And when you’re not, you’re not.
Our theme this month is the contrast of extremes—hot and cold. As most of you know, last March I moved with my husband from one of the coldest places in the continental U.S. to one of the mildest. We left Minnesota after twenty-five years for the Central Coast of California.
It’s been a major adjustment in many ways, more for him than for me. I never minded winter much, but OG (Old Goat to those in the know) has always been a confirmed winter-hater. I thought he would thrive in the near-constant sunshine and soft, sea air. Unfortunately I neglected to take into account how overwhelming and difficult that kind of complete life change can be for some people. I’m the adventurous one in the family, full of optimism and always ready to try something new. OG takes more comfort in the familiar, and I failed to recognize how hard it would be for him to tackle so many changes in such a short time. He’s trying, but many days he loses the battle.
However, even on his worst day he doesn’t claim to miss the weather. In most of the country, and especially Minnesota, this winter has been a trial for even the most cold-hardy, winter sports-loving souls. And that definitely isn’t us. Despite his rants about all the things in California that are different, I fear OG never would have survived this winter in Minnesota. He says he would have hired someone else to clear the driveway and rake the snow off the roof, but I know him too well. He’s a very particular, DIY kind of guy. No one else ever does a “proper” job of anything. He may not recognize it yet, but I’m convinced this move was the right decision.
The theme of hot and cold has also led me to consider my feelings about extremes in general. My desire to move to a milder climate mirrors a more generalized desire to avoid extremes. It may be a function of my age and stage of life. Later this year (God willing) I’ll turn sixty—a major milestone for sure—and the last couple of years I’ve found myself seeking harmony in a way I didn’t when I was younger. I’ve developed an interest in yoga and mindfulness meditation. I feel the need for personal peace, yet the world at home and abroad is in such turmoil. We’re bombarded by a cacophony of strife every minute of every day.
Perhaps this move to paradise is an attempt to escape the extremes that batter us from every side. All I know is that the natural beauty here comforts my soul and psyche. I hope that soon OG will be able to appreciate it too, but in the meantime I’m going to count my blessings every day.