Winter Survival Tip #1

I live in the tundra, where winters are long, cold, and harsh.  The lack of daylight, biting winds, and frigid temperatures are hard on both my complexion and my emotional state.  One of my former coaches would likely refer to this extended season as “an exercise in mental toughness.”  However, always lived in places where I spend way more on snowboots than swimsuits and scarves are for function versus fashion.  I believe this makes me qualified to dole out some advice – a WINTER SURVIVAL TIP, likely the first of many I will share.  Let me be your “Get Through This Guru.”

This week’s weather report for my zip code is rather depressing.  Basically, if at any point, I walk outside with wet hair, my hair will freeze.  This does not put me in my happy place.  This puts me in a place where I question why I do not own a hairdryer and potentially puts me in a place that sells hairdryers.*   I tell myself this also means I could totally flood my backyard and go ice skating; but I also need a bit more. 

One of my tricks is checking the weather for other places.  I’m heading south for Christmas and am also definitely tracking that weather, but that’s not going to be wonderful until after another fifteen sleeps and then I’m only going to be there for a week.  So…I focus on where I am not. 

I do not live in International Falls, Minnesota.  It’s a lovely town and our nation’s icebox.  With a forecasted high temperature of ELEVEN DEGREES FARENHITE tomorrow, it is also destined to make me feel better every time I check its weather reports.  I strongly recommend IF, MN as the temps are chilly, but not unrealistic.  It runs like any other town of its size; people go to work and school and buy groceries in a standard fashion.  They don’t drive special cars or ride reindeer, although I suspect they rarely let their tanks get below half full during the winter. 

Admittedly, Ojmjakon, Russia is currently -28F and that’s lots colder.  However…with nine months of winter and only 900 residents, I find Ojmjakon harder to relate to from my current state.  IF, MN isn’t the coldest place in the world, nor is it even close.  What it is, though is close enough (geographically and lifestyle) to me and cold enough to serve its purpose.  Honestly, if I checked the weather in Ojmjakon as I often as I check it International Falls, I would probably suffer a huge attack of guilt and send them all of my fleece, which would result in an over increase in my personal cold factor and cost me a lot in postage. 

Before picking random places to check weather forecasts, please remember that coasts tend to be warmer (meaning check Fairbanks, Alaska over Anchorage) and that daylight hours tend to be warmer (meaning Siberia is going to be warmer during the American night and colder during the American day).  Good luck with the winter; remember it can always get colder and in a couple of months it is entirely probable that it will get warmer.  And if it doesn’t get warmer?  Move…just not to Ojmjakon.



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