This winter in Boston has been a challenge. No, let’s be honest, it’s been a shit storm. Driving through the city, past ten foot snow mounds and down two lane street that are now one and wrestling your way into ice covered parking spaces, you learn one thing very quickly. You need to turn into the skid. It’s the first thing they teach you about winter driving. As counter-intuitive as it seems, as scary as it sounds, as much as you want to throw on your breaks: You turn into the skid.
The analogy is obvious. You can’t fight the inevitable. When the world fights against you, it’s okay to turn into the wind and let it take you where it may. These last few months have challenged me to put this philosophy into practice nearly every day. Once we hit 8 feet of snow in thirty days, and my car disappeared into the snow piles, and it started to take me more than an hour to travel four miles to work, it forced me to start leaning into the curve.
So, it’ll take more than an hour to make it across town; pack a big cup of coffee and some snacks for the ride. So, there’s no parking on the streets; bundle up and walk to the errands. So, it’s too hard to get out to shop and eat and and socialize, take the opportunity to save some money for the inevitable battery that I’ll have to purchase for the buried car.
Now I know that it seems easy for me. The storms have unquestionable hit some harder than others. I know that there has been lots of lost wages, and poor revenue, and property damage. But, for better or worse, that’s still the new normal. I can’t see the utility in complaining about it, announcing your misery, playing the “who has it worse” game. The best we can do is look at our new reality and figure it out. Make a new plan. Turn into the skid.
It’s not just the weather. So many people who I love have had a hard winter. Friends have had set-backs, and illnesses, and life altering surprises. But, what can you do? Except for to define your new normal. I still struggle with this everyday.
My life is miles away from where I saw it two years ago. But, if I had spent even one moment fighting against the changes and railing against the inevitable. I wouldn’t be where I am today. The reason I continue to be successful, is not because of actual success, but because of my ability to continually redefine my expectations and my reality. It’s about choosing what you’d like your life to look like and then adjusting it accordingly. It’s about committing to your priorities and making adjustments as life sees fit. My priorities are family, happiness, and time.
And, it hasn’t been easy to stick to my guns this winter. Not when it’s been so dark, and everything takes so long, and we’re all stuck in the house in tight spaces under the most unpleasant circumstances. It’s been a challenge to make the most of it. But, I continue to work towards the ideal. To find some quiet time to read with the boys. To get outside and embrace the epic snow. To smile and laugh and find the joy in the smallest of triumphs. To keep on defining the new normal and accepting the twists and turns as they come.