Perhaps it seems like I’m trying to taunt my friends and family back in North America who’ve been suffering through the winter of polar vortexes and record snowfall by saying that today, February 4, was our first real snow of the winter. But while you were freezing you were also speaking in English and eating licorice and having friends and accessing epidurals during childbirth and going to Mexican restaurants. So I don’t feel bad at all bragging of our rather mild winter. And our child-like (more appropriate for some of us than others) glee at today’s accumulation.
Furthermore, I’d like to pat myself on the back because putting a 3 year old in snow clothes while wrapping up and strapping on a newborn and keeping everyone from crying or pooping on me is a feat. I had planned to work out today but the I spent 2 hours of my morning dressing us then pulling a sled with a 30 pound weight with a smaller but sweatier 13 pound weight tied to my torso. A four mile run would have brought similar volume of sweat. So we’ll say I’ve burned my calories for the day.
The truth is that all the work it took to get us out of the house was worth the payoff. Of the fresh air and the change of scene. It’s been a lonely season, I don’t mind admitting. Visits from family around the birth of baby O helped the time to pass, and the friendship of the other imports is invaluable. But circumstances and childbirth and logistics have left me a bit isolated. A wide open expanse of time without social engagements squeezed into the cramped quarters of our living space. And now that our 500 sq ft apartment contains one more person and our toddler is refusing to go to daycare, we’re all feeling a little penned in.
The weather has been as good as it can be for someone in my situation. The sun shines almost every day and temperatures have barely gone below freezing. I’ve been able to take walks and open a window and dry my laundry. But despite that, there was something about the snow and the cold that made V and I both want to get out and feel it rather than stay in and avoid it. Maybe we share a love of boots and rosy cheeks. Plus we both look good in hats.
A morning spent this way is a perfect reminder of the importance of living in the now. We can plan all we want (I really want to) and fret as much as we let ourselves (it’s a pastime of mine) but someday soon our lives will be more ‘normal.’ We’ll be in our home culture and with new and old friends and my kids won’t need my physical presence as much as they do now. And I’ll miss travel and strangeness and the special bond that social solitude allows Dave and I to form.