I have never really enjoyed winter. Although I do appreciate experiencing different seasons, I was born in the middle of summer and my middle name is Autumn; there isn’t much room for winter in my life.
I don’t like the cold, I rarely think a blanket of snow is more romantic than green grass and I truly detest cold weather apparel. Life would be better if I didn’t have to change my boots when I got into the office every morning and being fashionable is difficult when you have to wear a Canada Goose jacket over every outfit.
Year after year I continuously vow to become friendly with winter. I day dream of ski trips up north, romantic evenings of skating hand in hand with my boyfriend and maybe even building a snowman. My intentions are good, but all of those thoughts disappear once the temperature dips and we receive our first big snow fall. I then come to terms with the fact that I cannot ski or skate and that subzero weather makes me miserable.
This leaves me at a huge disadvantage given that winter in Montreal is inevitable, relatively ruthless and quite long. With the ongoing windshield and accumulation of ice outdoors I am practically forced to (try) and change my attitude regarding wintertime which has me looking to the Scandinavian countries for inspiration. Their views on winter are positively happy and have me feeling a little more optimistic.
I have adopted this word from the Norwegians, which simply means a sense of coziness. They believe that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. I am learning to embrace this mentality while perfecting the art of layering. On the outside I may not look as stylish as I hoped to be, but underneath I am cozy; a second layer of wool socks is my secret and really keeps me warm.
The Danish use this word to describe a feeling or mood in which you take pleasure from doing something ordinary. Denmark holds some of the happiest people in the world, and for that reason hygge has been added to my repertoire of motivating words for winter. This year I am truly embracing hibernation mode. I look forward to Friday nights at home, comfy on the couch in warm pyjamas cuddled in a furry blanket.
An expression of connectedness, this word embraces the heart of Dutch culture. It is hard to translate exactly, but all of the definitions can be summed up as the general togetherness that gives people a warm feeling. I am keeping this word in mind when making plans for social outings this winter which has me focusing on events that truly make me happy; reservations at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try with my favorite people or a Sunday brunch in with my best girlfriends, including one’s new baby and another’s new puppy. I will focus my time outside of the warmth of my home on things and people who truly make me happy.
Ultimately, like everything else in life, it’s all about having a positive mindset. I’m slowly learning that although I am not a winter person (at all) I don’t have to be so unhappy about it. By indulging in my favorite things and really enjoying the coziness of it all, I am adopting a mental balance that is allowing winter days to be not soooo bad.