Sunday, February 10, 2008

Om Gal Ventures North

I'm a big fan of Uggs and hot cocoa, but that's about as far as my affinity for the winter months goes. I don't ski, ice skate, snowboard, or snowshoe. I find curling laughable; although, I suspect I am not alone in this. I like snow as long as it happens on a Sunday morning, magically clears by noon, and doesn't usher in a host of parking bans, tickets, or feuds over spots in the meantime. I envy people who embrace the darker, shorter days with glee, planning trips northward and inviting their equally ecstatic friends to tag along.

Plenty of my friends over the years have extended such generous invitations to homes in lovely places like VT, NH, ME, and Tahoe, and while I am always appreciative and touched, I give these trips about as much consideration as a career in the circus, which is to say I don't consider them. Instead, I hunker down in my urban hermitage, scurrying out into the cold only when absolutely necessary. Please note, activities that warrant leaving home can typically be categorized as one of the following: attending a hot yoga class, luxuriating in the steam room at my gym, or venturing to the grocery store to stock up on Yogi tea and ingredients for soup.

Therefore, it is not without utter disbelief and shock that I share with you what I did this weekend . . . I went to Vermont. What's more, before my former self could protest, I fully embraced snow country. I went snowshoeing and, just this morning, tried snowboarding [insert gasp]. My hands went numb; my butt became sore; I traded in my sleek yoga clothes for outfits that consisted of at least two pairs of pants, several layers of fleece, and borrowed gloves that I might have earlier mistaken for well-insulated cooking mitts. Most importantly, I returned home feeling thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated. It's even probable that I'll revisit the Green Mountain State in the future.

In the short term, however, I'll try to find ways to preserve the zen of the mountains within my city slicker life. Perhaps you'd like to give this a try as well?


Turn Off The TV: Your nervous system will thank you.

Connect to Nature: City living makes opportunities to do this less obvious, yet there are plenty of ways to appreciate nature EVERY DAY. Perhaps you could start small this week by buying a plant or fish? Then, take care of either or both gingerly.

Challenge Yourself: Snowboarding was not easy, and it was even a little scary. Still, it made me laugh a lot- even in the face of complete ineptitude, which is infintitely healthy and important.

Be Quiet: No explanation needed.

Be Kind: Lend someone your gloves. You may be surprised to realize that it will be you who feels the warmth.

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