Winter…I’m Trying!

Whenever people ask me about my new life in Colorado, I always give pretty much the same answer…”I LOVE it here, but I don’t like the winter!”.  And, winter here we come, in a really big way.  It snowed for the first time two weekends ago, and yesterday, we woke up to over six inches of snow.  I actually cried.  No, for reals. 

When we first talked about moving to Colorado from California, the people who knew me well were a little worried about my tendency to get really stinking crabby when I’m cold.  Being cold, in my brain, equals a near-death experience and I’ll do just about anything to avoid it.  Winter sports never had any appeal, even though everyone insists that I would be fine once I got warmed up.  Well, duh.  I just don’t think me getting warmed up when I’m standing in a pile of snow is very realistic.  Maybe I’d be more willing to try if my only skiing experience hadn’t ended in a bloody nose and concussion… 

If you have been hanging out on my blog for the last year, you know that this last year has been, well, “challenging” would be a polite way to put it.  It was about this time a year ago, that our finances seriously crashed due to a horrible person renting our house in California, Jake got seriously ill, our house got broken into twice and things just generally went downhill.  All of that added to the fact that my chronic pain flares up twice as bad when I’m cold, and last winter was a pretty dark time. 

Just a few weeks ago, I felt like the cycle of “one more thing” was starting to be broken.  I got my first four mile run done in quite a while and my dentist bill went from $2500 down to $113 after I found a not-stupid dentist to work on my teeth.  Things were looking good.    And then, Fall had the nerve to show up.   Ever time I would see a leaf fall off a tree, I would insist that the tree was just dying and that I probably needed to go buy some more tank tops.  You know, because of how hot it was getting.  Then, it snowed.  It’s really hard to pretend  like it’s summer when I’m inching across the snow, hoping I don’t fall and break my leg.

So, fine.  Winter is here.  Sigh.

One of the good things that has happened in the last few months is that I have come face to face with God in the midst of my chronic pain.  I’ve been challenged to love God, be absorbed by Him, and not be a total self-absorbed jerk when I’m hurting.  So much of my improved attitude about my pain has just been a re-focused perspective, mental discipline to focus my brain on God, and to love the life that He has given me, no matter what. 

Then, I realized that I need to apply that same lesson and a surrendered spirit to my horrible, sucky attitude about winter.  Oh, man! 

(Insert about a week of whining and flopping around the house being irritable and not waaaaanting to have to be nice about winter.)

This morning, as I coughed and sneezed my way through my fourth cup of green tea, I decided I was ready for a change.  That it was up to me to quit being a whiny little brat about the cold.  I tried to make a list of all the things that I like about the winter.  I got one item in (“I love hot chocolate”), when I saw the sun shining on a frozen tree and I grabbed  my camera.  My list lay forgotten as my perspective on winter slowly changed through the lens of my camera.  So, instead of a list, here are things I saw that are going to make me fall in love with winter.

A cloud of snow falling off the branches, leaves a “snow ghost” in the air. 









Snowy juniper bushes look like monsters slowly collapsing.








Since the snowfall came really suddenly, a lot of things are still struggling to grow.







Love that this isn’t a staged set for a movie!








If my favorite tree hadn’t lost it’s leaves, I would never have seen this…









Melted snow on fallen leaves makes everything sparkly.

 And, if I’m having a hard time with the cold, I really just need to look at these next shots to melt my heart.

 See?  I really can’t be upset about the cold when I see that little face

I guess my point is that even though I hate being cold, last winter was horrible, that I’m in more pain when it snows, it’s my choice to see the things that are beautiful, even when life hurts, or I’m lonely for the 100th day in a row, or it’s not 85 degrees, or the grocery store ran out of my favorite brand of hot chocolate.

If you hear me whining over the next few months, feel free to tell me to knock it off, grab my camera, and find something I like.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even LIKE winter. 



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6 Responses to Winter…I’m Trying!

  1. cheekypinky says:

    It’s okay.

    Winter can be a real beeeyotch.
    I’m amazed that you power through the pain and the grumpy the way you do…
    Of course,
    if I had a kiddo as cute as Jake, I might be less grumpled, m’self.

    Love you and your inability to stay warm, too.

  2. Becky says:

    Love this post. Way to give thanks for the crap. You seriously could have written 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

  3. Jodie says:

    I’m right there with you. Every winter I tell myself the same thing but then it just drags on and on and on and on . . . This year I’m really trying to embrace it since it is our last winter here in CO and potentially our last full winter for a while. I do love the beauty, but I hate the cold. I hate those cold windy days. Keep writing and I’ll keep listening and maybe it will help me too:)

  4. Laura Jane says:

    This is a particularly beautiful post, love.

    Way to find the beauty in something that can feel so yucky.

  5. Cricket says:

    I so love this outlook on life!

  6. Cold makes my pain worse, too. Thanks for the reminder to look on the bright side. I especially love the snow “ghost” and the tree branches (and Jake’s adorable face, of course!).

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