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How to Change a Perspective

"You want a prediction about the weather? You're asking the wrong Phil. I'm going to give you a prediction about this winter. It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's going to last you for the rest of your lives!"

- Phil Connors

How do you feel at this point in the winter?

Typically, I tend to feel just like Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) in the movie Groundhog Day, one my favorites. I’ve been a Michigander my whole life, and every February can feel tedious. It is cold and grey. And at this point, halfway through, it DOES feel like it’s going to last for the rest of our lives.

9 years ago, I’d completely had it with winter. I hated everything about it. Every day, I’d look out my window, see the snow, and just seethe. My anxiety about driving in snowy conditions turned into anger. It seemed like winter was doing this on purpose, just to make me mad. My mood was affected by the season. My conversations were focused on dissing the season. Everything was colored by how much I hated winter.

Have you ever hated something (or someone) SO much that you realized the act of hating was draining your energy? Perhaps you couldn’t even enjoy anything because you were so busy hating the things you decided to hate?

In 2013, we had arguably the worst snow/ice storm in Michigan I had ever seen. And after that, it turned into the worst winter season through which I’d ever lived. Ironically, it was around the time the movie Frozen came out. Winter that year felt like something orchestrated by Disney. Why not- they own everything else, right?

As winter 2014 approached, I noticed that with my usual anger at the Season, there was also fear. How was I going to make it through another winter feeling like I was in knots?

I realized that I was responsible for my own thoughts and feelings about winter. I could see how I was choosing to hate an entire season. And by hating winter, I was making myself miserable for 3 months of the year. Did I really want to live life that way? I decided that it was time to make peace with winter. But saying I wanted to make peace with winter and actually doing it were very different things. I knew I’d have to get creative.

8 years later, I’m happy to say that I AM at peace in wintertime. To honor and celebrate the work done to accomplish this task, I share what I did to befriend winter on this episode of Growing in Uncertainty. You can apply my peace-making process to anything with negative associations in your life that’s draining your energy. Making peace with the things we don’t like helps us focus more on the things we DO like and contributes to sustainable contentment with life.

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