When the first white flakes of winter fall from the sky, there are two distinct attitudes among people. The first is pure joy: “Hooray! Snow! Can we go play in it?”
The second is disgruntlement: “I hate snow, except on Christmas. Ugh, snow already? I just hate driving in it.”
If you pay attention, I bet you’ll notice that those with the joyful attitude tend to be teenagers or younger. (Usually younger. I think the joy stops around age 14 or so.) The unhappy attitude is held by adults.
When snowflakes appear, adults think about shoveling sidewalks and scraping car windows and driving on slippery roads. They think about how their socks and their work shoes and the bottoms of their dress pants get wet on the way into the office.
But children think about snowballs and snow forts and snow angels. They think about how exhilarated they feel when they can roll around in the snow, or when they have the adventure of making the first tracks on the untouched white. Their cheeks tingle with the cold, and their eyes shine with happiness. They know that even though they get wet and cold, they can come inside to hot chocolate, a warm bath, and cozy pajamas.
As little ones get older, they adopt the attitudes of their parents and the other adults around them. Instead of remembering the elation that the first snowflakes used to bring, they complain about shoveling or scraping or driving.
I admit, I am guilty of allowing a bad attitude to come over me in the winter. But I’m married to a man who adores winter, and I have realized it wasn’t nice for him to hear me grumble about cold and snow. Plus, we have two dogs who adore snow. They love to wrestle in it, running around and growling gleefully at each other. So over the last few years, I have made a conscious decision to enjoy winter. Some years have been harder than others. But I persisted in looking for the fun in snow and cold.
And you might not believe this, but it has worked!
This year, we’ve had more snow and colder temperatures than I can remember ever having so early in the season. And this year, the biggest disappointment I felt was that my surgery was going to prevent me from playing in the snow as much as I’d like, and my biggest fear was that I’d have a hard time managing my crutches on the slick spots.
The old “Fake it ’til you make it” strategy works again!
Are you a winter lover or a winter hater? I challenge you haters to find things about this season to enjoy. Do it now, and every year, and just see how pretending to love winter can turn you into someone who loves winter! In the comments, tell me something you enjoy (or promise to pretend to enjoy) about this season.
Wouldn’t it be great if even adults had childlike joy at seeing the winter’s first snowflakes?