Friday, January 10, 2014

Just This One

We’ve been hit! It had to happen eventually, we got winter. Not the sissy ‘Pass me a sweater, it’s a little chilly’ kind of winter we’ve come to love but a full on ‘like when we were kids’ kind of winter. Winter, complete with sub-zero wind-chills and frozen pipes, winter that makes you plug your car in and wear a balaclava. The scenery out my kitchen window is breathtakingly beautiful; tree branches gently laden with mounds of pristine white snow. Out my front window I can almost see my neighbour’s house over the dirty brined snow banks that keep growing and growing each time the plow passes or the walks get cleared.

Technically it has only been winter for 19 days we still have 69 days to go, which could easily turn into 79 or 89 given the rebellious nature of Canadian winters. That’s a lot of ‘suck it up’ we have left to get through.
Ordinarily under the current conditions I would be huddled up on the couch in my comfy pants with a cup of tea, maybe reading or writing, maybe curled up with one of the kids enjoying a movie. Ordinarily; but this year is different.

This year Mike is the community rink committee. Maybe ‘committee’ is an overly generous term, seeing as he is the sole member. I suppose he is more the Community Rink Guy, which makes me the community Rink Guy’s wife. Somewhere in the fine print I feel this obligates me to frock up in snow-pants and boots, toque, mitts and parka to join him on the ice. I’m trying very hard to whine and moan about it but I think the rouse is failing, Mike can see right through me, I’m having a great time! Truth be told I’m probably a little OCD about the whole thing, trying to get the ice just right for the kids in the neighbourhood to enjoy. Mike says I have ‘Perfect Ice Syndrome’ and it drove him crazy the year we did our own rink in the backyard.
Building, maintaining and grooming 3,600 square feet of ice is no small feat I’m learning, and when those 3,600 square get dumped on by an old-fashioned Canadian winter….well a feat has the inevitability of turning into drudgery. Or would have a year ago, before this….

The simple principal of Present Moment Awareness; keeping your thoughts concentrated solely on the moment at hand. Facing 2 hours of shovelling wind-packed snow drifts…you have to have a mindset. If I look back at how much we’ve accomplished or compare it to the future of how much we still have left to do I promise I would be ass down in the snow-bank crying over my life! But if I look just at my shovel, just at the bit of snow I am moving at that moment, if I concentrate just on getting that little bit moved off of the ice…. I am surprised when Mike and I bump our shovels into one another – Job Done!
It’s a sanity saving strategy in the pursuit of happiness that I try diligently to apply to every task at hand; washing dishes, laundry folding, stuffing envelopes, washing the floor. It turns each chore into a meditation. The trick is to not use the time to think about other things, not the bills or the fight you had with your kids or the grocery shopping. Just observe everything about moving that little pile off of the ice.

Enjoy a Wonderful Friday!