The Recovering Farmer

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Only In Manitoba

So all of us, I believe, have been griping about the weather in Manitoba. And, as we all know, it has been brutal. They call it an Arctic Vortex. As I have said before I have no idea what that means. If it means it is cold, windy, snowy and miserable then they are absolutely right.

This morning, driving into Winnipeg listening to my morning radio, I found myself chuckling. Really. Yesterday morning the commute was painfully slow. The day before it was even worse. There were ice ridges on the streets. Even at the glacial (very slow) movement of traffic I found the car making interesting moves due to ice and the ridges. This morning? I needed windshield washer fluid. The streets were wet and slushy. How quickly things can change.

The radio station host wanted to talk about positive things in our lives. Obviously the weather , or should I say, change in weather had given him a new outlook on life. He said he wanted to hear from listeners. Tell him what we were doing with this change in weather. Honestly. Had I not known or been aware of the country we live in I would have been convinced that I had gone through a time warp and ended up in some other country. The host went as far as to enquire whether anyone had been out on the deck the night before. On the deck? Come on. Get real.

So we had a shift in weather. So it was about time. But on the deck? It is still winter in Manitoba. Interesting how quickly our attitudes can shift. In spite of it still being the middle of January, in spite of the fact that we know the cold will continue, in spite of the fact that the days are getting longer, we are still immersed in a Manitoba winter. Folks, it is not warmer out there. It is less cold. Big difference.

Perhaps that is my problem in life as well. I look at things, events, and issues in a realistic way. Never commit to the positive. Never trusting what is around the corner. Distrustful of people, events, and, of course, the weather. Can you imagine if we could have the same “turn around” in emotions as we do with temperatures?

This morning, doing my regular treadmill workout, I listened to a Leonard Cohen song. Now I have heard, never experienced it myself, that Mr. Cohen has the ability to make his audience weak kneed when he croons his songs. Perhaps I need to experience that. I love his song Closing Time. One particular line in his song addresses everything I feel. “So we struggle and we stagger down the snakes and up the ladders.” I played Snakes and Ladders as a kid. Whether our work, our relationships, the weather. With all of life we go up and we go down. Sometimes we gain and sometimes we lose.

So the ups and downs are normal. The idea is to embrace the positive moments in our lives. Interestingly enough that can be easy to do. It is a matter of putting in the effort. And change can happen quickly. When the right tools are utilized it does not take long to make positive changes. Change where “being on the deck”, feeling the “warmth of the sun”, being at peace and having a positive outlook are within reach. Change where life takes on a positive rather than a negative.

As I am finishing this, which I started a few days ago, the weather has taken a turn for the worse again. Very windy. Lots of snow. Cold wind chills. Based on radar it will get worse before it gets better. And there is a thunderstorm forecast for this afternoon. Really? Only in Manitoba. The good news is we know it will get better. After all, we are a resilient bunch. Make it a good one.

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