Cold November rain

We’ve had some dreary weather of late, and a few expensive misfortunes.

On Monday, I managed to rip part of my front fender off my car while backing out of the driveway (the story — I had to get out because kids were waiting for me, a car was parked behind me that usually isn’t, with no keys available. The angle was doable but, as it turned out, not with a lot of margin. At least I didn’t hit the other car!).

Then the sewage ejector pump in the basement started making a horrible alarm noise. I went downstairs and found a big red flashing light on the front. Big red flashing lights are seldom good signs, and sure enough, both pumps — which were installed in early 2017 — will need to be replaced. The pumps are likely under warranty but not the labor to install them.

It was our second plumbing visit in a week, as the master bathroom sinks both stopped draining. This, coupled with the bat-related emergency room visits of last week, and the rain, has not made me think of rainbows and unicorns.

But I have a few tools in my toolkit for keeping annoyances in check (other than reminding myself to keep it in perspective; none of this is truly a big deal in the long run. Not at all. And, as the song goes, nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain…).

One is my running streak, now closing in on 700 days. I do not feel like running a mile every day, but I almost always feel happier after running a mile than I do before. I know that running a mile isn’t doing much for me in terms of, say, weight control, but it does a lot for my mood.

I’m also committing to getting outside for at least 20 minutes a day this winter (inspired by the Humans Outside project — if they can do it in Alaska!) On Tuesday, while I was stuck waiting for the plumber, and darkness was descending at 4 p.m., I put on my jacket and boots and went outside to enjoy the last few minutes of rainy light. I was rewarded with some great photos of fallen autumn leaves. I definitely felt better at the end of those 20 minutes than I did at the beginning.

If you live in the part of the world where winter is coming, how are you planning to enjoy it as much as possible?

In other news: Three Novembers ago, I wrote a piece for Fast Company called The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter. It became one of the website’s most read articles that year. Please give it a read!

In other other news: I’m writing an article on whether it’s wise to share your goals publicly. The upside might be accountability. The downside might be feeling like you’ve accomplished something already, or getting negative feedback. I would love to interview some psychologists/psychology researchers on that question. Also, have you ever shared a goal publicly — and had something really good or bad happen as a result? Please let me know: [email protected]

Finally: I’m speaking at the Indiana Conference for Women tomorrow. If you’re there, please come say hello!

12 thoughts on “Cold November rain

  1. I have a tendency towards the winter blues and living in Scotland, it’s even worse. I’m determined to get my five miles per day this winter in hopes of staving it off. My colleagues and I have been doing a walk around our local extinct volcano on Mondays and even though it’s a longer lunch break than I’d normally take (about 4 miles around), I figure I’d probably waste that time on twitter anyways.

    I’ve finally broken down and accepted I need a proper outdoors-y winter jacket though, I’ve managed with wool for 7 years but it’s not cutting it.

  2. Oh these kind of things are so annoying.
    I can add mine to the mix. Our nearly brand new house has a leak and there are some cracks in the facade that are giving me worries. Also, we bought a hot tub and I absolutely hate doing the maintenance on it. And it has already been repaired like 4 times in 2 years.

  3. I’ve invested in proper winter gear for my toddler. I know he’ll outgrow it after this year, and I know that I can get by without it. Last year, when he was a baby, he wore a single layer and stayed in the stroller muff, and I know people who are planning to keep their kids bundled up and stroller bound all winter. But neither of us will enjoy that, so I got him a heavy coat, several pairs of gloves, a hat, boots, and snow pants. Now he can enjoy parks and playgrounds in all but the worst of weather, and I can enjoy having a calmer, happier kid.

    1. We do this too! Even though kids outgrow things quickly, you can usually get pretty good deals on random colors, etc. We figure if the adults have proper winter gear, the kids should too. There’s no bad weather, only bad gear! 🙂

  4. I’ve been posting my monthly goals on my blog for awhile, and I’ve been posting my new year’s resolutions (and my 101 in 1001 list) on my blog for years. All in all, I find the accountability makes me much more motivated to push through when my inspiration isn’t very high, and I’ve gotten a LOT of goals accomplished over the year, many of which were accelerated or helped along significantly by the fact I went public with it. I have very occasionally had a naysayer or two who think that I take on too much, but I don’t usually give them much heed.

  5. Sorry you’ve faced so many frustrations this week — but that is a fantastic photo! Love the rich/deep colors with the bright green.

    As for your question: I’ve shared an “18 for 2018” on Instagram, but a benefit of being a nobody online is that nobody cares to critique one’s goals!

    1. @Kathleen – glad you like the colors! It really caught my eye. We took our family photos under that tree a few days before, back when all those leaves were still on the branches.

  6. Sharing goals publicly – for me it always backfires. I like to keep things open ended and if I modify a goal, I will often make it harder. If I share it publicly, I fight it and I do nothing. I invest so much energy in fighting it that I do nothing and then other areas suffer as well. So I’ve learned it’s much better to set my crazy goals for myself and keep them to myself and then modify as I please. I tend to be quite hard on myself anyway.

    1. @Tana – sounds like a bit of a rebellious tendency! As I think about it, I don’t really share too many goals publicly – that is, ones I’m not sure I’ll be able to achieve. I’m pondering why that is…

  7. On sharing goals publicly: the great Gretchen Rubin discusses this issue at length in her book on the Four Tendencies and in her blog, and of course you’ve had on her on the podcast. (That episode was such a joy!) She’d tell you that goal-sharing’s effectiveness is very much a matter of your tendency. Liz, Gretchen’s sister, has at various times announced at work that she’s not going to eat any junk food. I’m an Obliger, as is Liz, so sometimes goal-sharing works well for me, but it can also be just a matter of guilt. It’s better for me to have an actual event for which I’m responsible, so in a sense I’ve declared my goal by signing up for the event. Case in point: I’m taking voice lessons and hadn’t been practicing very much at home. Then I found out that there’s a recital on Dec. 2 and I could participate if I wanted to. So I said I would. Now I HAVE to learn “Gesu Bambino” by heart and work on those high notes!

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