Confession: I used to hate Winter.
Each year, after all the beautiful Autumn leaves were finally settled on the ground, I would begin to dread what was next to fall: snow. I would dread my cold feet and hands, the sound of the wind howling around my living room, and the end of the days of sun. I would try to think positive thoughts, increase my time in front of my SAD lamp and try to increase meditation. It didn’t work.
I felt that I needed an activity to keep me involved with the cold weather. So, a couple of years ago, I bought some inexpensive snowshoes and went for a walk. It was fun, but I was still pretty cold.
This Winter, on a whim, I signed up for a free REI course in snowshoeing. I was hoping to gain some insights and knowledge about this sport. What I did find out was something that has made all the difference: I have learned how to dress properly for the cold weather. Our instructor, a vibrant snowshoeing enthusiast, loudly declared to all of us: “Cotton Kills!” What does that mean? Every single layer of clothing that I had been wearing in the Winter has made me cold. I have been dressing incorrectly for…um…ever. My wardrobe has always been full of cotton! Cotton socks, cotton tanks, cotton jeans, cotton, cotton, cotton…
After our instructor explained the 3 layer concepts: Base Layer, Middle Layer, and Outer Layer, I realized that I needed to simply invest in a few new pieces. I also needed a pair of good hiking boots. Once I was properly outfitted, I experienced true warmth, even on some very chilly days. I’m now free to explore! I’m no longer doomed to a life inside my house all Winter!!!
Even though it takes me a while to get into my gear, I feel a new attitude about these cold days. Investing in my comfort has made Winter feel like an adventure, instead of a trap. I now look forward to each time I experience the beauty of a sunlit sparkly path of snow.
Bring on the cold! I’m ready!