Where I live winter is long.
Long, dark, bitter cold, full of smog and down right miserable. I’m not the first to admit winter is my least favorite season. Fortunately, natures trade off for enduring winter hardships are her other seasons: spring, summer and fall. No waking up early to slip and slide to a snow drenched car only to have my covered hands, nose and ears lose feeling and threaten to fall off in a matter of seconds. No slippery roads and crazy drivers. No back breaking shoveling. Yes, each year when winter harshness fades into spring, I have found myself happily anticipating the arrival of three seasons of bliss!
Over the last ten years I have wished winter away. Ignoring all of winter’s goodness and focusing on its negatives have not elicited an attitude of gratitude, but rather, an attitude of annoyance- hatred even. This ungrateful attitude was beginning to transfer over to other areas of life, challenging my faith, and creating an unhappy, slightly annoyed, ornery me. Knowing that winter would once again make its yearly return, I had to make a conscious decision that I was going to change my attitude. I was bound and determined to love winter. With all it’s annoyances, I was once again, like I did as a child, going to be grateful for winter and enjoy it’s bounty. All of it. The good and the not so good.
My attitude for the upcoming months has improved. I’ve found myself eagerly awaiting snow to pour from the skies. For the sensation of flakes falling on my face while trying to catch at least one on my tongue. For the cold outside air so I have a good excuse to make a baked sugary treat, snuggle in my blanket and have a read-a-thon. For hot chocolate coating my stomach after enjoying magical snow time with my children. For exhilarating rides downhill in the toboggan, peaceful ski lift journeys, sailing down groomed mountain slopes, snow angels, and my new favorite- snow shoeing. Winter cannot come soon enough.
Having an attitude of gratitude about winter has worked so well that this morning I even found myself thankful for the cold air just so I could appreciate the sun’s rays as they streamed in through my kitchen window and warmed my face.
Bring on the snow!
With this attitude change, I’m reminded of the scripture passage 2 Nephi 2:10-11 &15 in the Book of Mormon where Lehi is speaking with his son Nephi, and explaining how opposition is a necessary part of eternal laws. It’s true that to each, there is an opposite. Just as the seasons and their parts are opposites. The most integral part is that to truly enjoy the good, we must be grateful for the opposite of that good. Grateful for the bad and how great it makes the good! My winter attitude of gratitude is just a minute example of how embracing this principle of opposition has helped me look forward to winter and is precisely how I plan endure it.
How has having an attitude of gratitude helped you in your life?