Winter used to scare me. Growing up in South Carolina, I experienced snowfall a handful of times over 20 years. Any snowfall would shut down the city for multiple days. I remember having snow days without any snow actually stuck on the ground. When I imagined where I would live, I imagined somewhere that was warm year round. I ended up in New York City, which is still mild compared to Chicago or Alaska, but cold in its own right. Yesterday was a chilly 13 degrees Fahrenheit. As we start our winter in NYC, I feel excited for the season. I now enjoy winter and want to share how my mindset switched.
There are many things to not like about the winter. When it gets windy, it is bone chilling. If you drive, it is a hassle to have to dig your car out of the snow. The snow very quickly turns into an ugly layer of black ice. It is not pleasant to wake up before the sun comes up and get home after the sun sets.
But I ignore all of those issues. When I moved to NYC, I decided that I was going to be excited about everything that NYC brought. Having that positive attitude has made a world of a difference when it comes to the way I feel about winter. Whenever we get a fresh coat of snow in the city, I try to walk around and appreciate how picturesque the city looks. I try to convince Lorraine to play in the snow with me: sledding, snow ball fights, snow angels. I don’t dwell on the parts of winter that are less exciting, but rather focus on how much I love NYC and how happy I am to be here.
I try to have a similar mindset whenever I decide to take on something new in my life. I find that if I am excited and positive, I will find exciting and positive elements to dwell on. It changes the attitude I have about whatever task or life situation I am in. I understand that it is also important not to be delusional, and to be able to strive towards change if something is making you unhappy. But a lot of my own past unhappiness has stemmed from a “grass is greener” mindset, which could have been solved with a more positive attitude.
When we finally do get that first good layer of snowfall, you can find me on 91st street between 2nd and 3rd throwing snowballs at my wife. You are welcome to join, and we can make a battle royale out of it.