I live in a state with four seasons. Thus, as soon as the end of August rolls around, I begin to lament that ‘winter is almost here’. Not quite, but it feels like it to me.
To someone who adores being warm all the time, I tend to dread winter.
I find myself already wishing for spring and summer to ‘hurry up’ again – as if I can control the seasons or convince the months to pass by faster.
This is the first year I’ve actually tried to plan for winter.
By that I mean I haven’t immediately layered up in all sorts of heavy outfits the moment it’s *only* 68 degrees outside. I’ve intentionally sat by open windows and let myself adapt to the slightly cool breeze coming in. I have looked up outdoor winter activities on my phone and tried to imagine which ones I might enjoy if I tried, or to remember back to when I was a child and enjoyed playing outside.
There are good things about winter too. I just don’t often take the time to appreciate them. And I’m trying to deliberately change that.
I don’t want to rush through life.
I don’t want to wish it away.
I don’t want to focus so much on the future pleasantness I long for now that I miss the good that can be right in front of me.
That applies also to anti-bucket lists and anything challenging in life. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in our ideal vision of the end goal, that we forget about everything we are learning and experiencing along the way. Sometimes we get so focused on the ‘forest’ that we miss the ‘trees.’
There’s good – and not so good – in every season. Whether a literal season of the year, or just a season of life. There isn’t going to be nirvana and perfection here on earth – so if that’s what we are waiting for to get started, or putting something off until things get better – personally, I wouldn’t wait.
I’m not saying to be careless or hasty in decision-making. But I am saying to choose to look for the good in the present situation, even if it’s hard, cold, bitter, and not what you want right now. I am saying that being creative and learning from other people’s stories in a similar situation may help give you a new perspective.
I am saying to prepare as best as you can for the season you expect to be in soon.
I am saying that small choices can lead to habits that will sustain you through these times. (Case in point about money: I have been a financial saver for years, even when I was literally only able to save 68 cents out of a paycheck. If that’s all I had, it wouldn’t do me any good to wait until I had more to save or I likely wouldn’t have bothered saving anything. But I saved what I could, even if it was just pennies. I was developing a habit. Now I save hundreds of dollars a month. That too will serve me in good stead for when I can save thousands a month. But start with what you have.)
What can you do to prepare for winter?
Can you find a way to appreciate winter?
For me, this may look like creating my own anti-bucket list or bucket list specifically for the winter season. For example, I’ve never gone ice skating or snowboarding before. Ski slopes are intimidating to me, so that would be a good thing to put on my winter anti-bucket list.
Maybe it means learning some new winter sports or re-familiarizing myself with the activities I used to do when I was a pre-teen, like sledding or building snow forts or creating a snowman.
Or simply creating a gratitude list of the things I do appreciate about the season- such as a fire, early darkness, warm blankets, hot chocolate, etc.
Yes, it’s ok to look ahead. It’s ok to appreciate the spring and summer to come.
But don’t neglect the winter that is coming.
Which season of the year is your favorite? In reading this article, do you face a literal winter season or a figurative one right now? What can you do to prepare and to appreciate whatever season you are in as best as you can? Let me know in the comments section below!