Amazingly, 2017 marks 20 years of my life in New Hampshire. Why is this amazing? Because I don’t like cold winters. I don’t ski, snow shoe, ice skate, drive, or even walk when there is snow about – I simply hibernate … and complain.
In spite of my efforts toward joyful living, I have complained for 19 of my 20 winters. I’ve known that my own resistance fuels my discontent but when my body gets cold, I simply feel trapped in a frigid world. Like there is no way out but south.
But this year things shifted for me, I lightened up and I just accepted the cold. Maybe I was stock out of complaints, maybe no one listened to me anymore. Maybe I was tired of hearing my own inner grumbles. So, I simply accepted it — not grudgingly or resentfully — but with a full-on acceptance of the reality of a northern winter.
And therein lies the lesson that I learn over and again, the ultimate secret and key to inner peace: relaxed acceptance.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hit the slopes or play in the snow. And I did spend 2 weeks in a warm climate, which helped a lot. But there were still many months of cold for me to manage. This year, I accepted winter and didn’t worry about it. Then, ironically, I noticed happiness creeping in to even the coldest of days. Snow in April? No worries. Plus, I know that spring is on the horizon.
Ashley Davis Bush