Chicago is in the second day of thirty to forty degree below zero wind chills, and Chicagoans are busy congratulating each other about how we withstand our suffering, which constantly makes us ever smarter and stronger. I have learned a few things myself.
1. Appreciation of the little things, like my furnace and fireplace.
2. Regression to the grilled cheese and tomato soup portion of my life, which also includes cooking other comfort food twice a day,a great improvement over my usual pace of actual cooking. I’ve produced chili, chicken pot pie, beef stew. Tonight, homemade pizza
3. Mental toughness, from that crucial decision to venture out vs. stay home. I chose the latter after a nanosecond of consideration.
4. The relationship between cabin fever and productivity, which led me to:
• cull filing cabinets that still included maps from everywhere I’ve ever visited including out-of-the-way Berea KY, and Italy in 1972
• throw out beef bullion cubes from 2005
• install the Googlecast I got for Christmas
• update my password list from the stack of sticky notes I’ve collected every time I can’t log in to something and have to change
• remove and donate (once the weather improves) all clothing that I haven’t worn in three years and/or wouldn’t buy today, and/or doesn’t now fit my constantly evolving self image (I saw an Oprah show on this once)
• and finally, learn that Googlecast and amazon prime don’t like each other so one won’t stream the other’s movies. Can’t we all just get along?
5. Optimism about the arrival of warm weather this weekend when we can return to our usual winter, which now that I think of it, isn’t that bad. Who knew the Polar vortex would bring gratitude along with it? Someone tell Tom Skilling!