What Makes You Happy?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

This is the time of year when we begin to think about life after winter. Unless you live in Australia, in which case you’re still enjoying the better half of summer. I guess it’s just a matter of perspective. I always admired birds for their ability to follow the warm weather, and their common sense in doing so. Except the birds here. I’ve heard them chirping in the snow. They must work here.

Before I get too deep into this topic, I know there are a lot of people who absolutely love cold weather and as much snow as Heaven can dump. I also know people who think smacking your head into a brick wall is invigorating. I’m not assuming anything here, just making an observation.

Let’s just say that, for most of us, warm weather is a lot more pleasant and enjoyable. And I’m finding that, the older I get, the colder cold gets. What used to be tolerable is just downright freezing. They say it’s a slowing metabolism. I say it’s common sense improving with age.

For somebody who just wrote yesterday about making the most of each day, you probably had an image of me outside in the snow, bundled from head to toe with nothing showing but an ear-to-ear grin. Now you’re making assumptions. I do try to make the most of every day. But when it’s cold, I tend to find my enjoyment inside where it’s warm.

There was a time when I loved playing outside in the snow. I remember our first winter in Ohio, pushing my daughters on their brand-new sled. They’d squeal, I’d fall, and we all got a big laugh. But it was something new. Much like that dust-covered treadmill in my office, it didn’t take long for the newness to wear off.

And I know that, in about six months, we’ll step out the door and it’ll be hot. Not just warm, but the kind of sweltering, stuffy hot that takes your breath away. And then, my friends, you’ll see that ear-to-ear grin. I may comment that it’s hot, but I’ll never complain about it. That’s just my time of year.

Which begs the question, if I love warm weather so much, why do I live in Ohio? I had to answer that question several times when we first moved here from south Florida. And I still remember my answer: “When it’s hot and I’ve stripped off everything the law allows, that’s as good as it gets. But when it’s cold, I can always get warm.” Famous last words.

Okay, there’s some truth to that. I can put on a heavier coat and a ski mask. They won’t let me in the bank like that, but it’s a start. Still, there is no cold on earth like standing next to a slow-moving gas pump in near-zero weather and the wind is cutting through like a frozen dagger. And the probability of an empty gas tank increases as the temperature goes down. It’s Newton’s law of relativity.

I’ve had a little fun with this, but there is a point to be made. If weather can have such a profound effect on our happiness, why don’t we do something about it? Right now, as I look outside at the remaining snow on the ground, people in the southern hemisphere are planning a day at the beach. And somewhere in the middle, it never gets cold. And you know what? They have houses there, too.

We all make choices. I moved here thirty years ago looking for work, and I’m still here because this is where my daughters and grandchildren live. And when my little ones walk through the front door on a snow-covered day, I remind myself this is a choice I’ve made and it’s the right choice for me. Sometimes, the greatest warmth comes from within.

Still, my wife and I have this idea that the same roads that run south also run north. As long as we have the means to travel, distance is simply a matter of choice. We can choose to let that distance separate us from family or pay them a visit. Or invite them to come see us. Or even meet someplace in the middle for a vacation the kids will never forget.

It’s all about having the means to make those choices. I have friends who visit Hawaii every year because they can. They’ve traveled all over the world because of choices they made. And every one of us can make those same choices today. We just have to want it.

It’s one thing to be stuck in the cold because you enjoy it. But we should never let our lives be controlled by circumstances we have the power to change. No headstone was ever inscribed with a person’s dreams – only their accomplishments. Get out there and make the most of it.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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