Life Lessons: Marvellous MarchMar 06, 2022
By Hayley McDonnell.
Purpose and accountability are essential for us all. They provide motivation and recognition of work achieved, which is true in both professional and personal aspects of life. The months of the year pass us by and often with only a cursory glance, if at all, to the actual names of the months whizzing by. So what about March?
The name March is derived from the Latin word Martius (named after Mars, the Roman god of war). Martius was the name of the first month in the original Roman calendar. A god of war seeks prominence and status, so it makes sense to have his name first.
If your country or culture has adopted the Gregorian calendar, you may want to know that the Roman ruler, Numa Pompilius, is traditionally credited with adding January and February to the calendar, thus making March the third month of the year. Some cultures and religions still celebrate the start of the New Year on March 1, which for those who like to set intentions at the beginning of the year gives rise to the claim that it is never too late to make a change.
The word march is still used today in colloquial language and for those familiar with old English poetry like the poem Blowbol’s Test “Thanne þey begyn to swere and stare, And be as braynles as a Marshe hare”. The hare, in this respect, is notable for its wild and excitable behaviour, reminding us of the phrase mad as a March hare. On a slightly more contemporary note, Lewis Carroll also referenced the March hare in 1865’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which features the character, the March Hare: “The March hare … as this is May, it won’t be raving mad—at least not so mad as it was in March.”
With a focus on being excited and with a hint of wild abandon this month, Spring is the season of focus, hope, opportunity, and a need to Spring clean. With the long dark days behind us, a chance to come out of our cocoon or home and embrace ‘real life’, personal interactions, conversations with friends and family not behind screens but in the fresh air – weather permitting.
Without the overt need for technology to communicate or entertain anymore, consider the games and apps on your phone that you can remove. If you don’t use it, delete it. If you can access the information elsewhere, remove it. If it doesn’t make you feel happy, get rid of it. Look at your contacts list with the purpose of updating it and remove those numbers that you don’t need any more; old work colleagues, professional connections that no longer serve you, relationships that have broken down and are past the point of reconciliation.
If you are ready to, move to your email box and make a similar start to those email addresses newsletters that don’t provide you with needed information anymore; use the unsubscribe button with a sense of wild abandonment.
I use the mantra if in doubt – take it out. You will instinctively know which email address you want to keep, the telephone numbers that are the most important, and the apps you have that support you in your daily life. Everything else is ready for the digital ‘spring clean’.
Finally, although it might be Spring-like weather where you are, most of Turkey gets very cold in winters due to the high terrain. They even have a saying for the cold of the March which goes like “Mart kapıdan bastırır, kazma kürek yaktırır” which roughly translates into: “March cold pushes from the door and gets one burning the shovel handles in the woodstove”. It’s not time to throw out the jumpers yet then!
Social – who are you most looking forward to seeing face to face in March? Make firm plans now to catch up physically.
Moral – solitude when chosen is a precious gift we can give to ourselves, but loneliness can be crushing. Is there anyone you can reach out to in your local community and help them overcome loneliness?
Spiritual – as part of a digital spring clean, you will determine who and what is important to you. Find ways to culture those relationships or spend more time doing things you enjoy.
Cultural – As it is cold in Turkey with no immediate rush to abandon the winter woollies, what do you want to keep hold of and why?
Hayley McDonnell is a Personal Development/SMSC consultant and author intent on bridging the gap between countries, cultures, customs and ultimately people with “Global Collaboration” Her aim is to make our world feel smaller by connecting with our similarities and embracing our differences. She loves to travel and meet new people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. You can find out more about Hayley here.
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