The past two weeks with its snow, ice, and freezing temperatures challenge even the most winter loving people. Complaints, complaints fill conversations; and we hope for a turn to more moderate weather is uppermost on our wish list.
This winter has reminded me of the winter of 1977 when our family lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh. At the time, my husband was supervising 160 Mormon missionaries who were sick of the long hard winter we were experiencing, and the effort to keep warm and safe were wearing on us all. One missionary bought a pair of socks that were heated to try to keep his feet warm. The female missionaries wore pants under their required dresses or skirts. They were not happy.
I worried about them as the bad weather wore on. In February of that year we were to meet with groups of missionaries in several places and I determined to present something to them to cheer them up. The other day I looked up a copy of my talk and I think some of the ideas I told them might be cheering and help us cope this winter. Some of the ideas are silly, but the thing is, they bring a little variety to life.
1. Change your eating habits by switching your silverware to the other hand. Have supper for breakfast and breakfast for supper. Or, try eating squid or something else you've never eaten.
2. Change the way you do things. Part your hair on the other side. Wear a flower or a bright tie to work. Walk instead of drive. Sit by someone you don't know in meetings or on the bus, and start a conversation. Send a no-occasion card to a friend or co-worker, or your spouse.
3. Be innovative. Be chatty instead of taciturn. Exercise your feet instead of your body. Change your tone of voice. Use body language. Be enthusiastic.
4. Look at your family members or associates a different way. For instance, imagine your challenging three-year-old as president. See your boss as a four-year-old. Trade assignments in your family-getting out garbage, making beds, fixing a meal, buying the groceries, writing a speech.
5. Remember there are others as frustrated as are you. So spread your smiles and hellos around.
In other words, change things in your life to bring you more variety and happiness in spite of the weather-to make you laugh, instead of complain. The snow and ice may still provoke you, but deal with it in the best and most enjoyable way you can. Work at it!
The devil works six days a week
And twice as hard on Sunday.
And then he's ready once again
To go to work on Monday.
So if we do our duty right
And keep our spirits level,
We must get up at early dawn
And work just like the devil!