It’s finally here! “Winter” 2016/2017.
I’m not using the word “finally” in a way that says I’ve been eagerly anticipating its arrival and just couldn’t wait for it and now I’m so happy that it's here. I may be getting old, but for the most part, I’m not totally senile yet. When I think of the cold, snow, slippery roads, short days, inevitable blizzards, freezing rain, minus 40, the Yuk that we see some of every year and from reports will have more than our fair share of this year, I think I hear the Caribbean calling.
Winter is so different than the rest of the year. The time between early spring, through summer and into late fall is a time of change, growth, rebirth, green grass, leaves on trees, flowers, animals being born, flowing water and action in so many forms. But from early November to late March, give or take a week or 2, our world stays pretty much the same. The look of the trees doesn’t change, the ground is white and that’s about it. Some years the snow is deeper than others but the look of the landscape doesn’t really change. We often just hunker down, doing what we need to do to get through, but we don’t really embrace this time of year.
Have you ever heard someone say, or have you said yourself, Winter Sucks? I’ve said it.
There was a time that I really loved winter. When I was young and growing up on the farm, winter was a time of great fun. I have a twin brother, and the amount of fun one can have, A.K.A. trouble one can get into, is actually scary when you have someone around basically 24/7 that thinks way too much like you do. Snow forts, igloos, snow tunnels, tobogganing on anything that might slide, sliding down hay stacks, sliding down building roofs, the list goes on and on. It’s almost surprising we both survived those days with all our body parts intact. I did manage to freeze my fingers, toes and ears when I was young, I never said I was that smart, but they were never that bad that they fell off. Close on my toes once but they’re all still there. I just didn’t notice, I was having too much fun.
When I think about it, I really enjoyed winter well into my 30s. I remember back in the day when I was in my early 20s. Many of my friends and I had snowmobiles and we would actually listen to the weather forecast all week just hoping and often praying for lots and lots of snow. On around the Wednesday of each week we’d get on the phone, no cellphones back then, and plan out the weekend snowmobile trips. If there wasn’t enough snow where we lived, we went where there was. The more, the better. For some strange reason getting stuck in 2 or 3 feet of snow with a bunch of other guys and gals was fun. We’d often head out for a run after supper and not make it back until the wee hours. Many a sled spent the night out all by its self which was always a great excuse to head out on a rescue mission in the morning. And it was so much fun.
And here we are, in the middle of winter and there is snow on the ground, the lake is frozen over and we are well into hibernation mode.
We started this winter off by going through our goal setting process in November. We started that tradition last year and it really gave us a boost to keep us active and engaged throughout the winter. The process of setting goals in the important areas of our life and working towards those goals week after week not only greatly increases the likely hood of achieving those goals, it sure helps the winter months move by. I know this is going to be a good winter for that fact alone. It’s all about attitude and the process of setting goals and working to achieve those goals is as good an attitude boost as you can get. There’s no time to be counting the days until spring when you’re busy living the days and counting the successes. If you haven’t participated in a goal setting process for this year yet, I’d recommend getting after it.
Winter is a great time to work on those other relationships that are so often neglected during the busy and active time of year. There is more time to have that nice long phone conversation with a friend or family member that gets missed with all the activity of summer. Invite someone out for coffee, or whatever you drink. Do both of yourselves a favor. You won’t regret it.
And how about making this winter the winter that you really start taking your health seriously. There really is time to make a difference in this area of your life when you’re not as busy with all the spring, summer and fall activities outside that are so much fun or just need doing. After all, grass doesn’t need mowing in the winter. If you change some of those hibernation hours into active hours you will thank yourself come spring.
So this winter, when the majority of people are in that hibernation mode, get up and do something different. Make this a time when you make some meaningful progress in your life. Have some fun, get active, get involved, and advance your cause, whatever it is. Be young and make the most of the time you have ahead of you. Embrace this winter and make it the best winter you’ve lived yet.