Checking out at the grocery store or coffee shop, talking on the phone, or exchanging emails, the most commonly shared words of the week have been, “Stay warm.” For fun, I started counting how many times I have either said or heard these words yesterday alone it was 12 times. Given that the temperature the past few days has reached 25 below zero here several days in a row, exchanging a reminder to “Stay warm” seems only appropriate.
For the record, as I get older I really don’t like bitter cold weather. I get really grumpy when it’s too cold to spend time outside. I get grumpy when I have to constantly shovel and spread salt on our sidewalk. I get grumpy when meetings get canceled due to cold or snow, and when the mail is cancelled, too. And, yes, I understand that’s a lot of grumpiness!
So in the midst of my episodes of grumpiness this week, I suddenly realized I was receiving a regular message throughout the day of how to manage my moodiness. This message was hidden in plain sight, but when I realized it, it truly made a difference. It happened a few days ago when someone once again uttered the words, “Stay warm” to me. For some reason, this time I heard those words in a whole new way. Rather than hearing them as reminding me to make good choices related to my emotional well-being, I instead started hearing the words, “Stay warm” as a reminder for me to make good choices related to my attitude.
I have learned that staying warm attitude is the perfect antidote for grumpiness. I realized that just because its cold and stormy outside doesn’t mean I have to be cold and stormy inside. Not that I don’t still suffer short bouts of grumpiness, but the very fact that I have set the intention to try and “Stay warm” is making a big difference.
I am grateful that the forecast in our area for the next few days is for much warmer weather. And while I may not be grateful for the extreme cold we have recently endured, I am thankful for the simple two-word lesson that so many people shared with me this week.
You have probably already anticipated how this column is going to end….. “Stay warm” everyone.