Who the Hell Am I? I Am Tired of Winter
Not only did the snow provide countless hours of fun, it brought other great traditions along with it. The frigid weather meant hot chocolate, the more marshmallows, the better. The first touches of white upon the land also meant that winter break and Christmas would soon arrive. Keeping track of time was not a priority as a kid, but I know I measured the school year by holidays and breaks. The weeks off during the winter marked the halfway point for school and the climb towards a summer of freedom. Christmas always meant time for family and gifts. Spending time with my extended family for the holiday was always fun. Adding presents to the mix did not hurt either.
Slowly, the things that made winter so great as a child began to erode over time. I got bigger, and consequently, I have more surface area to get cold in the weather. Snow forts and snowball fights have lost their appeal. Sledding can still be fun, but the walks back up the hill seem so much longer with age. Now that I am the one driving, I realize how much snow sucks when travelling. I no longer go to school, so winter breaks no longer apply. All that remains is frigid temperatures, dangerous conditions, the stress of holidays and a lack of sun for months on end. Some people will argue that winter is beautiful, but I know better. Sure, it might be pretty for a day or two, but soon slush and ice blanket the roads, salt covered piles of garbage and hills of dirty snow are everywhere. That is far from picturesque.
I no longer like winter. It is miserable. Due to wind and snow drifts, my long commute to work is rough. Even when it has not snowed for days, there are piles of snow blown across the road. The heating bill is not fun to pay. Who knew that it could cost so much to stay comfortable in your own home? The joy of the season no longer exists.
The more I think about my changed feelings towards winter, the more I see it as a larger picture for the ethereal nature of life. If we allow ourselves the freedom to be open minded, our tastes, views and habits change. I love Brussels sprouts. As a kid, I hated them. When I was young, I explored the neighborhood or played sports with the neighbors as often as I could. Now those activities sound exhausting and dirty. I hate dirty. In high school, I saw the world as black and white when it came to my faith. Twenty years later, I see a lot of room for gray in the god I serve.
We change. We adapt. We live and learn, finding new ideas to expand our world views and new people to share our interests. Our relationships with family ebb and flow. We lose touch with our best friends and find new ones to take their places. We grow tired of our careers, burnt out on the repetition of our lives. And seasons that we once thought were so incredible, well, those seasons can go fuck themselves.
Do I wish I had the same child like outlook on winter as I did in the past? No, I understand the importance of allowing myself to grow and change over time. Some people can be too scared to let that happen. Letting go of habits and traditions is hard. Trying new things can be frightening. Some people are naturals when it comes to the unknown. Others, like myself, have to fight our instincts every step along the way.
The key point is that no one ever stays the same throughout a lifetime. If they do, then something is wrong. There will always be new things to learn, new experiences to have and new people to show us more about ourselves. Winter and I may never have the same dynamic we shared all those years ago. I am changing and evolving, attempting to better myself. Winter is just continually sucking.