The cold has arrived. Winter is not even officially here, but it sure feels like it is. Temperatures have been low for the past two weeks (the last one in November and also December’s first week). Today, during most of the day, it was 17F (or -8C). I am one who despises the cold. I always have. I was born in a tropical area, more precisely, Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. And to this day I love the heat and to sweat.
I had never seen snow until I moved to the northern hemisphere, away from the Equatorial line. To escape from the bitter cold, every year we choose to be somewhere else during at least part of the winter. It has been like pushing a reset button after feeling frozen, then thawing at some tropical place, and coming back to refreeze after a while; at least when we come back from vacation, I know the solstice has passed and days will start getting longer, bringing more hours of sun. These vacations have meant a lot and last usually 1-2 weeks during school break. Well, this year circumstances have us staying at home during this tough part of winter and I somehow have to brave it out!
This week, a friend of mine mentioned “being grateful for the cold”, even though I know she prefers warm weather, and that surprised me. I kept thinking over and over how someone could be grateful for the cold. In my mind, I could only find complaints about the cold. So I set an intention of finding at least 12 things I can be grateful for in this cold weather. I posted it on a social media site and some friends added their ideas. Here are 12 things I am grateful for in the cold weather:
1) To be able to see this tree with icicles on its branches because of the water fountain right next to it;
2) Thankfully, I have warm clothes (mostly given to me by others) to wear;
3) I have been the first one lately to do some house chores which are not my favorite, such as jumping to take clothes out of the dryer right after the cycle ends or dishes out of the dishwasher while they are still very hot. My family is certainly grateful I don’t mind doing this work nowadays without getting them to help!
4) The ice crystals formed on top of grass are so pretty!
5) I appreciate the sun reflecting on the ice crystals on the ground, which look like diamonds;
6) We get to decorate an artificial tree together at home, and I get to hang my favorite ornament , which is a cup of coffee with a saying “Espresso Yourself”. Holiday lights also make the neighborhood prettier since it gets dark so early;
7) Quietude. It is a time when I stay longer indoors (since I won’t go for long times outdoors), therefore having more time for introspection and contemplation.
8) With the contemplation mentioned above, I get to see more birds coming to bird feeders;
9) Being able to appreciate even more the other three seasons, which will feel much warmer than this;
10) Trees and plants in general resting from all their effort to maintain colors and blossoming during the rest of the year;
11) Plants are a reminder for us in winter to rest, organize thoughts, reset goals to dive into action after this season is over;
12) It allowed me time to work on a project that has been cooking for at least one year! I am finally almost done with it, yet I am not ready to share details; I promise I soon will.
This has been one of the hardest posts for me to finish. It was so hard to find 12 things to be grateful for. Now that I finished, I appreciate taking the time to become aware of 12 good things about the cold, which I had never noticed before.