I can't remember a single time in my life that I've felt truly chilled to the bone, until this week. With subzero temperatures and windchills well into the negatives, I realized how much I've yet to learn when it comes to living.
While it's physically too frigid to function, I've been trapped in my house getting arguably the latest jump ever on winterizing the cold and drafty windows. I realize I've had practice staying home with the last year of sporadic quarantines, but it's quite different when pipes are frozen in your house and you can't even seem to heat it above 65 degrees. I'm over it. I long for the warm conversation and cheerful presence of others...
How does anyone ever get to the point that they're okay living a "cold" lifestyle? I often think about what leads each person to the path they're currently taking in life, but it wasn't until this week that I started to understand how hard it is to come back after being cold for so long.
Cooping yourself up in your home and avoiding others because it feels like -25 degrees is actually a lot like shutting others out to navigate personally blinding blizzards of emotions by yourself. Once you get to a certain point, it makes warming back up to others so much more difficult.
The thermostat in my house hasn't peaked 60 degrees in days and while I've tried to cover areas that let in icy drafts, lit candles, plastic-wrapped windows and dripped the water from the faucet, I've still ended up bitterly burned by the cold. The pipes must have frozen despite my attempts to retain heat in my house as I walked into the hallway to a flooded bathroom, laundry room and bedroom.
For me, it seems easier to turn cold and eliminate the possibility of disappointment by not having expectations from others when things get crazy... However, just like the dang pipes, you only risk freezing up and making everything worse.
With gentle care and a little time, it's possible to warm back up enough to soften a hardened heart. But what are you waiting for? In some of the coldest times our generations have seen, we all need a little warmth from one another.
Prioritize yourself but don't turn cold. Remember the frigidity won't last... don't lock yourself away and give into the cold. Lean on your neighbors and love one another. It's the ultimate warm sensation.