Asking “What can I let go of?” in spring

Hello from North Haven!

Despite early March’s best efforts, spring seems to be in progress! The mud is deepening, the robins are flocking, and pussywillows glisten by the side of the road.

Another sure sign of spring!

With spring comes spring cleaning. When the weather truly warms up, I’ll be packing away Penrose’s snow things in hopes they’ll still fit her next winter, swapping out shoes, and purging both of our closets of things that are ill fitting or that we just got sick of from constant cold-weather wearing.

A good spring cleaning question comes from the Kripalu style yoga class I attend on island when I can. Entering a challenging pose, our teacher will ask us to consider “What can I let go of in this moment?” Are we clenching our jaws? Squeezing our glutes? Pushing ourselves into a bigger challenge not because it serves us but out of some macho desire to be stronger or stretchier than the next mat over?

I asked myself that question this morning, as I rushed my daughter through her cheese toast breakfast. What can I let go of in this moment?

The answer came to me immediately.

Socks. I can let go of socks.

Not for Pen, who loves them. For me. Sure, there’s still a foot or more of snow on the ground in places. And my car was coated with a layer of frost when we got in it this morning. But I had on my homely Dansko clogs with no socks, and I was happy as a chickadee. Without the Smartwools that saw me through every departure from the house from October through this very morning, I feel free and ready to change seasons.

Socks serve a purpose, to be sure. I wear them with sneakers when I go to the gym, I wear them for hiking and for snowshoeing and skiing. But there’s something about the sensation of sock on toe that gives me the creeps. This morning I decided I had put up with it as long as I cared to, and so, in the spirit of spring, I let go of socks.

I may find other things to let go of, more profound things, like idly scrolling through social media, the sinking feeling I get when I open a form rejection email from a literary agency, or biting my nails. Some things I’ll choose to cling to, like watching Pen brush her molars, fretting over news of increased anti-Semitic attacks, and shopping at Uniqlo. But in this time of transition and renewal, my bare feet in my clogs are just enough to make me feel light and easy, having let go of one of my cares.

Happy spring!

Courtney Naliboff

About Courtney Naliboff

In addition to this blog, I'm a contributing writer to, a Jewish parenting site, a blogger and book reviewer for, and the author of Salt Water Cure, a column in Working Waterfront. I report news from North Haven for Working Waterfront and Island Journal, and was a speaker at the Maine Conference for Jewish Life in 2015. Follow Frozen Chosen on facebook or visit my Web site for more writing and free music to download!