Even if you live outside the UK you cannot have missed us Brits Twittering on about the clobbering our little island took recently from the snow. It’s been a bit of a shock to city-turned-country girl here to wake up to the fact that outside of London snow is not some slushy thing that lasts five minutes.
It was kind of fun for a couple of days. So long as it melted quickly and let us all get back to life as usual. Except, it didn’t. And my food supplies started to dwindle. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been one for hunger at the best of times and the prospect of having it imposed on me was pretty scary.
So, last Friday, Steve and I decided to put on our winter walking gear, take a couple of backpacks, and walk five miles to our nearest Tesco. I set off resenting the shit out of it. But it turned out to be a magical experience and I wanted to share my reflections with you.
What you imagine is not what IS
About five minutes into the walk and warming up in all my layers, I began to enjoy the crunch of thick snow under my feet. We began to see spectacular wildlife sights: red kites circling around some prey, a sparrow hawk hovering over its, rabbits scrabbling through the snow for sodden grass, fox trails weaving their way into the distance, tiny field mice scuttling around in the snowy bracken, partridges rushing away from their hedgy hiding holes.
It made me think about how often I put off a big task, thinking I’m going to hate it, only to find that, when I’m in it, I’m absorbed and loving it. There was a real lesson for me here in being present and allowing that to inform my experience.
At tough points: dig in and push through
About forty five minutes in it started snowing. Heavily. We kept walking for a minute or two before stopping and asking ourselves, “should we turn back?” Part of me really wanted to. But by that stage my appetite for the challenge had been engaged and I began to wonder how it might be to keep going.
“Let’s take the risk and keep walking,” I eventually said. And so we did.
For about twenty minutes in the midst of a blizzard, I felt like we were in no-man’s land and had completely lost the plot. But the snow eventually eased off, leaving us no worse for wear, and we made it to Tesco in just over an hour and forty minutes.
And I wondered how often in life and work, we avoid a challenge at the first sign of difficulty. I must admit that I drew the parallel between this experience and where I am in my blogging journey: sufficiently well into it, but with miles to go. I have vision of what I want to do, but can sometimes see the terrain as difficult. Can I push through in order to achieve what I want? Amazingly, life gave me an answer to my question.
See things through to the end
Ten minutes from home a 4×4 passed us and its driver offered us a lift. We thanked him for his generosity, but by that point we were so close to doing what we’d imagined was impossible that, without even conferring, we knew that we had to finish the journey under our own steam. The sense of achievement was immense. I rewarded myself by sitting in a hot bath for half an hour and then making some fabulous food.
It’s all too easy, in my experience, to see the finishing post ahead and to cop out without making it through the tape. Getting home that day made me understand how important it is to see something right through, and to take the satisfaction and pleasure that comes from an ending.
Who’d have thought the snow could have held such gifts?! Have you had any similar experiences, snowy or not, you can share?