Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Attitude is Everything

The motto of the New Hampshire boarding school that my youngest sister attended is "attitude is everything." Can you think of a better message to send teenagers?  Brilliant, really.  I always loved that saying and never does it apply more to my life than during the heart of winter.  Today is a day of sleeting, snowy grayness in Boston, and my first thought upon waking this morning (at 5am with a rambunctious toddler demanding juice and Thomas the Tank Engine) was, "UGH.  We are so stuck inside for the whole day today. What are we going to do?"

The little guy did not want to put on pants or socks, and as I tried to explain that it was winter and nakedness wasn't an option, I weaved a tale of what we would do if it wasn't winter... "Listen buddy, if it were summer, I'd put you in the stroller barefoot, and I would put on shorts and a flip flops, and we would walk to City Feed together, and I would get a delicious iced coffee.  Then we'd go to the playground and you could climb while I drank that coffee and it would be delightful.  But, I'm sorry, it is winter."  Even as I said the words, I knew an attitude adjustment was needed.  How many steamy summer days did I sit sticking to that very park bench dreaming of wool sweaters and movie days on the couch?  It was time to embrace the now.  My next thought?  "Yay!  We are stuck inside for the whole day!  We are going to do NOTHING!"(Well, except three loads of laundry and a big pile of dishes + answer 50 e-mails and look for a job, but you catch my drift).

Now is the time to embrace the season.  For every run around the pond I'm missing, there is a steaming cup of hot cocoa to savor (and have you tried the vegan vanilla marshmallows they're hawking at Whole Foods this winter?  To die for.)  For every cup of iced coffee missed, there's a salted caramel latte to try (City Feed, I love you and your espresso creations).  For every ridiculous shoveled parking spot saved with a trash can and a lawn chair and a nasty note, there is a kind neighbor shoveling more than they have to on your part of the street.  There are Mad Men DVDs to watch, hand-knit afghans to cuddle under and cute cashmere sweaters to sport.  There are people like the little guy's music teacher who have Sunday "jam sessions" to give people a place to play indoors (God Bless You, Christy) and like my husband, who never complains about shoveling and looks pretty adorable all red-cheeked in a knit cap.  There are chilies and gumbos and stews to cook, and bourbon to sip (what is too strong and slightly nauseating in the summer is fortifying and warming in the winter, I tell you).   And as for the little guy and me, well, we are going to stay inside and draw 100 circles today. What can I say?  The kid likes making circles, and who am I to argue?  I'm going to sip mint tea and savor every moment of the winter silence.  Deep in the heart of summer, when I'm dripping sweat and quenching my thirst with iced coffee, I'll cherish the memory of this day.  I promise.  Truly, attitude is everything.
Image of Jamaica Pond in the snow from Universal Hub... gorgeous!


  1. WOW. So timely, once again. Boy, do you know how this tune is played or what! Tonight I sit facing tomorrow: unexpectedly home with a sick baby after snow & sleet has already kept us home for half a day. And all I can think is, "oh god oh god what am I going to do stuck inside with a sick baby who is already increasingly demanding and fickle of attention span??" You get my drift. You GET it. So, thanks for this perspective.

    Oh, and had a great big laugh picturing LM enjoying drawing circles over and over. Fabulous!

  2. Well played, SMJ! Lovin' you from the Ridge.

  3. I miss you Miss Jane. I am 3 weeks back at work after 6 months home with my babies and I'm working hard to be more happy, less grumpy, more content, less guilt-ridden, more open, less stressed, and generally a positive force in the lives of my little ones. I love this blog post and I wish we could share a salted caramel latte. (hug)