Learning to deal with winter in the mountains involves physical labor and an attitude adjustment. There’s a point where I have to ask myself, “Just how much do I want to do myself?” The snow melted yesterday and I could see the ground, so was looking at winter in a different way until I awoke this morning to 5 inches of snow that had fallen overnight. Since Rachel was here I was very concerned about her drive back to Brooklyn after dropping Mason here for a week with Sydney. I include yet another photo of Sydney and Mason in the new snow watching squirrels. As an aside, the squirrels up here are MUCH fatter with bushier tails than in Florida!
Looking up at the driveway, the cars were both covered with snow and I decided to trudge up the stairs and get the snow off and make sure it was clear for Rachel to leave before the temperature dropped. The snow was very powdery and soft so it wasn’t really all that difficult. But then I realized that it was piled pretty high in front of and to the side of her car so I grabbed the shovel and started to push the snow aside. It seemed so simple.
As I was grunting, cursing, and otherwise talking to myself while shoveling, I realized that there are times when one has to say, “This is ridiculous. Why am I doing this?” So, I did. I have an annual contract for plowing the upper driveway (which costs me the same as a long curvy driveway but they won’t do mine because it’s too steep). Typically they can plow enough so that I can get my car out. I called the owner of the business, told him that I needed to get Rachel’s car out, needed the stairs cleared and that they had not yet plowed the driveway. It was 11:00 AM so I thought that was plenty of time for them to do what I had already paid them to do. Two trucks showed up within 10 minutes. The driveway was plowed, stairs were shoveled, snow in front of and behind Rachel’s car was shoveled, and we were good to go. I did go out and greet Jeff who was shoveling — he is not the person who plows, only shovels — and of course he wanted to talk. We discussed new/old tires, skidding on local roads, and how I wanted to manage the two cars (which translates into where I wanted him to shovel). Rachel is on her way back to Brooklyn hopefully ahead of the freezing rain that is predicted, I cleared off my car and drove to the mail room to test out the driveway, and am back in the house ready to light a fire.
My big realization today was that it is okay to need help; it is more than okay to ask for help. And, that if I am already paying for services, it really isn’t asking for help anyway! It’s just having the expectation that others will do what they’ve promised. As anyone who has worked with me will attest, I do not always give others a chance to meet those expectations and I certainly lived up to that portrayal this morning. There’s enough to do to keep up with things in the northern winter. I do not need to do other people’s jobs as well. You may read this and think that’s an obvious conclusion but for me this is an epiphany! The promise has been made — I am no longer going to try and do the work of others, nor will I try to do work that is beyond my skills or physical ability. I’d sign this if I could!