Well, I survived the first month of being 39. It was sort of anticlimactic in that it felt pretty much the same as 38. Not that I really expected it to feel any different, but I was hoping I’d feel wiser or something. So far, the only thing that’s been different about this year is that we seem to be stuck in a never ending winter. But I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with my creeping up on 40.
I am not a fan of cold weather. However, I am not going to complain about the long winter…or the sub-arctic temperatures…or even the mountain of snow that once was my yard. I am committed to seeing the glass-half-full…but my heart is yearning for Spring to come. I am craving sunshine and warm breezes. Green grass and flowers. I’ll even take the mosquitoes. In all of my years, I don’t recall ever wanting a season to end so badly. I feel desperate for change.
This past week I was talking to a friend and we started lamenting about the weather. It’s sort of a shared misery here in the mitten, an easy topic to grieve over. And I thought about how I have this new ache in my heart for it to be Spring. Then I heard a song on the radio that had a line “bad times make the good times better”. And that’s what this is. It’s a bad time that is going to make a good time so much better.
When If Spring arrives this year, I promise that I will not complain about chilly temperatures, or rain or even the bugs. I will be grateful for the beauty of the grass and leaves and flowers. I will enjoy every single bud that I see. I will appreciate the scent of the rain, even when it smells like worms. I will be thankful for every day that I can venture out without wearing a coat.
But I also want to remember this bad time, my “winter of 39”. Because when I forget the bad times, I start to take the good times for granted. I wish I didn’t slip so easily back into that habit, but I know me, and that’s what I do.
I’m not talking so much about seasons of weather as I am about seasons of life. This winter has served as a reminder to me that my bad times will make my good times better. I don’t want to take a single good thing for granted in my life. I want these bad times to make my good times better and sweeter than ever before.
So as these literal and figurative winters (hopefully) come to an end, and as I continue on towards the big 4-0, I vow to remember the bad, and even to try to remember it fondly, so that I live a life full of gratitude for all of the good that is to come.