I Slipped

Winter has arrived. And I stayed inside.

Yes, if you were on the East Coast, you were hunkered in on Saturday against the blustery winds and “blizzard” conditions. Then, when you emerged, you had to dig yourself out of the snow or just dig yourself out of your front door by sifting through all of the food wrappers you had snowed yourself in with.

And frankly, no one was ready to go back to “normal life” after that.

So, enter me and my busy Monday schedule. I’m trying to get everything together early so that I have enough time to get to work on time because I have to account for black ice, traffic, and idiots. (Fair warning, idiots are out in every weather, so be vigilant.)

But I’m late, as usual. And I’m frustrated, since it’s Monday. And I’m not really paying attention.

And I can quite literally feel the frown on my face, the tension in my brows. But why would I notice that?

Because I felt it all change when I walked out onto my front porch: and I slipped. I didn’t fall, but I lost my footing and my arms went way out to the side. And I laughed immediately. Maybe because I didn’t fall. Maybe because of how I must have looked to people driving down the street.

But I’d like to think that it was the release of everything in myself. I stopped taking everything so seriously. For one lighthearted moment, I could laugh and stop pretending that I could control everything. Because I obviously couldn’t. I was delightedly out of control of the situation.

I slipped, and it had the effect of a banana peel in every cartoon show–comic relief.

Now, I don’t particularly want to almost fall every day I’m upset. But for this one moment, it was an acute reminder of how I should be acting as opposed to how I was. It made me remember that I can’t always know what’s right around the corner, no matter how much I prepare.

I learned that sometimes you have to be knocked off your feet to learn your lesson. And sometimes you have to laugh at yourself to realize that you’re doing just fine.


5 Lessons You Can Learn from Snow

Forget what you know about snow.

Forget that it’s cold and miserable, and that you can bring it to your doorstep by simply placing a spoon under your pillow and turning your pajamas inside out. Forget how it ruins your morning routine and makes you slip and slide on the roads like a, well, slip and slide. And finally, if you do anything tonight, forget that snowflakes are unique and special, just like you. That fact is cliched (though true) and we’re all better than that.

Instead, think of snow like you thought of it as a child: all glittering and hushed silence. Think of snow as an opportunity to make excuses for yourself by staying in and drinking a hot beverage. Think of snow as the golden ticket that you get for one day, when it is totally fine to do something for yourself.

Now, see what you know about snow, and what you still need to learn.

1. Someone Has It Worse Than You

-I know, I know. You have a long drive ahead of you. There’s snow on the ground. People are idiots. Winter is tough. But guess what? There is always someone who is going to have a longer drive than you, someone who has more snow than you, and someone who is going to be a bigger idiot than you. (I know, hard to believe). So, why not look on the bright side? (Not the blinding snow bright side. Really, it’s just an expression.) Just do your best to do what you have to do. Actually, that’s all you can do, whether there is snow on the ground or not.

2. Go Slow

-Speaking of driving, please heed this advice: go. slow. For whatever reason, this goes in one ear and out the other when people see the white stuff on the ground. People drive like they can stop on a dime if needed. The truth is, you couldn’t do that in sunny weather. Which is why going slow should be a way of life, everyday. When you’re moving slow, there is time to avoid mistakes and even learn from them. You just have to take your time and you’ll be fine.

3. Be Prepared

-And, in the spirit of going slow, you should also make sure that you are prepared. If you are able to think ahead (and you should because all of the meteorologists on television are living for 6 PM and 11 PM, when they can scare the crap out of you until you are convinced that you need six more loaves of bread and three kinds of milk), then you can save yourself some time and a major headache. For the majority of life, it helps to work hard on making sure that you have a plan. Like snow (especially shoveling), it always helps to work smarter, not harder.

4. Know Your Limits

-Of course, the other side to #3 is that there is only so much you can do. Sometimes, Mother Nature has her own plan, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Remember the first lesson? How everyone is an idiot? This comes as a direct result of not knowing your limits. You think it’s fine to drive 60 MPH on every road because you don’t know your car’s limits in the snow. This is not to say that you shouldn’t reach for the stars. You should just know when to push it and when to stroke the brake pedal very carefully. Very carefully.

5. Live Now

-While it may feel like the snow will be there forever (and it does seem to linger in big piles until it gets dirty from the passing traffic), it won’t. So, before it melts, make a snowman, a snowball, or a snow fort. And evaluate your priorities like this everyday. What is going to melt today? What can I do right now that I can’t possibly do tomorrow?  And then, once you have all of that straightened out, carve out a little time for fun. Because like building a snowman, the opportunity to do so may not be there forever, but you will always have it as a fond memory.

Bonus Lesson: don’t eat the yellow snow. Or do. I’m not in charge of your life. I’m just trying to help you to make good decisions out there. And not eating yellow snow is one of them.