Yesterday, I was every bit of a capitalist consumer. I spent the afternoon searching for key pieces for an upcoming trip and bopped into a few shops, heading straight for the sale rack towards the back of the stores.
Each time I checked out, the cashiers I interacted with said something along the lines of, “Enjoy the sun while it lasts. Snow is coming tomorrow.”
I was ready for big flakes, fluffy blankets, and savory food warming in the oven.
When I checked the weather before bed last night, I was disappointed. Our anticipated snow day had gone from a sure thing to a 30% chance of flurries for just a few hours. When I woke this morning, no snow had fallen. The ground was dry. The light was grey.
In Colorado, this change of weather and threatening inconsistency is nothing new. I’m used to being told to wear layers to prepare for multiple scenarios.
I have been trained to prepare to be flexible.
Like a toddler pushing the limits, I frequently go in to work on blue sky mornings wearing polka-dot flats only to come outside at five wishing I had worn socks as sharp little ice drops bite at the tops of my feet. If I’m going to get cold, I’ll do so on my own terms.
We wounded wonderers are masters at pivoting.
Turn for the needs of others. Turn for the wallops of pain. Turn for the things we didn’t see coming. I’m used to pivoting to protect myself, to mask disappointment, and to forge forward telling my spirit, “It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.” when really, the situations are anything but.
Yes, the soft landings of snow flakes are missing today. In the grey sky surrounds I sit and I wonder, “How can I teach myself to pivot differently? What if I moved, not away-from but towards the things I want? Can preservation be channeled into motivation instead?”
This week I walked into the gym and climbed onto the elliptical stationed in front of the big t.v. showing the Food Network. The absurdity of watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives while attempting to burn off calories does not escape me. The choice, however, was better than the ever-present terror unfolding on CNN, NBC, and ABC after work hours.
I spent thirty minutes pedaling backward and the lights on the whirring machine began to flash.
Pedal forward. Pedal forward. Pedal forward.
The green words blinked at me across the digital keypad.
It was time, again to pivot. To change my legs and my weight and move forward with my movements even though I was going nowhere at all.
March is coming and with it birthdays and anniversaries of death. In my head I’m pivoting between how it was then and where I am now and what it feels like to sit in the grey. Four years have passed and I’ve found myself forgetting the electricity of shocking loss in my veins. The memories are softer now, still cold and wet and powerful in congregation with their fellow flakes.
I want snow and protection and warm food and calories to cushion me.
Machines are beeping, I am weeping, and conversations with encouraging strangers are telling me, “Now. It’s time. Pedal forward. Pivot towards the places you want to be. Create your work – the world needs you just as you are. ”
March is coming. Maybe this year, pivoting forward can be a beautiful thing.