Gr”attitude” adjustment

by Amy Neurohr, NDFB Administrative Specialist

If you live in North Dakota, you know I’m stating the obvious when I say this past winter was one of the tougher ones to get through. Dealing with the amount of snow (101.2” total in Bismarck), the road conditions, the wind, the lack of sunshine and the longevity of it all took its toll. I don’t know about you, but those last few months of winter were particularly tough on my mental well-being. Each morning I’d purposefully not look at my weather app. I mean why bother? It’s the same weather every day. My mind was inundated with thoughts such as, “Why do I live here?” and, “If only the sun would come out, then the cold day wouldn’t feel half bad.”

I’m originally from Butte (North Dakota, not Montana) and a member of a Butte Facebook group. A recent post in the group caught my eye. It was a previously published story written by my Great Aunt Irene called “One Couple’s Winter In 1948-49.” In it, Great Aunt Irene told stories about her husband walking to town which was 5 miles away on prairie trails. He was walking because the snow was too deep and hard for the horses to get through. They had no indoor plumbing and therefore had to trudge a quarter mile to the well each day. They even had to go get coal for the furnace and for the kitchen stove which in turn created ashes that needed to be carried out. No telephone. No mail service. And only a battery powered radio for communication to the outside world.

When I read that story, I must admit I felt a little ridiculous for all my moping and complaining about this past winter. Don’t get me wrong, it was indeed one of the longest and toughest winters we’ve had and therefore some grumpiness was warranted. But I forgot to acknowledge how fortunate we are for the valuable conveniences we have. Instead of being so agitated at having to remove snow from the driveway for the 383rd time, I should have been grateful for having a snowblower to make the job a lot easier (and a husband to operate the snowblower!). Complaining about the cold temperatures should have been balanced with thankfulness for being able to have heat available at my fingertips at home, at work and in my car.

Now I’m not saying I’ll be humming a happy little tune while scraping snow off my car windshield this coming winter. BUT I will try to focus on how warm my running car will be when I get inside. Having a better balance of thinking positive with the negative won’t change the weather, but it sure might improve my ability to cope with it.


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