It has been brutally cold and windy in NJ these past two weeks. Why is it that cold weather slows us down so? We arrive home from work and instead of going for a walk or heading out to run errands, or working on individual projects, we hunker down for the evening, remote control in hand and microwave popcorn at our side. TV time used to start around 9pm. Now it starts around 7. In warmer weather we are usually far behind on our favorite shows and the DVR flashes warning messages to be sure we know that memory is low. But currently we are all caught up.
RoofTop Chalie feels it too. My dog stands at the backdoor looking at snow on the ground and looking at me with accusing eyes. We walk outside together for him to take care of his bathroom needs and when he is through, he walks right back to the back door, head hung low. Although I am also standing in the yard, next to his pile of balls and frisbees, he doesn’t see me. He is cold too. No running, no digging.
But cold or no, we need movement. For some, like me, there is an easy fix for the winter blahs…activity and movement. We all know this…from magazines, from new reports, and from our own experience. So why, year after year, do we forget so easily?
RoofTop Chalie reminded us today. Without his regular walks and runs, he had energy to burn. In a few unsupervised minutes, he chewed up a pencil, a copy of The Time Machine by H.G Wells, and the Pat’s Pizza Coupon book. The pencil and H.G. Wells felt expendable, but somehow, the Pat’s Pizza coupon book hit home.
“Oh no!!!….Not the Pat’s Pizza Coupon Book!” I am ashamed that I actually wailed these words out loud.
We bought the coupon book from a neighborhood kid’s junior soccer team in the fall, when they were fundraising. It was filled with $5 coupons and we had used many of them in these dreary winter months.
Looking at the shredded remnants of the coupon book, I paused. Obviously, this was evidence that Chalie needed more physical activity, since he only acts out if he is underexercised. But was my dog trying to tell me something further? Or more likely, was the universe trying to tell me something? Should I be viewing my dog’s misbehavior as a symbolic destruction of our lethargic winter lifestyle…. with its click and watch Netflix movies and fast food, delivered conveniently to our front door? By destroying my super valued excuse to avoid cooking and dishes and healthy food, was the universe telling me that it time to make a change?
So I have decided that for my own good, I will view the loss of the coupon book not as a random act, but as something bigger…like maybe an actual message from above! I like the idea that things happen for a reason. Now, of course I know this is illogical and I know that historically, signs from the divine are typically a bit more dramatic….burning bushes, a booming disembodied baritone voice from the sky, or even Morgan Freeman. But although my personal sign from the universe was subtle and could be easily disputed, I am going to run with it just the same. But by run with it, I do NOT mean actual running…I just mean going with the flow. Let’s not get crazy!
So today, cold weather or not, Chalie and I WILL go for a walk! And in the evenings after work, we will be more active. But the next time I say my prayers, I will be sure to thank God that Chalie didn’t eat the TV remote control too!