Winterizing Urbanites

In my part of the world, winter was unusually mild this year – not much snow and the temperature was actually comfortable. Spring is tiptoeing closer yet the transition through a cosmopolitan winter can be challenging.  There’s not much nature to be had and the drabness can suck anyone into it.

Here’s a list of 8 things that inspire me through the dark days of winter in Cosmopolitan Toronto:

1)       The Winter Olympics.  It takes over for 16 days in February and lights the grey days of winter.  The excitement and sportsmanship of competition between athletes, teams and countries are compelling.  Of course, this only happens every four years so here are some other sources of inspiration that take me through this light-deprived transition into spring.

2)       The culture and arts scene.  Finding calm and beauty in the midst of a cosmopolitan winter is challenging – it’s certainly easier with a fresh snowfall but it’s hard-pressed to find love all around.  The richness of the cultural, artistic and creativity scene soothes this weary soul during the grey bleakness of city winters. Deep thanks to all the artists, musicians, actors and dancers who make winter in the city thoughtful, beautiful, passionate and moving.

3)       The colour Red.  Yes it’s true that Valentine’s and Chinese New Year’s offer great reasons to appreciate red. I also wear red gloves, scarf and hat. Love the huge California strawberries we find in February – not local or organic but they are incredibly sweet and beautifully red.  Really wish Starbucks would keep their red holiday cups going till the end of February.  Red rocks in the wintertime!

4)       A fireplace.  Reading, working, meeting with people, eating, drinking…everything is warmer and lovelier when there’s a fireplace.

5)       Lights.  My winter lights go up when we turn the clocks to “fall back” time and the lights come down somewhere around the time we “spring forward”.

6)       Multicultural cuisine – Thai, Indian, Japanese, Persian, Middle Eastern and much more - if it wasn’t for the cultural deliciousness in the city, my senses wouldn’t be satiated.

7)       Exercising at my local community gym. I do it for stress management, weight management, and living well management. This gym has people of all ages and cultures, there are families, singles, couples, and the diversity is energizing.  Love that there are babies with their mums/dads heading for swimming lessons, guys playing pick-up basketball and seniors pumping iron. Love the sense of community and the feeling that everyone is taking care of their well-being.

8)       Appreciating the beauty and wisdom of the four seasons and the knowledge that wintertime is necessary for the burst of spring to be as breath-taking as it is after the hibernation.  There is a gift in every winter, seasonal or spiritual.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” Helen Keller