The Ego Loves Winter: A Story about Priorities

A Story About Winter, Cross-Training, Humility, and Priorities.

Happy New Year!

Winter has officially arrived in my neck of the woods.  By officially I mean the weather has been teeter-tottering between bouts of, “Holy crap, we need another word for cold” -30°C/-22°F temperatures and balmy chinook melting spells.  In Canada though, no matter the weather, winter means two things: blades and skis.

Already two weeks into 2018, I’ve taken it upon myself to embarrass myself while doing not one, but two winter sports: skating and cross-country skiing.  Picture Bambi, only wearing a cuter toque.  Both times I could have stayed safely on the sidelines drinking spiked hot apple cider.  Both times I decided to pad my ego and take part.  Did I make an ass of myself?  Absolutely.  Did I care?  Not a bit.

As I get older I find myself being less concerned with what others think.  A funny thing happens when you stop giving a sh*t:  you’re suddenly told how cool people think you are.  Correction: you’re suddenly told how people admire your willingness to let your ego take a thrashing.  Your fearlessness to try new-old things rubs off and instead of feeling like a prized idiot you feel humbled; you might be on to something.

What I’m on to is a better sense of my priorities.  If I want to winter cross-train in the form of x-country skiing every weekend, I do it.  If sticking to my priorities means I have to be alone a lot, so be it.  Missing out on life isn’t an option anymore.  No one wants to be a bored, scared, stuck, and unfulfilled Bambi.


How do you figure out your priorities?

You can feel them.

For example, I spent $70 on a pair of pants I bought spontaneously online one evening.  I didn’t need them and could have better spent the money on 3.5 bottles of wine.   It didn’t feel right to buy them, but I didn’t listen to my gut and clicked ‘purchase’ anyways.  Yech.

Fast forward a couple of weeks: I agreed to spend the cost of a used car on something for myself that’s part medical intervention, part vanity, and all necessary.  I didn’t even bat an eyelash when I signed on the dotted line.  Besides, it was something I’d been thinking of doing for three years.


What does this mean for you?

No matter if it’s how you spend your time, money, or energy, mindfulness can help you figure out your priorities.  Don’t let your mind talk you into and out of things because of some warped sense of obligation.  Go by feel.  Pause before acting.  Wait 24 hours.  Ask for what you need and want.  Say no.  Say yes.  Stop making excuses.  Then, if you still can’t figure out your priorities, if your mind seems to be working overtime and you feel like clarity is the last thing you’ll find, talk to a professional about it.

I hope this helps you start your year off better.  Only you know what’s best for you, everything else is a flashy online Boxing Day sale vying for your attention.


Happy 2018,


(For the record, my body still hurts since the photo above was taken a week ago.  Priorities hurt.)

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