This year is the first time in awhile that I haven’t traveled in January. Last year I took a month to run away from everything, to ponder me and my life. I learned a lot. I made some plans. This year, I’m implementing those plans and I’m too busy and excited to shut all the new fun down. So I’m home for the winter. Home to me is in north eastern Ohio. We have winter here. The past couple years have been mild but this year we’re having a normal winter, cold and snow but happily with enough sunshine to bolster my spirits.
For the past several winters, I’ve missed skiing. I used to ski a lot when I was younger, even racing for a few years. Oddly, when I moved to Colorado, I quit downhill skiing because it was very crowded and expensive. I opted for snowshoeing and sledding for winter fun. I even did a few camping trips in the winter. Winter was incredibly beautiful in the Colorado mountains and the mostly sunny climate makes outdoor fun very enticing.
When I moved back to Ohio, I just got a bit disconnected from winter fun. I was busy, starting a new business. I had bought a house that needed work. I just shifted gears I guess. But recently the bug to ski came back. This year I finally bought cross country skis and have been looking forward to the snows. They arrived, yet I didn’t ski.
Perhaps a bit of trepidation slowed me down because I hadn’t skied for so long? But there was something else… I was nervous to be outside. What if something happened? It’s so cold and icy and… dangerous?
Who got in my head and filled it with this bullshit?
So I pondered a bit and now I think that maybe it’s just an Ohio thing.
In winter, many Ohioans bitch about winter, cold and snow. But we choose to live here and every year we get cold and snow, and ice and cloudy grey skies. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, right? I realize that I’ve inadvertently sort of joined the “i hate Ohio winter” club without meaning to. So… I dug into the old boxes in the basement and pulled out the warm clothes. Wool socks and shirts, warm hats, long johns, boots with felt liners, big heavy mittens… that’s what winter clothes include in case you Ohioans have forgotten. 😉
I don my gear and head outside. I’m lucky that I can ski from my home, with a bit of trail blazing and brush clearing. But as I started out, there was definitely fear in me.
“What if I fall down and can’t get up?” Really?
“What if I slip on the ice?” Duh, su, you’re skiing, you’re supposed to slide on the ice.
“What if….” STOP!!!
So, I stop the nibby, old grandma voice in my head and I ski. I SKI!!!
Oh my god, what fun! The sun was glistening on the snow. The air was cold, yes, but I was warm. The path I had chosen was level so I can practice getting my skiing skills back. No people in my way… just snow and trees and the sound of my breathing. I didn’t fall down. I did slide. I so enjoyed the time spent playing and skiing outside!!
I came home and got unbundled. A friend stopped by and I couldn’t stop babbling about how much fun I had had. I think she might have thought I was high, as I was positively giddy. Later I had time to ponder on what had happened.
I think I have gotten over my fear of winter but it wasn’t my fear. It’s something that people talk about, complain about and I sort of just absorbed it and went along with the crowd. I really had to push myself to break out of this boring winter rut and get out to play.
I wonder how often this happens in other areas of life. How often do we immerse ourselves in other peoples’ ideas, opinions and fears until we begin to own them sort of by osmosis? Rather than thinking things thru for ourselves, how easy is it to get swept along with an insistent or eloquent opinion?
This has been an interesting and important lesson to me. This year seems like a particularly auspicious one for people to listen to their hearts. Our world might seem filled with doom and gloom but a lot of that comes from some media sources and other people’s fears. There’s so much good happening and 2018 seems to be an important time to add our positive voices to the ideas and opinions swirling around us. Wallowing in fear (or whining about winter or whatever) or is not what the world needs now to become a better place. Pick yourself up, remind yourself what is important to you, what makes you giddy with delight, bundle up and go do it! The world needs our joy!