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Finding Appreciation in the Bitter Cold of Winter by Football, Fatherhood, and Fails (BLW Contributor)

I have to admit, I like winter. I do. Parts of fall and spring are good too. But I sure like winter. I’ll wait for you to get the scorn for me out of your system.

All better? Ok.

Yes, in summer you can go fry on the beach or elbow your neighbors at the crowded local pool, go for a run/bike ride outside wearing just special lightweight, sweat-whisking clothes, go camping and bury your poop in a hole in the ground, and other fun outdoor activities that generally don’t result in frostbite.

Truth be told, pretty much anything above 80 degrees is hot for me. Once it hits 85, it starts feeling brutal. Honestly. And that’s probably where it all starts for me.

Most people’s jaws drop to the floor when I say I like winter. That’s never more true than when January rolls around with its single-digit temperatures and below 0 wind-chills. Most everyone I know from family, friends, and co-workers to business associates or random people I pass in the office building strike up a conversation by complaining about the winter season.

I’ve come to expect it, and have regularly found myself either forcibly chuckling along or just silently standing by when this comes up. The same is true when any discussion relating to “good vs bad weather”, spring vs summer, or similar conversations arise.

But I’ve tried to regularly remind myself that even if I don’t like something, I can find things to appreciate within it. And I felt the same can be true for many people during these cold winter months.

Air crispness 

Winter air is so unique. The humidity is low, the air is chilled, and there’s just something different when you take in a breath of the frosty air. Put your anger of the cold aside and walk out one day, close your eyes, and embrace the fresh, cool air. It’s rather invigorating.

Want science to ruin that experience? Science is happy to oblige. In winter, molecules move more slowly than they do in the warm summer weather. The olfactory receptors in our noses actually pull back too. Combine those, and it means we don’t detect as many molecules as we normally would have if the temperature was warmer. And so the air can feel cleaner/fresher.

The quiet

When leaving the house early in the morning, there’s a quiet you can experience that is almost unrivaled. A calm, peaceful tranquility. Put together with the air crispness, it can make for a remarkably serene moment.

Snow hanging quietly from the branches

Staring down the street the morning after a snowfall almost always gives a picturesque view of dark, dormant tree branches outlined by the newly fallen snow. This may perhaps only rivaled by autumn trees or budding trees in the spring.

Winter activities

Get out and try to have some fun. The cold and snow won’t go away for a while…and you can’t hide from ’em. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating, snowmobiling, ice-fishing. You don’t have to like them all, but finding a way to enjoy activities outside that only cold weather can bring can be a special thing. At the very least, it may help you forget that your limbs are slowly freezing to death for a few minutes.

Coming back in from being outside and having hot chocolate

Is an explanation really needed here? I mean, it’s warm, chocolaty, deliciousness.

And lastly, watching kids enjoy the weather

If you have kids, you can relate. But even if you don’t, take a moment and watch the joy that kids have as they run out into the rigid temps and bound over snowbanks, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, and construct a snowman or a fort. You may groan at the thought of having to get yourself all suited up (I do)…and then help them get all suited up too. But take a moment and watch as they run care-free through the white powder.

And then enjoy some hot chocolate with them after as your rosy cheeks return to their normal color as you defrost.

Winter doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, not everything has to be. There can be positives to pretty much anything. And sometimes it helps to have a reminder of that.

Check out other great articles from Football, Fatherhood, and Fails

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2 comments

  1. Thank you for this. You’re a very talented writer to get someone like me interested in the wonders of winter. (I’m someone who’s body operates somewhere slightly above freezing in the summer.) A good blog is good medicine.

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