Why I Don’t Hate Winter: Mind Control, and True Grit

It’s not surprising that many people dislike winter: it’s cold, it doesn’t end at Christmas, and there is little sunshine. In spite of all it did to me this year — blizzards that have broken my back and trapped me in airports — I still don’t hate winter.

For some people, time is money. They ask whether they’re making enough money per minute, and if not, they’ve wasted time. I wish I could be like this so that I could be more money focused, but I tend to evaluate my time using this question: in five years, will I regret that I spent my time like this?

It’s my mind control question, and it forces me to find ways to enjoy winter.

I never thought of this as a skill until my wife and I had been married for several months. My wife is very tough. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that her coworkers say she has “true grit.”

I do not have true grit. I have mind control.

This difference between my wife and me is subtle: My wife endures winter, but she does not enjoy it. I try to figure out how to enjoy winter, so I won’t have to endure it.

Sometimes mind control is not about regretting time, but rather in altering your environment so that it won’t wear you out. Take traveling. When I travel, one of the first things I pack is my beloved iPhone. If there’s a delay, I know that I will not have to sit and fume. Instead, I’ll listen to Bob Dylan, solve a Sudoku puzzle, or play Angry Birds. For my wife, her iPod is just another object. If there’s a delay during travel, she will just grin and bear it.

(Actually, according to my observations, she doesn’t grin.)

It must be exhausting to endure life, which is why I always travel with mental escapes like my iPhone or a book.

However, some problems defy our efforts to adjust perspective. People say “life’s not fair” for a reason, and sometimes you’ll regret the time you spent escaping from problems rather than enduring the trouble it took to solve them. In times when life’s not fair, we need true grit.

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