Anchorage, AK – Between the long awaited cold snap of winter and the rustling stack of political ads in the mail, I found myself starting to envy every hibernating mammal in the Last Frontier. The thought of avoiding the chaos of newly christened winter drivers and angered opinions on social media sounded blissful. Stuff yourself until you pass out and sleep. Sounds nice, yes? Never mind the thousands of responsibilities to do; shoveling, winterizing, shuttling in winter traffic, holiday prepping, just sleep.
Originally, I had looked forward to winter; bright snowy roads instead of dark dreary mornings, hot cocoa, snowman making, and excuses to consume baked good. But my joyful imagery faded as soon as the first snowfall came upon us. More layers seem to be required to face the day and my ability to stay warm is not a strong as the teenagers who protest winter by donning their flip-flops. The angered “voices” and “facts” streaming through my newsfeed churn my stomach to a degree that most livestock in my ailment would be euthanized in order to ease their misery. The robocalls and text endlessly requesting my opinion even though it will fall on deaf ears were only vanquished via blocks and replies of “STOP.”
I wish we could all just get along, learn to safely drive, respect ideas and live harmoniously. We all have different opinions, lifestyles, and driving abilities. But as I watch my children play and fight, grow and learn, I realize just as with the seasons, trials and tribulations help us mature. On my days off, I struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed; face the chaos of five crazy kids, feed myself and be productive. But we must. We must be awake. We must share our opinions and be horrible drivers. We must learn. Or how else will we grow?