Making “Normal” the New “Awesome”

Sunday was a beautiful day outside. I slept a little late, I spent some time on the porch, and made plans to go for a hike with a couple of friends.

We went for the hike up to the top of Peppercorn Hill with a nice view, checked out a little cave in the woods, and went back to my friend’s house. His family had just finished cleaning the pool (good timing) so we went for a swim, caught up with his dad and bros, and threw the frisbee around. Finally we finished with some deliciously grilled cheeseburgers.

And that day felt normal. I was happy the whole time, in a good mood, having fun. When it was drawing to a close, my friend’s brother said, “I am officially considering this the first summer fun day,” or something to that effect, which probably sounded less cheesy.

So that was when I thought back on the day, and was like, wow, this was an awesome day! Nothing went wrong, I did some of my favorite activities with friends, and it was all around a fun, essentially prototype kind of day.

It felt like a normal day. How lucky am I that a day like that is normal for me? I could think of a few things that would have made it even better, and I can think of a million things that would have made it a lot worse. So why do I just consider that a normal day?

I decided, why not re-label normal, awesome? Instead of essentially taking a normal day for granted, I could appreciate an awesome day, and have gratitude that something so perfect can seem normal to me.

That’s what I was doing when I started this blog, but it is so easy to fall back into a mundane attitude. I even had a couple of restarts, that never seemed to stick as much as that initial push that sparked this site.

PorcFest is only a month away, so it is tempting to wait and recapture those sentiments once at the event that makes me feel like my true self. But that is a cop-out! I need to kick it into gear, and re-label every normal day awesome.

That way, a “bad day” can become a “normal day”, and I have effectively dragged my median mood towards the “awesome” side!

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The Simple Joys of Spring Approaching

Would springtime be special if not for the vast contrast with winter? It’s not spring yet, but there some encouraging signs. It has been almost a week since any snow has fallen, and the daytime temperatures have been above freezing for a solid five days! It feels so good!

I still have to wait for the snow to melt, but I am itching to go for a hike, run, canoeing, anything outdoors! I have been deprived. But would I be so excited about doing these things if I did not live in a frozen wasteland for half the year?

I have considered the possibility that I might let years go by without canoeing if I lived in a warmer climate, because the opportunity is always available, so there is no urgency. In Massachusetts on the other hand, there is a clear marker every year at the start of canoeing season.

These past few days would have been the coldest of the year in Georgia, and felt miserable by comparison. But here, they are the warmest days in months, and make it feel like the tropics. I still plan to move south. I will just make sure to spend a few days or weeks in the north each year, in order to garner my appreciation for warm weather. I just can’t handle being cold for half the year and stuck inside, when everything I love to do is outdoors.

Still, the enchantment of spring is a pretty good consolation prize. There’s that wet dirt smell of melting snow that tells you some plants are going to start peaking through the surface. A slight breeze no longer makes you recoil and crunch up inside your coat like a turtle. There is even a chance to soak up some warmth from the sun, which seemed like a cruel taunter in the sky for the previous frigid months.

I was just saying in the last post how quickly we get used to things, so I do worry a bit that down south in the warmer weather, I might become complacent, and no longer have an appreciation for spring riding in like the cavalry. But then the prospect of constant warmth is so inviting!

And I suppose down south there are still plenty of changes, like the greening of the scenery. And that might be the worst part about Massachusetts; even in May, things are just starting to look pretty again. Well I will have to make sure I appreciate the transition of seasons this year, since if all goes to plan, this will have been my last full winter in New England.