I enjoy the belief that as humans we should aim to be as dynamic as the weather in Colorado: beautifully unpredictable at times, but offering a near constant supply of sunshine. As long as we are breathing love, light and optimism most days, then the evolution of our selves through our relationships, hobbies, careers, etc. is a glorious thing. Laying the groundwork for change by first establishing our commitment to a positive attitude is essential to happiness. Colorado makes a deal with its residents that goes something like this: I’m going to guarantee you 300 days or more of sunshine every year, but I expect you to put your goddamned big girl panties on when I decide to throw out hail, 100 mph winds and thunder snow in a matter of 30 minutes. At that point I will quickly regain your favor with a triple rainbow and a fox sighting.
Much like my current home state, I find it fairly easy to remain in a sunny state of mind most days. Though while I personally love the violent weather shifts in Colorado, I don’t always embrace changes in myself quite as enthusiastically. People grow more and more resistant to change as they age, I find. If you didn’t travel before you had kids and responsibilities, what are the chances you’re gonna book a flight to Barcelona with your tax refund when you’re 45 and thinking about college funds? Then there’s that thing called mastery. Are you really going to weigh the effects of your $7 morning coffee on your retirement age when you’ve worked for years to reach the perfection that is a Grande Almond Milk Latte Macchiato with one pump of sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce syrup?? Heavens, no. Then there’s the opposite of mastery, which can also be problematic. Enter my relationship with skiing.
For nearly a decade I have somewhat desperately tried to match my expert skier husband’s passion for the sport, hoping for just a fraction of his skill. I’ve taken trips “out West” to the best resorts, taken lessons, torn ligaments, spent thousands on gear, rented seasonal ski condos and oh, I fucking moved to Colorado. So much of the sentiment I have surrounding my marriage is tied up in skiing. Sean proposed to me while we were skiing (literally) in Park City and we went back there to get married a year later. We started a life in Colorado in part so we could be in with the ski culture and raise our own little shredders and rippers. The fact that I have acquired neither the skill nor the passion in all that time has continued to haunt me. More than anything, my own obsessive mental pursuit of being better than I am has taken away the joy that skiing used to bring me. My usual unfailing positive attitude has failed me. Until recently. This year I’ve very quietly allowed myself a break from skiing without really talking about it too much. I’m slowly accepting that a goal I once had is no longer a healthy one to keep. With a 6-year old who is now skiing above my level, I knew I needed to embrace this change now before I end up resenting his joy in the years to come. With this in mind, I will go into the 2018 season as the only skier I was ever meant to be – a joyful companion to my husband, children, and a few other dear friends and family members only. My boots and gloves will be heated. The runs and the skies will be blue.
Change is inevitable and undeniable, but it can also be healing and beautiful. It all just depends on your attitude.