Snow, snow everywhere. What are we to do?

In the NYC area we are experiencing one of the snowiest winters on record.  Usually, the first snow of the season is a “light dusting” in late November or early December.  Combining with all the Christmas lights and decorations the white snow helps put us in the “Christmas Spirit”.  Not this year.  No snow until the day after Christmas when we got an unexpected blizzard, and it feels like the snow just keeps coming.

People on Facebook who normally write as if everything is perfect in their lives are now writing profanity laced entries about their struggles with the snow. Mental Health experts are getting quoted on TV regarding how continuing snowstorms are causing a state of chronic stress which lowers our resistance to infections and worsens depression. And what happened to your New Year’s resolution to jog every morning?

I remember one winter when I just moved to Manhattan and I had a goal to run every morning.  No sooner did I set my goal, and a cold wave hit with a wind chill reading of -5 degrees.  Without a gym, I pondered what I would do.  Then I took action.  I double layered my running clothes, put Vaseline all over my face and went out for a run.  Forty-five minutes later I got back to my apartment and I was soaked in sweat. I felt like I had triumphed over the weather.

Psychologists and other helping professionals often reference “The Serenity Prayer” which is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the philosopher/theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.  The best-known form is:

“God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.”

When it comes to snow and cold weather, we have no control over the temperature, or the snow.   This is the acceptance part. We can change our response by going to Home Depot and getting everything we need to handle the aftermath of the storm better.

However, most importantly, we can change our attitude toward snow. Try to look at the snow from a child’s perspective.  Go skiing, snowboarding, or sledding.  Go out and shoot pictures you will enjoy viewing during next summer’s heatwave.

I have observed that during snowstorms, and other crises, neighbors pull together to try to help each other out more than usual. Our response to snow might also make us grow stronger, and in the long run, make it even easier to achieve our goals despite temporary delays.


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