“If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”~unknown
I went through a great deal of life disliking many aspects of winter, but that changed once I began running several years ago. That still strikes me as oddly funny. I had always considered myself a fair weather outdoorsy type person, but there was something about running that changed the way I perceived the downsides of winter, namely the cold and snow. It became my habit to go for a little run on Christmas day, and I always enjoyed running on freshly fallen snow. Although I had to give up running for a few years, my dislike for winter didn’t return. Until now. Sort of.
It’s not that I hate winter again, but I am definitely feeling less enthusiastic about it, even though I am permitted to run again. We have had a lot of snow over the past couple of weeks and some pretty cold temperatures. The snow, while pretty to look at, makes life a little more difficult for me. Shovelling it is out of the question. Even if I wanted to shovel some snow, I don’t think that would be good for my back in any way. Then there’s the matter of putting on and taking off boots/shoes every time I need to go outside. It is either bend over, kneel or sit down to do it. My natural tendency is something between bending over and kneeling down, but it still feels cumbersome on the back. My husband wonders if the cold weather might make my body hurt more. I don’t know if that is true. My back has been especially achy lately…maybe it’s the cold temperatures or maybe it is just my normal. After all, the nerve pain in the legs is constant and the back pain is frequent regardless of the weather. So, I don’t really have any answers, but I am ready for spring or at least for the snow to melt completely away. I am ready to go back to wearing flip flops and not stressing out about icy roads and sidewalks.
And yet, I still enjoy winter.
The snow is beautiful, and I will get back to running again soon. I hope. I last ran on December 31st. There wasn’t much snow then, nor was it very cold; however, neither of those things are why I haven’t been running yet this year. Maybe I will go for a short run tomorrow, although that will greatly depend on how I feel when I wake up and that has always been the deciding factor. When every night’s sleep is disrupted, I wake up as tired as when I went to bed. When pain is constant, it is often too easy to erase items from one’s to-do list. Even though I hope to run in the morning, I know that lacing up my shoes and stepping outside my door will require every ounce of courage and determination I still have within me.
My husband took me out for dinner tonight, which was a welcome treat because I struggle far too much lately with having the energy and desire to make dinner myself. As we waited for our food, the pain of sitting was so strong that I could barely stop myself from crying. I had been doing a decent job of keeping the tears at bay until my husband asked how I was feeling. And that about sums up life these days…the most ordinary of tasks can be infinitely more challenging and result in much more pain. I’m trying to enjoy the snow and this season of suffering, because joy is not dependant upon how much or how little snow. Joy is not necessarily diminished by pain and suffering. I cannot control the seasons or weather or the pain raging within my body, but I can choose how I respond to each and I can choose to find joy.