I HATE being cold… A LOT! In fact, I often say that I was born to live in a tropical country and ended up in Canada by mistake. BUT, I also LOVE Canada, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Have you ever had that kind of relationship with something? Someone?
You really LOVE one part of them and DESPISE the other. Perhaps it is that you hate being overweight, but you LOVE the comfort and taste of food. Maybe it is that you really LOVE your partner, but can’t reconcile staying when they keep cheating, or intimidating you. For some it is loving the momentary calm that comes from avoidance when we drink or smoke a joint, but hating the consequences.
How have YOU handled those relationships?
So far, I have been handling these two things being at odds, living in Canada and hating the cold, poorly. I complain about being cold a lot and my boys call me a “heat freak” as I wait for the weather to change. It is the same thing every year. I have lived in Canada for over 20 years!
Recently, in group I was talking about the importance of ACCEPTANCE instead of wishing things were different.
I gave the example of having a broken leg. If I had a broken leg but was not willing to accept that I had a broken leg, I would try to get from where I am to the door, the same as I always do, by walking. That doesn’t usually go well on a broken leg though, and it would lead to a lot of pain and suffering, not to mention I probably won’t make it to the door.
If instead I said “Crap! I have a broken leg- how do I get from here to the door with a broken leg?” I am much more likely to succeed and with a lot less pain and suffering. I would likely ask for help, crawl or use crutches.
I tried to convince myself I didn’t mind the cold. I used positive self talk & focused on the positives about it (like hot chocolate, cuddling, snowmen, sledding, etc). I really wanted to make this work too, because I am the only one in my family who is like this, all the boys and Ryan don’t seem bothered by the cold at all. I really gave it my absolute best shot!
IT WAS EXHAUSTING!!!!
Which made me wonder what was going on, after all, if it was good for me, I should be feeling STRONGER, not WEAKER.
Then I realized that when it came to winter, I just wasn’t accepting my reality. That is why I got so tired, I was putting all of my energy towards pretending things were different than they actually were. It was a full time job!
This is no different than those of us who struggle with weight and try to convince ourselves we don’t really care about how unhealthy we have become, or who keep making excuses and telling ourselves we just need to be more forgiving and there is something wrong with US when our partners or friends treat us poorly. It is depleting, it drains our energy and requires us to be small, because the only way we can make those things not matter, is by trying to convince ourselves that WE don’t matter.
My reality is that I don’t like being cold AND I love Canada. When said that way, it seems there may be some middle ground, after all. Amazing how merely changing the BUT to AND can start to shift things.
Those of you who have worked with me know I like wearing skirts and dresses, it seems with every extra boy in our house my desire to exert my femininity got stronger! Almost like marking my territory.
Wearing skirts + Winter = COLD
While I was trying to figure out how to be warm in the winter AND feminine, it occurred to me, there must be SNOW SKIRTS!!!! And there are! They are super expensive from what I can see online, and are mostly available in Alaska, but I continued to problem solve and a local tailor said he thought he could make me one out of a comforter from Value Village at a reasonable price!
You see, when we focus on what is important to us, instead of focusing on how we wish things would be different, it creates space to problem solve how to meet our VALUES given our current circumstances.
It allows us to ask “What is the healthiest thing for me to do RIGHT NOW, given my situation?”, so at the very least, it helps us gain some direction about what our next steps need to be, in order for us to stay healthy.
Have a great week!
PS. I wrote this during a snow storm!