Paws for thought
If you're still wrapped up in scarves and coats, you might not believe it, but Wednesday was the first day of spring.
Officially called the 'vernal equinox', it can fall any time between March 19 and March 21. An equinox is when the sun passes over the equator. Because of the Earth's position in relation to the sun, days are now going to start getting longer and nights shorter.
Spring is a time for new beginnings. That's why we have spring cleaning and why this time of year is associated with fresh starts and new life - animals give birth, flowers start to poke up from the earth (check out Joyee's cover story on Monday, all about the city's lovely spring blooms), trees grow new leaves - and most people get an injection of energy and an extra 'spring' (hee hee!) in their step.
While many people make New Year's resolutions (and in Hong Kong, when they fail to keep them, then take the opportunity to make Lunar New Year's resolutions), not many manage to keep them going for more than a couple of months.
Spring is a great time to set yourself a new challenge or try something different. What's more, because the weather tends to be less gloomy, you're less likely to come up with excuses like 'It's too cold to go outside' or 'It's too gloomy to try something new'.
But when spring has sprung, it's much easier to imagine trying something different or starting a new project.
My first spring project is to encourage all YP readers to try something new this season. It doesn't have to be a huge challenge like learning a new language or skill - I know how busy you will all be with exams coming up. But small challenges are good.
For example, you can decide to learn to make a particular recipe and bring it for lunch once a month, so your parents get a break and you know you're eating healthily. Or you can decide to make friends with the new exchange students so they have someone to hang out with. Or choose to start each day with a little exercise, whether it's going for a run, or just dancing energetically in your room for 15 minutes.
It can even be something as simple as taking the time to smell the roses (literally or figuratively), or being happy and optimistic - when you wake up, wish your family good morning, or get into school with a smile.
Sometimes even such a tiny positive step can make you feel good about yourself all day.
(If you do decide to do something brand new and exciting, tell me about it on Facebook!)