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Summer is my season. My language is the warmth of sunshine, flip flops, and outdoor activities. I love the time off school for adventures, reading more books, or doing those household projects I’ve put off all year long. It’s an opportunity to recharge, refuel, and check things off those bucket lists we create all year. Summer is happiness and joy and all that is right with the world.
Winter, on the other hand, is an agony to me. I think I may be part bear; nothing would make me happier than to hibernate during the whole miserable season. Darkness depresses me. The sun is still rising as I head out in the morning, and I leave work to the sun descending. I feel like I never truly get to see the light of day. I despise the cold. Nothing is worse than that bone chilling cold, when I shiver so violently my teeth clank together and my entire body aches. Snow may look pretty when it falls, but it represents a nightmare commute, soggy dogs, and a floor streaked with dirty salt footprints.
A Difference of Opinion
On this subject, my sister and I drastically disagree. She adores the white stuff. I watch the winter radar with a mixture of dread and vague hope that perhaps school will be canceled. She fills with anxious anticipation. She is appalled by my disdain for it (which, for the record, I adopted from our mother). In an effort to guilt us into enjoying the season, she sent us a quote when the first snowstorm of the year was forecasted: “If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”
Well, shoot. As my new year’s goal is to avoid stressing about the things I cannot control, that simple statement spoke to me. It is hard to despise something that brings your children so much joy. Lucan would spend the entire day outside, sledding, building snowmen, and engaging in snow warfare with the neighbors if I would let him, frostbite be damned. And although Harry might take after his mom in the sense that he prefers to be warm and snuggly, his excitement and boyish wonder when those flakes start to fall is contagious.
A Shift in Mindset
So this year when Mother Nature granted us our first snow day, I didn’t complain or make excuses when the boys asked if they could play outside. In fact, Mark and I both played with them. We headed to a park with a nice little hill so they could get in some decent sledding. My toes were wet and numb, my fingers slightly frostbitten, but I hardly felt the cold. I laughed at Harry, desperately trying to climb up the hill, Lucan, sledding face first into a snowdrift, and Mark, making man-sized snow angels, and my soul was warmed.
It was a wonderful day. One that we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy had it not been for the snow. It was a simple reminder that pleasure can be found in unexpected places. I will still take a warm beach over snowy fields any day. However, from this point forward I am going to do my best to find the joy in every season.
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