Posts Tagged With: cold

Day 24: Nature ups the ante (and lowers the temperature)

I just checked the temperature on my phone.

I couldn’t help but react audibly when I saw it.  I’m not sure whether I made a gasp or a moan or a strangulated whimper.  Whatever sound I made, it was in reaction to seeing this:

Oh, my.

Well, here’s one way to tell THIS story. Going out this morning  will be an interesting test of what it will be like for me — the day after I wrote in this blog about how extreme weather affects my sense of safety (and when I’m still not back to baseline, health-wise).

I think writing about the extreme cold and my sense of safety yesterday is already helping. Just writing or talking about something — sharing a story, especially a previously unexpressed one — can help quite a bit, I believe. (I guess it’s good I believe that, since that’s the backbone of what I do for a living.)

And it’s also helping this morning, to share my reactions in today’s post — especially that initial, primal THUMP of dismay I felt when I saw that tiny digit on my phone.

It’s a ONE, for heaven’s sake. ONE degree.

Here it is again, in all its small starkness:

(I keep thinking that some of you who are reading this, perhaps living closer to one of the Earthly Poles than I do and regularly experiencing colder temperatures, might be chuckling at my delicate whussy-ness right now, but Hey!  I think we can all bear more easily whatever we’re used to.)

So, as I was saying, it’s a ONE.  Just a smidge away from a zero.  Zero. Nothing.  (Fahrenheit, the crueler measurement of cold.)

So, yes, that scares me.  This is a situation where the  smallness of the number is bad. I’m not talking golf, blood pressure, or “bad” cholesterol,  where smaller numbers are reassuring. In this situation, numbers considerably smaller than normal are dangerous — like the realms of salaries, grades, and the heart rate of a child.

So it’s more dangerous out there, dear readers.   But as I said earlier in this post, writing about this, sharing this with you, feeling not-alone with this, is helpful, especially as I’m gearing myself up to go out and meet it.

And as I’m preparing myself right now, about to put on my layers of armor and venture into The Land of One Degree, I’m feeling …..

Like a hero, actually.

Really. (And I guess that showed up in my language, directly above.)

And rather than feeling beaten down — as I did when that fearsome  and shocking 1° popped up on my cell phone — I actually can feel a sense of excitement.

Really!

And here are some things I’m believing right now:

I can do it.

I will be okay.

Even better!

I will pass through this, triumphant.

I will beat this dastardly degree!

I mean, it’s only a puny little ONE, for heaven’s sake.

Ta-da!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 23: 8 Degrees of Safety.

I went back to work today, Wednesday, after being sick for four days,  and it was really, really cold outside.  It was 8 degrees, Fahrenheit, when I left the house.

I bundled up, really well, for protection. And everything went okay.  Nothing went awry. My trusty car started up, right away, even though it had sat idle since Saturday. And although I had to wait outside for a shuttle bus for a little while (my parking lot is a 20-minute walk from the hospital where I work), my bundling had done the trick. I wasn’t in too much pain during the wait. I could still really feel the cold through all the layers I’d piled on, which felt very freaky, but I was fine.

So I made it to work, no harm done.  However, I’ve noticed that whenever it’s extreme weather outside, that affects my sense of safety, even when I’m indoors.  I’m more aware of our human physical fragility, I guess. Knowing that the outside environment is considerably more hostile than usual has an effect on me.  I feel more anxious, careful, subdued, vigilant, serious.  Getting in touch with other aspects of my nature — my humor, openness, and sociability — takes more effort.  And I pretty much kept to myself, avoiding any contact with strangers, the whole day I was away from home.

I think that’s a reflection of a general “truth” for me.   The safer I feel in my environment  — the more I’m able to trust that pain is not imminent — the more I can interact freely with others, and the more in touch I can be with the “higher” parts of my nature.

This is tricky to write about, since the word “higher” implies judgment, doesn’t it?  At this moment, I’m not sure what to call those other parts of my nature — the humor, the openness, the sociability.  For some reason, I want to call those parts “vulnerable” right now.

Are they more vulnerable, though?  I feel like those parts show strength.  However, to show humor, openness, and sociability implies a trust of The Other Person, I suppose — that whomever we interact with will be accepting enough of the interpersonal effort.

So maybe showing those sociable parts implies a certain level of bravery. Whenever we interact with somebody, we risk rejection, I guess.

Hmmm. This is like an equation that I’m having trouble figuring out right now. It’s frustrating, and I’m comparing how I am right now — not feeling 100% myself, still recovering from being sick — to how I might be able to think and write when I’m feeling better. (Comparisons are another Cognitive Distortion, by the way, and I look forward to ranting and raving about THAT in a future blog post.)

Anyway, I’m going to end it here, dear reader, trusting that this post is good enough to publish today. I also hope that if you have thoughts and questions about this post, that you will feel safe enough — no matter what the weather is outside as you’re reading this — to express them, if you choose.

Thanks for reading, as always.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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