There’s No Going Back to What Was

Someone posted a sort of Christmas wish on Facebook this morning, basically asking for things to go back to the way they were. While I understood the sentiment, I knew that wasn’t about to happen. Our world has changed and continues to change. Having things the “way they were” would only keep us stuck. Life continually evolves.

Do I like what is happening at the moment in our world? Absolutely not. I’m not sure there’s a single person out there who does. During the past two years we’ve endured a lot as a society, both collectively and personally. Do I wish things were different? Absolutely. But wishes alone do not bring something to fruition.

Here’s the thing, our world will not go back to what was. How can it? As a result of the changes to our world, we have also changed, maybe in ways we’re not aware of yet. Change does not always have to be dramatic. Change can be as subtle as the soft shifting of the wind, and often is.

There’s this instinct in us to take notice of the negative aspects of change, instead of embracing the positive. I have seen families at odds this past while, posting their hurt on Facebook which is why I stayed away from social media for a few months and only stayed connected with my kids and siblings through group chats. Honestly, it hurts to see families at odds.

But here’s what I’ve observed, we ask others to be understanding and tolerant with us for the choices we’ve made and yet don’t afford those people that same understanding back. It’s a two way street. Maybe what we need to remember is that once we have passed through this time in our world’s history we may want and need the support of these people we were once at odds with simply because we made different choices along the way. Sometimes, we just need to agree to disagree about something and stop being offend when someone doesn’t share our point of view.

Someone also posted a very positive message, explaining why she didn’t feel comfortable mingling with some people in her life right now, because of the position she was in with regards to other family members who are particularly vulnerable at this time. She asked that people not be offended if she asked that they not join her for Christmas. It was a very kind and thoughtful post, and seriously if anyone found themselves offended then it was because they choose to be. Which shows that there is a kind and loving way to express your point of view if you really want to.

Personally, I have long given up the need to persuade others into thinking the way I do, even when I was so certain it would be for the betterment of them. We all make choices in our lives and they need to be our choices, not someone else’s. What I know is that, people may change the way they think about something, but more than likely it won’t be through an argument with family or friends. None of us want to be bullied into something. If and when we feel a need to change our views on something it will happen in its own good time, but only if and when we are ready. In other words, save your breath and your friendships.

If we’re being honest, there have also been some good things happening these past couple of years as well. People are connecting with one another in ways they weren’t before. It’s caused some of us to realize what’s truly important. Some folks now enjoy working from home. For them, this has been something positive. Many of us have stepped up to do acts of kindness for others and all of us have had to draw on our own inner strength to get us through some days. Recognizing who we are, and what we’re capable of, when hard times come our way is a good thing. It helps build our self-esteem.

Will things every go back to the way they were? My answer to that is no. But perhaps you share a different sentiment, perhaps you are waiting for life to go back to the good old times we are used to. While my answer is no, yours may very well be yes.

A Positive Approach to Winter

In an If-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em approach to the snow this winter, I’m trying my hardest not to complain about the white stuff. Besides the fact that complaining doesn’t do one iota of good, I’ve also been trying to busy myself with other things—writing being first and foremost. Truthfully, not complaining helps keep the cranky away. I’ve come to realize the more you complain, the more you enjoy it until it almost becomes an Olympic sport. Not only that, you find others to join your team in your quest for gold. We’re usually good at finding teammates.

SO enough of the grumbling about the snow. Spring will come sooner or later. I say this with conviction as we’ve never yet had a winter that lasted 365 days—not to my memory at least. So here are a few things I’ve been doing to keep that four letter word from making me gripe.

1. Write, write, write: Okay, no surprises here. I’ve been making great headway on a project I started several years back. I’ve come back to the place where I’m enjoying the story again. Here’s where I’ll let you all in on a secret, we writers sometimes come to despise the story we’re working on. It’s true! We lose all objectivity about our own work. We can’t seem to put a sentence together with eloquence, our plot line stinks to high heaven. Sometimes we pull our hair and gnash our teeth. Sitting at the computer and opening that file can be pure hell. But even at that it still beats four feet of snow!

2. Knit, knit, knit: I’m a knitter, have been since I was a kid trying to knit a scarf with two nails and a ball of cheap yarn I found lying around the house. Not an easy thing to do, knitting with two nails that is, but even so I wasn’t complaining about the s***. You’ll be happy to know that I graduated to knitting needles many moons ago. I’ve made socks and mittens, sweaters and even afghans over the years. This winter I’ve picked up where I left off three years ago. My rippling wave afghan didn’t go anywhere during that time. Maybe this winter I’ll complete it.

3. Housework: Okay, that’s just a little joke to throw you off.

4. Reading, reading, reading: I’ve read some great books this winter, one for book club coming up next week and several simply for enjoyment. Actually, all the books I read are for enjoyment. Here’s where I want to mention that I love reading books from local authors and Canadian authors in general. We have a lot of talent in this country. I’ve some great local books coming up on my reading list. Hugh R. MacDonald and his novel Us and Them the sequel to his book Trapper Boy. Meghan Marentette’s The Stowaways , Shatterproof by Jocelyn Shipley and Keeper of the Light by Janet Barkhouse. Maybe you’ll have time to check out some of these great reads.

5. Treadmill: Yup. I’ve been faithfully working out this winter. Okay, so we all know that treadmills are like THE most BORING thing on the face of the earth after the first two minutes, but I’ve got a little secret. I read while I’m walking the miles. Yes, I do. Many people say they just can’t do it. These same people can’t read while riding in a vehicle. I can do both. Lucky me. No complaints here.

6. Snowshoeing: I’ve been making an effort to get out there when the weather’s good which hasn’t been all that often this past week. (Nope, that’s not a complaint…just stating facts.) The good news is next week’s forecast is looking up.

7. Gourmet Cooking: Haha! Not really. That one was actually for my kids if they happen to be reading. I figure they could do with the belly laugh after the snowy week we just had.

8. Snow racing: Admit it, this one sounds impressive. Snowracing—whizzing down the slopes, wind on my face, sun in my eye, the taste of freedom on my lips. Here’s the real scoop: when our grandson came for a visit a few weeks back, Guppy and I each took some turns on the Snowracer. (Sorry no photos as proof.) First time ever for me; not sure about Guppy. Oh, the things we do for grandkids.

9. Join the circus: Surprised ? Me too. This winter watching the news has been like having a front row seat at the circus. I’m not looking to get into any political debates here, but daggum it’s been interesting to say the least. All the juggling of news and fake news, people walking a very tight rope, a pretty sad bunch of clowns making us laugh and cry. Yes, indeed, there has been a lot of interesting acts taking place under the big top this winter. Every night there seems to be a new attraction added to the show. I wait in anticipation. All that’s required is for me to bring my own popcorn and drinks…lots of drinks.

So there you have it, my positive approach to this snowy Nova Scotia weather. While I may not love the mounds of snow we’ve been getting I’m doing what I can to keep from complaining about the things I can’t change.

What have you been doing this winter instead of complaining about the weather?

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