Here is an unedited, unadulterated glimpse into my inner-monologue (and sometimes outer-monologue as my husband can attest) over the 4 long hours of shoveling this morning…life…and shoveling snow can really S-U-C-K…
Let’s face it…a snow storm like we’re having here on the East Coast is beautiful only if you can stay inside and watch it or go out an actually rediscover your inner-child by playing in it. Life, like snow (in theory, anyway) is beautiful to look at. Until you realize that it actually can throw a huge wrench into your best-laid plans.
After last year’s “big dig” just less than a month after moving into our new house, my husband and I swore we would get a snow blower for the next winter. Well, January became June, June became December again, and here we are…snow blower-less and 16+ inches below that “beautiful” white stuff. Happy Winter.
Déjà vu: we bundled up, pulled out our only-somewhat-competent shovels, took a few pictures, discussed our strategy (ok, stalling), and gave each other a high-5 before tackling the driveway that seemed to be across town.
Here is an unedited, unadulterated glimpse into my inner-monologue (and sometimes outer-monologue as my husband can attest) over the 4 long hours of shoveling this morning:
T-4 Hours – Status: In the beginning…
“This isn’t so bad, I’m getting in a killer total body workout, the snow is pretty light, we’ll make some headway in no time, and LuLu (my dog) looks so cute prancing and galloping in the snow. Ah, winter, so nice!”
T-3 Hours – Status: only about a quarter of the way through just the first part of the driveway.
“Crap, this wind is strong, this whole process seems futile. LuLu…stop jumping through our snow piles and learn to shovel!”
T-2 Hours – Status: introduce wind and other annoying weather elements courtesy of Mother Nature.
“I don’t care if this is a good workout…I’m tired, cold, hungry, irritable, and soaking wet. Why didn’t we buy a snow blower again? Why didn’t we get out here earlier so it wasn’t so much? Where the h— are those guys with trucks and plows offering to plow our driveway for a small fee? Three hours and we still have almost half of the gravel driveway to go? I have so many other things I have to do! Ugh!”
T-1 Hour – Status: The end of the driveway could not be close enough. Anger sets in.
“I hate this house. I hate this driveway. How did we forget to get a snow blower? I hate snow. Why did I leave Maui for New Jersey again? Oh yeah…because I met the man of my dreams (this is where I snapped at the “man of my dreams” for really no reason at all).”
Status: Goal Accomplished, we reached the end of the driveway.
Plus 4 Bonus Life Lessons Learned:
Sometimes life flat-out sucks (I usually refrain from such language, so I hope you’ll excuse me even though my mother probably won’t, but let’s be honest…it may be the best word in this case).
In my last hour of shoveling, as frustrated, sore, and tired as I was…I decided I needed to try to figure out what lesson I could learn from all this (not always easy to do, I realize). I believe that everything that happens has some reason or some hidden message for us to take…we just have to be open to discovering it.
Here are 4 of the lessons I learned today:
Life Lesson #1: Life happens, one shovel at a time.
I realized that although it didn’t seem as though I was moving much snow just one shovel-load at-a-time, looking back at the end of our driveway to a pretty-clear, but far-from-perfect pathway, we ultimately reached our goal because we were focused, diligent, and determined.
Life happens one day at a time. If I screw up, I need to get over it, pick myself up, and tackle the next day head-on. It’s no use dwelling over how much life sucks. I waste too much precious energy.
Life Lesson #2: I need to surround myself with people who support me, put up with me even in my not-so-flattering form, and encourage me to just keep on trudging…even when it’s not easy.
If I had to shovel that driveway alone, it would have taken me more than three times the time. We both had the same goal in mind and worked through it together.
Think of the last goal you set for yourself. Did you try to do it alone and rely solely on “willpower” to get there? Did you achieve it? When you set your next goal (especially with the New Year upon us), I challenge you to share it with an accountability partner that you know will help support you, who will give you that tough love when you need it, and not be a saboteur.
Life Lesson #3: Savor the small achievements (and reward myself).
Sometimes I set such high goals and expectations for myself that I become blinded by the big stuff, and forget to savor the successes of the small achievements I conquer along the way. Finishing the first half of our driveway was a great feeling…so we took a break, had a cup of coffee and a cookie, and had a laugh or two watching LuLu play in the snow.
I unfortunately see many of our clients fall into the self-defeatist mindset with their fitness goals when they begin our programs. They have this huge, lofty goal of losing “X number of pounds” and they become jaded by the big goal and forget to revel in the small successes they’ve had along the way…making better food choices, dropping a pant size, sleeping better, having more energy, getting up the stairs without being out of breath. But when they stop to realize how much better they feel, the number on the scale becomes less significant, the goal becomes a lot easier to achieve, and achieving their ultimate goal is so much more fulfilling and rewarding.
Life Lesson #4: Get a snow blower.
Who am I kidding?
So maybe I learned some pretty awesome life-lessons today, got in a good workout, and enjoyed being in Mother Nature. But to be honest with you…I would have enjoyed about 3 hours less of it. I could have been working on things that are a heck of a lot more exciting like painting my bathroom, doing laundry, and writing new blog posts for you to read!
Cheers to making the most out of the times that seem most frustrating in this journey we call life!
Tired, a little sore, ready for another cup of coffee, but invigorated from sharing my life lessons with you, your friend,