Red Letter Day

In quarantine, all of the days blend together. They all end in “y” and nothing really happens. So, what I’ve been doing is tracking the weather. Is it going to be a particularly sunny day? Is there going to be thunderstorms? I then immediately look forward to that day. Because it’s just a break in the monotony.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Any day can be a red letter day, if you decide it is.

You don’t have to wait for something to be going on to make your life worth living. Or so I have been taught by this virus. (I know it’s new to me too.)

So, try to have a good day even on a Thursday. Even if you don’t have anything else planned. Even if you don’t have anything going on. Even if you’re still in your pajamas.

Make it what you want.



Blame it on the Weatherman

Everyone knows that the media tends to control our lives and what we see in the world. But I think there’s a new threat: the weatherman or weatherwoman.

I mean, we already sort of plan our days around the weather. Oh, it’s lashing rain? I’ll stay inside and read a book. Oh, it’s sunny and warm? I think I should spend a lot of time outside today, and so on. And now that it is getting even easier to check the weather from our devices with updates and alerts (you know, instead of like, stepping outside), we’re seeing even more influence from it.

But really, we’re just making excuses. For example, it’s truly difficult for me to wake up in the morning when it is cloudy or raining. It feels like all of the blood in my body has been replaced with lead. And sure, there is a scientific reason for that. Blue light in sunshine (and electronic devices) tells us to wake up. The absence of it does the opposite. But can I rely on science to explain this? Can I honestly tell myself that my body would prefer to sleep in on a rainy day just because the sun isn’t out? Should I be blaming my troubles on the weatherman and Mother Nature?

The short answer is no. The fact of the matter is that I am absolutely able to wake up on my own (with the help of a couple of alarms). And the fact of the matter is, we are all able to get up on a rainy day or a sunny day or a cloudy day or a snowy day or a blustery day to do the things we need to do. And like it or not, weather warning or not, we must do them.

And most certainly, this is a greater metaphor for life, as most of my blog posts are. You see, the universe is going to present you with several different types of obstacles. Sometimes, they arrive all in one day. And as with the weather, you have the choice of deciding whether you want to make up an excuse or make it happen. And yes, I know. It’s really easy to step to the window and watch the rain fall down and stay inside with warm tea all day. But there is something else in deciding that you will get things done in spite of the conditions and circumstances around you that speaks more volumes of your character.

But if it helps, no one said that you couldn’t jump in the puddles along the way.

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.