Octobernation

[October + Hibernation]

I think it was Oprah who invented the catchy little phrase ‘live your best life now’ [or was it ‘be your best self now’] or maybe the phrase was coined by Dr. Oz, or Dr. Phil or none of the above.

It seems a noble sentiment, of course, relinquishing the ‘whens’ and the ‘ifs’ and the ‘some days’ and embracing the imperfect life you’ve been given. And I’m [mostly] supportive of this endeavor with one little caveat: it’s not possible very difficult for me to be my best self in the wintry, dreary months of November, December, January, February and March. To be honest, April is also prone to more of the same wintry, dreary weather here in the frozen tundra, so if I were being completely transparent, I’d add that month to the list too.

If you were a counting person, you might notice there are six months in any given year when I’m incapable of being my best self. This might sound bad; as though six months a year is a lot of time for someone to spend not being her best self. But from where I’m sitting, it means I am [an approximation of] my best self, fifty percent of the time. And really, aren’t those pretty good odds? Don’t we offer millions of dollars to athletes for far less impressive performances?

So I’ve made my peace with my 50 ‘cent life; content to unveil ‘best Nicola’ in May, June, July, August, September and October.

But then my half-baked plans hit a teensy snag this year: winter came to Calgary in October, instead of November. One minute it was 20 degrees [I’m trying to disprove Mina from The Newlywed’s theory that one cannot assimilate to a different form of temperature measurement as an adult] and the next it was snowing and minus 6. And not just a dusting of snow, a cover-the-ground and unlikely-to-melt-before-proper-winter-arrives kind of snow.

One minute we were walking outside the leafless trees at Edworthy Park and the next we were frantically digging snowpants and boots and mittens out of various boxes in the basement. Last week, there were freezing temperatures and even the sun migrated south, so I hibernated on the couch with various books and, after leaving significant butt-dents in the fabric and consuming an entire batch of gritty gluten free cookies, I had to concede I’d reached a tipping point.

Winter in October, means ‘best Nicola’ will now only show up for five months of the year, which is closer to a forty percent success rate. And no one is impressed when you say ‘I’m an [approximation of  an] excellent human being forty percent of the time.’ Such a confession essentially screams: underachiever!

So, it’s time for Plan B. I’m going to take my coat off (just as soon as I feel sufficiently warmed after going outside an hour and a half ago) and I’m going to step away from the computer and tackle my to-do list. Or, at least, make a to-do list. Maybe I’ll run through the snowy alley to pick up the Hen from Kindergarten. And maybe I’ll try to do two minutes of a Tracy Anderson youtube segment and who knows, maybe that will induce best-Nicola to show up.

Or, at the very least, keep me busy until the butt-dents in the couch fade away.


Our last pre-snow hurrah in Edworthy Park.

3 thoughts on “Octobernation

  1. tell the boys often how lucky they were that you took them on their outdoor adventures while you could! 😉 Sorry – October snow is not acceptable. There’s no other way to say it 😦 Do you snowshoe?? 😉

  2. Oh Rachel, the best was on Saturday when the eight year old was all ‘and it’s such a nice day outside and you won’t even let me go and play outside.’ And I was all ‘it’s ‘such’ a ‘nice’ day?’ and then I said something about how when it was sunny and warm I kept asking them to go on walk and bike rides….and then he said ‘but I love playing in the snow.’ Oh, I guess we should move to Alaska. Ma, I don’t know about 47 degrees, but anything sunny will do.

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