Sunday, 21 November 2010


I've been waiting all year to listen to this song in the right context, and finally--calendar and weather permitting--the time has come. Much as I like the song on its own, it just doesn't resonate the same when it's a sweaty 90 degrees out as when it's a shivery 30 degrees out.

Here's a song link since the video's not great sound: Cold November

The broader message for me is that everything is contextual. Things work in certain situations better than others; at certain times, in certain places, and to/with/for certain people.

It's really easy to make plans. When you make a plan, even huge setbacks aren't a big deal because... you planned for them. You could say it's even the essence of being human to plan--to think in abstract rather than respond to what's in front of you. But sometimes even the simplest of plans, that exist on a level we don't even recognize as "planning," don't work right: "I'm going to listen to X song and it's going to be rad because it's a rad song."

And then the temptation is to fight for your plan. To OVERCOME and PERSEVERE, those are supposed to be really great qualities. There's for sure a time and place for that, but it's not ALWAYS the time and place for it.

Winter is a good time to focus on another great quality: ACCEPTANCE. It's a reminder that fighting for what you want sometimes means not fighting for it. While riding in the snow is rad, and yes you're super duper hardcore for not missing a day of "training," you're not going to be so fast in two months with your broken hip.

Acceptance doesn't have to be dramatic. It doesn't have to change your actions. Right now a big part of it is simply not fighting winter, not getting bent out of shape EVERY EFFING DAY that it's cold, or wet, or most likely, both. Acceptance isn't pretending you aren't hurt, it's simply acknowledging the injury, and absorbing it into your reality in a constructive way that ignoring it or whining about it don't accomplish.

Acceptance is about not forcing your own agenda on a situation that clearly doesn't support it. It doesn't require enjoying doing so. It just means that if you have tendonitis, and it's 35 and raining, and you maybe also have a tickle in your throat, then get over yourself and take a nap and read a book.

Acceptance is not laziness. It's about plugging into the ebb and flow of your life. Inhaling and exhaling are a package deal. Let the breath out, then when you're good and ready, hit it hard and treat yourself to some air. Why is it so hard to see that in everything else we do? It's not letting yourself out of your PLAN when you don't feel like doing it; it's letting your plan go altogether on a day to day basis and letting your body take over.

We humans love to parade around talking about how smart we are, and how great it is we've RISEN above our bodies and control them to do our bidding, even outsmarting them now and then to extract greater potential. Well if it were up to you to figure out how to heal even the smallest cut, if your body decided to take a day off and leave it up to the smart ass living inside its skull, do you think you'd know what to do?

ACCEPT that you don't always know what's best for you, at least the conscious part doesn't, but that there's another part of you that does, and it's constantly trying to communicate what's going on in the engine room even while the Captain is slugging whiskey in the bridge.

*UPDATED (moments after writing)

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