I wore snowpants all the time as a kid and still remember the feeling. Do you remember what it felt like to wear snowpants and mittens on a bright snowy day?
You felt invincible. The snow couldn’t hurt you because you we wearing your trusty snowpants and mittens. Instead of staying inside, you were empowered (or in my case, ordered by your mother) to explore all that the snow had changed in your world.
Then you got older and stopped playing in the snow. There were a few snowball fights in high school and that one time in college when you streaked across the commons in January. But that’s it. No more building forts or tunneling through snowbanks.
There’s no need for me to worry about you losing your sense of adventure, is there? Surely you’ve replaced tunnelling through snowbanks with exciting projects that just so happen to not require snowpants or mittens? You’ve continued bundling up for adventures and leaping into the unknown with cries of delight. Haven’t you? No?
You must be miserable.
I don’t wear snowpants anymore but I’ve managed to hold onto some of the joyous bravado of my early days. How? It’s pretty simple. That’s right. I’m going to pour you a steaming mug of advice on how you can feel like you’ve got snowpants and mittens on. For free? Yes. For free. Ridiculous!
Get two different kinds of nekkid– When dealing with metaphorical snow, it’s often in comfort with exposure that we find the best protection. I recommend having at least one friend who knows the details of something you’re struggling with. Accountability is often a result of such disclosure, but that’s not what we’re concerned with just yet. The key thing here is to have at least one person you’re NOT sleeping with who gets the regular dirt on your life. When it comes to the one you do the naughty and get annoyed over stupid things with, I suggest you stop taking your clothes off and actually get nekkid. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go ask your mother. (That always worked for my dad as an answer. I figured I’d try it out.)
Take baby steps in scary directions– You’ve probably heard the, “do one thing every day that scares you” pitch? That’s resulted in a lot of scary-looking people getting laid but not much else. Most of us aren’t at the point where we can leap at things that terrify us. In fact, it’s often considered a disorder for one to be attracted to risky behavior. Where’s the balance between sleeping with ogres and turning into Miss Havisham? Baby steps. Pick a direction, take a step in that direction, mark your progress, and take another step once you’ve gotten used to the temperature. It’s a lot like getting into a cold pool. Once you’re up to your knees you say, “oh, enough of waiting!” and jump in. I should note that wearing real snowpants won’t do much to protect you if you’re trying to swim in icy water. It’ll probably help you drown, to be Frank.
Get some Thinsulation– When you think of insulation, you probably think of either the scratchy pink stuff in your walls or the sort of behavior that plagues most political systems. For just a moment I’d like you to think of insulation as something that protects you and gives a bit of padding for when you leap and don’t land exactly as you’d planned. I want you to think of Kevlar snowpants strong and warm enough that you could slide down a snowy mountain on your butt while wearing them. That’s the sort of insulation you want. The empowering sort of insulation that gives stupidly impossible things a glimmer of plausibility. We’re talking about Thinsulation! How can you arm yourself with such magnificent insulation? By figuring out what really, truly matters to you in life and doing your best to make the rest slip into place as you have time. Not sure what that entails? Start by getting nekkid and taking some baby steps. You’ll find your way soon enough.
Was that as good for you as it was for me? I hope so. Cigarette? No? I don’t smoke either.