Determined, fearless—and fueled with youthful naiveté, my pigtails dove in. To anything fun, messy or daring.
Perhaps it was resultant of being the runt of any pack I ran ‘round.
It might’ve been ‘little sis syndrome,’ continually surrounded by older brothers who knew NOTHING about dolls or proper tea party etiquette.
Or, it might’ve just been the way God wired my short circuits.
Yes, the winter of ’78 offered fantastic opportunities for grand adventures. The ‘burbs of Chicago were a white wonderland with snow high as the city sky. Bundled in mismatched winterwear and a knit pink scarf (which I hated), I stood valiantly, tiny mittened fists firmly on my hips, atop our mailbox.
I gazed across the wintry plains from my perch, looking far below onto the street where mere minions drove their cars. I was larger than life; grand in scheme and size. Valiant. Until an iceball (embedded into my damn scarf) slapped me in face. Really? But no matter; I stood atop of the world.
As I surveyed snow mounds at postal height regulations, my brothers were busily howling like animals, jumping off our home’s roof. Clearly it was a coveted (and rare) snowday off from school, and even more clearly, the parentals were at work.
Oh yes, I thought, as one practiced-Belushi-right-eyebrow darted upward, this was a snow day to be cherished, indeed.
There was nothing I could not conquer that day. No hill I could not climb. No boy I could not fight off with a stomp of my pink snow boot. At least it was so in my own mind.
And frankly, 40 years later, not much has changed. The hills may appear differently now. My snow boots are a few sizes larger, I have a new scarf, and I no longer wish to step on boys. But otherwise, not a whole lot has changed. I still want to conquer it all.
I bet you do, too.
There’s such a glowing determination instilled within so many of us, isn’t there? A childlike spirit of adventure. And life-earned wisdom accompanied by weathered strength that simply whispers, “Yes, you can.”
What better time than in the month of January to lace up our snow boots and push forward into life’s inevitable bitterness. To face the winds that sting and gusts that incessantly attempt to push us back.
And yet we step forward—unstoppable as we can be.
In January we face what is uncomfortable because we must; retreating indoors in tender warmth is a momentary gift to cherish—but progress is accomplished through determination put to action—yes, even into the winds of discomfort.
So slap on those snow boots. Brace for life’s winter chill, be grateful to inhale the crisp air—and whisper to the chilling winds, “Bring it.”