Well it’s snowing again here in New England, but then it’s also been snowing in a lot of places that never expected it. It’s been a tough winter and it’s not over yet. The weatherman talk about people suffering from winter fatigue. I don’t think there’s a cure for that unless you move to a sunny climate and that might not be a guarantee considering the recent weather patterns. Snow, and all its relatives, blizzards, northeasters, and freezing temperatures are all part of the package. Discussing it over and over and how awful it is don’t make it any easier or change it.
What amuses me is the media’s need to ramp up a winter storm until any other news is sidelined in lieu of showing their peeps broadcasting from street corners, beaches, or helicopters. They spend hours discussing traffic jams, accidents and showing people walking outside bundled up like Nanook of the North. They also keep cautioning people to not go anywhere unless it’s necessary. I can understand precautions but does the public need to be so fueled with fear until their collective psyches are in need of muscle relaxants.
Meanwhile supermarkets become crowded with individuals who want to make sure they have enough bread and milk. I’m not quite sure why that became the combo to have at the ready when a storm is on its way. If the electricity goes out for a while you’ll be left with hard bread and sour milk. Wouldn’t a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and some assorted nuts be a better choice? The kids can always have juice and popcorn. Just a thought!
The ultimate irony is that winter is not going away no matter how much we whine about it. I wish I was more of a snow bunny. I don’t ski, snow shoe, or ice skate, but I do like to snuggle up and read a good book, sit by a fire, or enjoy the realization that I can’t go anywhere. I also know that I have no control over the weather, and that spring is around the corner. And maybe, just maybe the weather is natures way of teaching us acceptance.
I often heard my mother discuss the fact that she felt time was going more quickly as she aged. I often thought it couldn’t go quick enough. But then I was young and rarely reflected on the fact that we are not here on a permanent basis. Lately I find myself connecting to many of my mothers’ statements especially the ones around how life seems to whoosh by with each passing year. It seems that I just had Thanksgiving dinner and now it’s here again. How did that happen? And Christmas is just around the corner. Of course it’s not easy to forget either holiday since the media relentlessly feeds us their ads to buy, buy, buy starting in late August. Christmas decorations are already up and we haven’t even cleared the Thanksgiving dinner. Black Friday is closing in on us, but now there’s some stores that will be open at 9Pm Thanksgiving night in case you have an obsessive need to go to a store and leave your guests in the living room. Forget hanging out and reflecting on the day’s gathering. It’s much better to think about what you’ll be going to purchase while you’re chewing on a drumstick. We have turned life into a constant need to access the future without living in the present. This shift in how our culture lives their lives creates a great deal of stress My mother and her generation seemed to savor each holiday without feeling obligated to discuss the one coming. I have talked to many people about this phenomenon and it may be time to reflect on spending more time honoring the moments we’re in rather than anticipating or dreading the ones that are coming. This is not an easy practice in a society that has come to value “doing” rather than “being”. However, perhaps the gift you may want to access this season is reminding yourself throughout the day to just breathe. When you’re stressed out you breathe more rapidly. The simple act of inhaling and exhaling slowly and purposefully allows you to be aware of the present moment. Every moment that we honor with a deep breath allows us to feel more peaceful by helping to quell the inner critics that never stop reminding us of “what’s next”.Try it when you’re at the Thanksgiving dinner table and Aunt Hattie tells you the turkey is dry, or when you’re lying in bed worried about how you’re going to get all your shopping done, or in dozens of stressful situations that pass and soon become part of the tapestry of life. Just breathe!