Familiarity

There is a proverb which says, “familiarity breeds contempt.” Siri defines this “extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.”

The month of March is a lot like that in my opinion. By March, I’ve had enough of the cold and snow, and have no affection for winter. Snowflakes are no longer pretty or romantic. My familiarity with March is like a family member who has overstayed their welcome. It’s past time for winter to make its exit.

March doesn’t look anything like the hope-filled lesson I was taught as a child, you know, “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Whoever made up the calendar did a cruel thing when they assigned March 31 days. It certainly feels like the longest month of the year.

March is a month of waiting. What are we supposed to do while we wait? For one thing, there’s Lent, a forty-day season of renewal and remembrance on the Christian calendar, commemorating Jesus’ wilderness experience.

I’ve also found it helpful to use March as a time to look back at what I accomplished last year, and ahead to what I hope to accomplish this year. Take gardening for example. Year’s ago, when I had more land, I used to pour over the seed catalog before spring arrived, trying to figure out what vegetables to plant based on last year’s gardening experience.

More recently, my wife and I have been renovating a rundown cottage about an hour drive from where we live. We close it up each year in early November and reopen it mid April. These pictures reflect our effort in 2022. It’s an amazing experience to walk back into the cottage after a winter hiatus. I think this has something to do with shedding our familiarity with it.

If you never got around to making a New Year’s resolution, there’s plenty of time to come up with something in March. You can ask yourself, is there anything in my life I could shed my familiarity with? You might be surprised how doing so will make you appreciate it more.

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