Chilling out in Seattle

Today we’re having record low temperatures in Seattle. It’s mid-December, and it’s a blistering thirty-one degrees. With wind chill, it feels like twenty-five. I’m freezing.

I feel almost silly mentioning this, because I should be kissing the sidewalks I walk on. I grew up in New York, and then spent thirteen years living in Minnesota. Everywhere else I’ve been this is just not that bad. This is winter, for goodness sakes, and this should be about as good as it gets. But as I said, this is Seattle, and this temperature is a record low for today. My mind knows it’s just not that cold, but I’ve never really liked the cold, and I prefer the milder winters of Seattle to the frostbitten madness I’ve endured everywhere else.

I’m coping. I’ve got on warmer clothes than usual, and I’ve got fuzzy pink socks on over my leggings that come up all the way to my knees. My bright blue skirt with the polka dots is on top of that. Cheerful colors make me feel warmer, so I’m doing what I can. I’m also trying to remember that I survived lots of forty-five below weeks when I lived in Minneapolis. Compared to that, this is nothing. As my Zen teachers have told me, I simply have a preference for warmer weather. I need to remember that it is just that, a preference, and not a need. I will get through this just fine, and I’m just going to increase my suffering if I wish for things to be otherwise than they are. As I said, I would have been fine at this temperature elsewhere. A lot of the cold is in my mind, and if I just adjust myself to what is than I will feel better. I’m working on it.

I’m also using the cold as an excuse to drink more hot tea. I love tea of all sorts, so I drink it often with no excuse needed. Still, there’s something about a chill in the air that makes a steaming mug of Lapsang Souchong taste even better than it usually does. When it’s warm, I also don’t get as much joy holding the cup in my hands. Right now the china cup is a portable hearth, and I curl my fingers around it in delight. I guess the cold is okay after all.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

209. Next time the weather is driving you bonkers, try not to wish it was different. Experience what is actually happening in the here and now. Are there any perks to this weather? Seek them out.

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