Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry snow day, Christmas, and happy lower expectations!

It started snowing in the morning. At first, it looked like it would just be a dusting; enough to cover the worst of the brown, bland landscape, but not enough to interfere with normal life. 
But it kept snowing. 
And snowing. 
And snowing. 

And inch by inch, it covered it all up: the stress of the last few weeks. The memories that were so painful. The obligations we thought we still had: the gifts we needed to shop for, the cards we never wrote (for the fourth year in a row), the trips we thought we had to make, the jobs we had to get to. 
It all got covered by ever-growing inches of fresh, pure, white snow. And with every inch that accumulated outside, my shoulders inched down, and my stress level decreased. 

And that's why I love snow. 
It covers up reality. And for a little while, you can claim snow day. Who doesn't love a snow day?
You can play hooky from responsibilities and blame it all on unstable road conditions, power outages, and the snow interrupting normal life. 

We need something to interrupt normal life. We need a break. And we need some magic in our serious, worse-than-advertised grown-up lives. Snow is the magic fairy that's providing it all.
The unpredictability is part of the magic. As is the inconvenience of it. It wouldn't be half as special if the roads would still be clear, the postal service would operate as per usual, and we would just go about life as we always do. 

No, this amount of snow is interrupting normal life in a big way. It took us hours to clear paths to get to all the animal pens. Half the water lines are frozen, so we have to carry water buckets. The animals need more food than normal to make up for the extra calories they burn to stay warm in -12 degrees temperatures. Getting into town takes twice as long because the roads are so bad. 
Snow is a serious inconvenience. 

And I love it. 
What's more satisfying than having normal life being interrupted by forces out of our control? Not much, I can tell you. 

Just like many of you, we've faced some hardships this year. 
But we've also experienced some great personal triumphs.
I will share soon, but not tonight.  
None of this matters right now, with the beautiful cover of snow blanketing it all. 
Tonight, I'm grateful for living here, in Merritt, for the last 4 years. They have been the best 4 years of my life. 
I'm grateful for WhatsApp, texting, Instagram direct messaging, and all the other ways of communicating with people on our phones. Honestly, I've never communicated with the people I love the most as much a I have this year. 
Having the option (=pressure) of meeting up for real taken away, I have lost all my inhibitions. I love my people, but I find meeting up IRL really stressful. It's not the actual meeting-up part - it's all the planning that goes into it before. Not having to worry about it this year made me feel free to message to my heart's content! We've "seen" (virtually) more of each other this year than we ever have before. 
For introverts like me, 2020 has been a blessing in this regard. 

Keep your expectations low, your glasses filled high, and your boots above snow level!

Merry Christmas, merry snow day, and cheers to low expectations that can be surpassed!  

Love, Miriam


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