Wednesday, February 3, 2016

34. Why I Walked Home in a Snowstorm

I walked from my office downtown to my friend’s condo in midtown yesterday afternoon. Our office closed early and I decided to try and find a place to stay in Minneapolis for the night because I didn’t feel like a three-hour bus ride home.


My friends Andrea and Justin (who have graciously hosted me during two other snow events) let me stay again. I felt a bit cooped up during the day, sitting in front of a computer. I wore my boots into work and I had a hat, scarf, and choppers (leather mittens that could probably protect you if you dipped your hands in dry ice), so I felt prepared. I decided to take the two mile walk down to midtown.


I told my colleagues and they all looked at me a little funny. They are all great people, but none of them really strike me as the outdoorsy type, so I could understand that they probably wouldn’t want to join me.


I bundled up and told one of my bosses that I was pulling a Skywalker and heading out into the planet Hoth. He laughed and wished me luck.


I started off and it was messy. The roads were full of salt and cars were having trouble going after stopping at red lights. I just kept going, smiling. It was nice to have some fresh air. I was lucky that it wasn’t too cold and I’d be walking with the wind at my back, so it didn’t feel too awful.


When did snow become a chore? It feels like an inconvenience these days. I have to plan my commute, wonder if my office will be closed, and bundle up in order to get through my day. It’s a hassle more than anything.


Adults have very few reasons to go out and enjoy the snow. We usually have to shovel or snowblow it and make sure it doesn’t collect on our roofs. Or we have to go out an exercise in it in order to justify spending time out there. Or we have to buy expensive machines to ride above it. We can’t just go and be in it.


I think that’s one of the worst parts about growing up, you have to have a reason to do anything. It gets harder and harder to be spontaneous as you grow older.


That’s why I decided to walk to my friends’ place in the snow. It was nice to get some time to myself and just walk at my own pace. It was nice to get some fresh air and observe the world slowing down for a while.


I got cold near the end. I’m not going to pretend that I’m immune to all forms of weather. But I got in to my friends place and we had pizza a while later. I had a beer and I relaxed. The cold just makes you appreciate those things a little bit more.

I firmly believe that sometimes you have to observe what everybody else is doing in life and do something completely different. Sometimes that’s as simple as taking a walk.

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