Winter the Norwegian Way

Does winter just fill you with dread? Do you count the days until spring? I do!

I’ve struggled with the cold weather winter brings for as long as I can remember, but this year has been so much worse. I normally love the beautiful fall weather, but when the leaves started to turn to bright orange, red, and yellow and everyone around me was talking about their beauty, I couldn’t see it. All I could think was: “Winter is coming! Long, cold, gloomy days! Early mornings spent in the freezing cold, scraping ice off my windshield and shoveling the snow–pure misery!”

I truly thought winter was just to be endured and was surprised when I came across an article about people in Northern Norway, who in my mind would have every right to be depressed all winter, the sun doesn’t make it above the horizon from November to late January.

It appears people there “view winter as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured”.  I immediately thought they are crazy! They celebrate all the things you can do in winter. This really got me thinking about your mind and how powerful it is. Could I possibly enjoy winter by changing my mindset?

I decided to try the Norwegian way of thinking and celebrating those things I can only do in winter; such as: snuggle up in a warm blanket and read a book or watch a movie, light a fire, bake a lot without worrying about making the house too hot, drink hot chocolate, enjoy how my kids look so cute bundled in their winter gear, and notice how pretty everything looks covered in white, etc….

I surprised my children when I actually played in the snow with them. I helped build fort walls, threw snowballs, and attempted a snowman.  To help you see how unusual this is, let me explain. When my children were too young to go outside and play without me I would fill the kiddie pool with snow and put it in the kitchen for them to play. I had no desire to be out in the snow! I was relieved when they were old enough to go out and play on their own. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had playing in the snow with them recently.

They also touch in the article on how often we get together and grumble about the weather. This makes it even harder to change your mind set. So the next time someone started complaining about the weather I did my best to share something I loved instead of joining in. I was pretty good at that for about a week and then the days of snow turned to days of below freezing weather and my resolve to be positive started to slip away. I’m a work in progress. Somedays I can find the positive and other days it’s a struggle.

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