Staring out our big picture windows here at Bodywork Professionals, watching the blizzard fly and the cars crawl, I consider what it really takes to live in the Northeast. We are truly a hardy bunch! Though we complain and curse the winter weather, we still remain living here. There are many many warmer regions of these United States – any many with lower tax rates and cost of living. So, what makes us stay?
1. Seasons. Without the torture of winter, would we truly appreciate the glory of summer? Many warm weather states are monotonous. I once knew a couple that had lived in gorgeous Hawaii for 20 years, and yet they decided to move back to the Northeast because they wanted the change of the seasons. Even though a steady 80 degrees every single day sounds amazing to us right now in the midst of the snowstorm, I can understand that 20 years straight of the SAME weather every day would lead me to crave some variety.
2. Winter activities. Some really “crazy” folks out there actually LIKE the winter!!! I do have to consider, however, which came first: did they already truly love winter or did certain outdoor activities prompt the release of feel-good hormones, and therefore, mitigate this “love” of winter? You don’t really hear about someone from Texas who can’t wait to go skiing. Perhaps we had to invent all these sports and activities for the purpose of sanity, pleasure, passing time (especially on snow days), fitness, etc. I personally have grown to love snowshoeing – especially in the right conditions. I wear enough gear and the physicality of the exercise is PLENTY to keep me warm. I love being out in nature, and the witnessing the snow as it hangs on trees and branches can be very beautiful. There are no bugs, and if I am watchful, I often see wildlife.
3. Cozy fireplaces and hot chocolate. Again, these are not usually craved by Southerners. There is something to be said for allowing oneself some “down time” and indulging in a day (or at least a couple of hours) of doing nothing. Some of my fondest childhood memories were by the fireplace, warming my hands, rotating my body front to back to make sure both sides got warmed up. Great grown-up times can be enjoyed and nice memories created that way as well – fireplace, glass of wine, really taking the time to BE with your loved one, to listen to what they are saying, and to be heard when you speak. The best conversations happen when no one looks at the clock…
4. Machines! Silly but true. Without giant snow plows, life in the Northeast would be impossible. Plows for the roads, trucks for the parking lots, snowblowers for the driveways and walkways, shovels, brooms and brushes for the rest. There is quite an industry and quite a lot of jobs that have been created for the management of snow. I always send out thoughts of goodwill and thanks to those who work long hours, and usually overnight, just to ensure that our roadways are passable. Yes, we never feel that the roads are “good enough” – but think about the volume of roads these plow trucks have to cover in a short span of time! Plus, often when the roads are driven over prior to a plow coming through, the snow gets compressed and packed down, making it impossible to clear perfectly.
5. Family. Many people stay here because they were raised here. Roots are very important, and even though technology can allow us to stay in touch with email and video phone calls, being in close proximity of your loved ones is much preferred. Whether you want to stay close to your siblings, parents, children, or grandchildren, many of us choose to endure cold winters over moving far away.
So with all that in mind, don’t forget to find a place in your life for massage in the winter! We use wonderful oil or lotion to combat dry skin, our techniques can aid sore muscles and joints, and a hot table warmer or hot stone massage is the perfect antidote for cold temperatures outside.