4 Simple Goals for February

8:52 AM

This year, more than any other in recent memory, Minnesotans collectively complained about the weather for the entire month of January.  Don’t get me wrong, there was much to complain about - 5 days of wind chill warning (issued by the National Weather Service when the wind chill becomes “life threatening”), and 10+ inches of snow over the average.  If you only paid attention to what we say, you would think those of us from the North Star State were the dumbest people on earth.  Why live in a place we seem to hate so much?
Yet our actions tell a different story.  
Saint Paul celebrates winter every January with the Winter Carnival - we ski, watch parades,dig through snow banks looking for a hidden medallion, marvel over ice sculptures, and squeal in fear and delight when the Vulcans come running (they used to really chase and kiss you - now they maintain a safe and legal distance).  The great city across the river hosts the US National Pond Hockey Championships every January.  Minnesota is quickly becoming a mecca for fat bike racing (still not enough for me to get one of those unwieldy contraptions) and several Nordic ski races with the word “Loppet” in the title.  Sure, we complain...and then we go out and have fun in the snow.
I am reminding myself of this as February begins because, well, because sometimes I need a little reminding of the fact that Minnesota is a great place to live year round.  February is not for dreaming of July, but for enjoying the absolute February-ness of the winter freeze.  And it is with this presentness in mind that I set out my 4 Simple Goals for February...
Mind - I am one week into a self-guided tour through the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program created (?) by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Although February will not see me conclude the journey, I will be finishing Full Catastrophe Living (strange title, but if you read it, it makes sense).  I find it a bit odd that I am setting a goal to continue in a program that specifically instructs me to not strive toward my goals, but I am also beginning to understand and accept these types of incongruities.
Body - The MBSR commitment to meditation is serious - 45 minutes of Body Scan meditation daily in addition to an increasing engagement in seated meditation and continual awareness throughout the day.  My goal for February is simply to experience this meditation - to let it exist in my day, to observe my body within it, to let go of expectations.
Enrichment - Oh, the staircase project...it continues.  By the end of February I fully expect to be a proficient hanger of textured wallpaper, as we cover up the damaged plaster with a spiffy new decor.  
Fun - The PS4 is now a member of our household.  The Spouse has tried to get me into gaming since the dawn of the PlayStation system, but there have only been a handful of games that actually interested me.  Still, Tomb Raider looks like a good time-waster…might as well give it a try.

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