Winter is not coming

Perception is a wonderful thing.

For about 6 years throughout my almost decade-long stay in Montreal, I mostly dreaded snowfall and winter as a whole. I saw it as a moment in time where everything literally freezes over: Nevermind that the streets and everything as far as the eye can see is covered in snow, I also felt like it had a deep and meaningful impact in my daily life as there are always less people in the street and the amount of activities I could squeeze into a day felt fairly limited due to the amount of sunlight outside and the multitude of tasks I could not do because of the snow or the ice outside.

I felt trapped — almost encased in the 4 month block that winter is.

This remained constant basically until last year, when I discovered winter cycling. I had been contemplating the possibility of winter cycling for a few years but never really got around to do it due to budget concerns or me getting plentifully hurt while snowboarding. Either way, I planned on doing it for an eternity and only pushed go get it done last year.

At the beginning it seemed like it was going to be a hassle but in the end it turned out to be the best decision we have taken in recent years: Not only were we constantly exercising because of the amount of effort that it takes to push a bicycle through ice and snow, we were also suddenly much more motivated than the rest of the people and ended up complaining much less about the inclement weather due to the simple fact that we were more used to the cold compared to other people, while at the same time managing to be less cold than everyone else solely because we were cycling instead of walking around or just waiting for a bus to come.

This left me thinking for a long time how important is perception in everyday life. A time of the year that was dreadful and basically a curs for many years suddenly became one of the best times of the year to enjoy at all times, and the only thing that really changed was that whereas in previous years I would be too scared or lazy to go out because of the weather, I did not allow myself such a privilege last year and merely went out because I had no other choice: there is always a reason to go out there and do something.

Makes one wonder, how far can the mind be pushed to change its perception of everything in order to make life more interesting and enjoyable?

That is one of my main purposes for the future. How much can I enjoy the world, compared to what I experience on a regular basis? We shall find out.

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