Embracing Winter?

Jason Fried on Twitter a few weeks ago

Jason Fried on Twitter a few weeks ago

Remember back in 2008 when I absolutely hated Winter? At that time I was fairly certain that within a few years I’d either start spending my winter somewhere down South or move out of the Northeast all together. Now, a few years later, I surprisingly don’t mind winter. In fact, I’m sort of enjoying winter.

What changed?

The Weather

First and foremost, the weather has changed the past two winters. Since Albany is not in the mountains, not on the coast, and not near any of the great lakes, and since the temperatures have been a bit warmer (because of global warming, or maybe because of randomness), we actually have had much milder winters than places like Virginia and D.C that are much further south.

Then there’s the fluky snow storms in Florida and Texas. How mad would I be if I hauled myself somewhere else for a month and it still snowed. I’ve been paying more attention to the national weather, and when I see images that look like this I realize that it’s cold almost no matter where you go:

Temperature map

Still, we’ve had one decent sized snow storm this year and it really didn’t change my mind much. So long as it’s not a monster storm every week for the entire winter, I can deal with it.

Little (Big) Changes I’ve Made

More importantly, I think, are the other changes I’ve made.

Having a better living situation definitely helps. My current apartment has much more space than I’ve had previously. Having four or five different areas where I can work or relax makes me feel much less antsy when I’m inside more frequently.

I’ve made a commitment to getting outside more often too. If I bundle up with a hat and gloves I’m plenty warm to go for a walk. Even something as simple as walking up to the mailbox (about a 10 minute walk for me) makes me feel a lot better.

I’ve also tried to minimize or eliminate all of the little things I hated about winter. I stopped being an idiot and bought plenty of warm clothes, a humidifier, a bottle of lotion for every room that I’m in regularly, and some of this bad-ass Einszett de-icing spray from DI that eliminates the need for me to ever use my scraper.

A big pet peeve of mine is missing a workout, so I made sure going in to this winter that I put together several intense workouts that I can do at home with minimal equipment on days when going to the gym just doesn’t isn’t feasible.

I’m Not Angry at Winter Any More

The biggest difference though is philosophically. People are happier and more motivated when they embrace winter instead of complaining about it. There’s a certain simplicity that I’ve come to enjoy. Since there is naturally less to do, it gives me time to relax, read, catch up with friends over coffee, and of course have some long uninterrupted stretches to accomplish work.

There’s also an interesting by-product of this recent change in attitude. One of the big perks that my partners and I have is the flexibility to take extended amounts of time off, the best example being when Mike went to China for a month earlier this year. I always thought I’d be spending my trips “wintering” elsewhere. Now, I’m more open to the idea of traveling to more places at more times of the year. I already have a few smaller vacations planned for this year, but I’m hoping to plan out a longer extended trip like Mike took by the middle of the year. As of now, I have no idea where that will be…but it’s fun to ponder!

4 comments on Embracing Winter?

  1. Neville says:

    I don’t know man…bicycling by the lake….in shorts, in December is pretty nice too 🙂

    • Adam McFarland says:

      Damn. Nothing like that to bring me back to reality…I’m trying to stay positive here! I could ride my bike today, although I’d need a lot of layers…

      • Neville says:

        Hahah…I’ve spent time in freezing-ass-cold places in winter, and I always try to justify “the beauty of it” or some crap like that.

        But walking to the front office of my apartment to check my mail…in shorts….is something I’ll take over “the beauty of it” any day!

        (I hope this makes you jealous) 😉

        • Adam McFarland says:

          Today (and all weekend) it is snowing. I’m going to go with “the beauty of it” logic…but damn I am a little jealous of walking outside in shorts 🙂

          I just went to the gym with about 4 layers on, a hat, gloves, jacket, and of course 2 pairs of shoes so I have dry ones to workout in. The whole process takes twice as long as it does in the summer

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