty of tea to spill.

On my actual birthday I had one thing in mind, tie dye. Before you write me off or stop reading, hear me out. Tie dye is back. I remember doing it as a kid and just loving the expression of making and wearing my creations. There are many popular brands doing monochromatic tie dying, as well as bleach dying. I utilized strawberries, blueberries and turmeric to make some au naturale dyes, and purchased a small bottle of bleach with a spray nozzle. As an avid crafter, I had a large bag of rubber bands, so I was all set there. The results were awesome and I got that same feeling from childhood. I did the dying on my back porch to keep the bleach fumes in the open air and subsequently dry the items back there. Such a blast and so relaxing.

Creation is so wonderful, and we as humans are lucky to be given many tools to create with. Women have long been granted the sole responsibility of making life. Making is in our DNA as people, and often women feel it more deeply. The sense of connection forged in making is intoxicating. It is good for our souls to put beauty into the world for all five senses to enjoy. In the wake of spring do something that brings you pure joy, whatever that may look like for you.

by Catie Zimmerman

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