Stop whining about the weather

I like independent, strong, self-sufficient people.  If you complain about the weather you are none of those.

I get it. It’s a Kiwi/Australia/British thing. That’s how we break the ice and start a conversation. Once you bond over bitching about the rain, or oppressive heat, or snow, or drought, you can cautiously proceed to more personal topics. Or not. This may be your only human-to-human interaction of the day.

Middle class bourgeoisie loves to whinge. (In my experience, it’s not those folks from lower socioeconomic bands with droughty houses and kids with asthma who do the hand-wringing about the upcoming frost in the forecast). What’s the harm? It’s just banter, right?

Actually, there is harm. And you are inflicting it on yourself.

By shaking your angry fist at the skies you have reduced yourself to a petty, small-minded, powerless pawn in this big bad world.

You admit that (predictable) fluctuations in air temperature have the power to ruin your day.

You conflate your subjective experiences with objective reality. “It’s cold” – unless it’s 20 degrees below zero, it’s not cold. You FEEL cold. Put some clothes on.

Stop resorting to hyperbole to describe your intense suffering in the face of 10 degree Celsius chill in mild New Zealand winter. “I am freezing” – you want to know what “freezing” means? Go read “The Little Match Girl” by Hans Christian Andersen.

Yes, I know I was born in Russia, and that somehow endows me with superthick leathery skin impervious to ambient temperature. Or maybe I just remember what it is like to have your central heating turned off once again in minus 30 degrees because the town energy plant is broke, and having to boil water on a small gas stove, pour it into a bath which is then shared between all family members. Yeah, gross, I know.

You have a heat pump. You can walk into a shop and choose from hundreds of items of woollen layers. You can drive (!) to the supermarket where there is meat and starchy vegetables – perfect ingredients for a warming stew. The luxuries unavailable to so many.  HTFU.

Still cold?

  1. Wear appropriate clothing. Cotton and loose hessian sac-like flowing layers are not appropriate clothing in winter.
  2. Eat a nutrient-dense diet.
  3. Get off the couch. Move. Lift.
  4. For heaven’s sake if you are the only one in the office wearing a puffer jacket inside, get your thyroid checked.
  5. Put your misery into fucking perspective.

Russians used the principles of hormesis in dealing with the cold for centuries (there may or may not have been vodka involved as well). I wrote about it here. Yes, physiological response can be trained. But I have come to realise that this is not just toughening your body but also your mind. We have all grown so disgustingly soft.

Take the challenge. Go outside in the rain. You are not the Wicked Witch of the West, you won’t melt under the water from the sky. Rug up and go for an invigorating walk. Ride your bike in the snow. Don’t utter a single complaint about the weather for 1 week – this could be the hardest challenge of all.

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