Friday, January 10, 2014

Polar Vortex

Polar Vortex

I’m 60something and had never heard the term Polar Vortex until this past week.  The meteorologists were having a field day predicting the dire consequences of this latest once-in-a century weather catastrophe.  How’re they going to top this next year?

The weather was really cold everywhere, and there were wild temperature swings around those frigid blasts.  Snow piled up, winds howled and waterfalls froze.  The 24 news and weather channels showed pictures of treacherous conditions over and over as if they were actually continuing rather than being repeated.  People got out their warmest gear, schools and cities were closed, and everyone was encouraged to stay home and be safe.  You’d think nobody ever experienced winter before.

I know I’ve blogged about this in the past because like everyone else I’m driven to being obsessed about the weather.  Maybe that’s why the Weather Channel is the most watched cable station.  But rather than sit indoors and worry about the scenes on the TV we should get up, bundle up and go out and enjoy them.  Maybe this polar cyclone (that’s what a polar vortex really is) is a call from Mother Nature to come out and play.

We all recall winters’ past when records were set and proudly declare how we experienced and survived them.  Remember leggings and boots and mittens and mufflers? Remember seeing the snow swirl in the glow of the streetlights at dusk?  Remember digging tunnels and forts in the snowdrifts and seeing the snow have a blue tint?  If we had stayed indoors back then we wouldn’t have those great memories today.  But we didn’t stay indoors back then because there were no 24-hour news and weather channels telling us not to go out: we looked and decided for ourselves.

I think the 24-hour news cycles are out of control and making us a little bit crazy.  And the last thing we need today is someone making us a little crazier.  So: don't be vexed by a Polar Vortex - turn off the TVs, shut off the computers, and go out and enjoy whatever weather you’re experiencing.  The memories will be worth it.

My message this week is about participating in life to the fullest:

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance.” Scout Cloud Lee

What have you hoped for?  As kids, we all dreamed of what we hoped to become when we grew up, and now as adults we’re hopefully living that dream.  Whatever we are, it’s important that we get involved as much as we can to become as much as we can.  There will be good days and bad, happy and sad, more and less exciting and rewarding – and they will all add to whatever we are. So think back on the dreams you had, and while the here and now may not be all that you had hoped for, you should make the most of it.  Smile, be in the moment, extend random acts of kindness, bring joy and happiness to others, and make today and every day all that you want it to be. Do that, and then go ahead and dance!

Stay warm…. and well!

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