Winter Is Coming

Live life like a vacation. Experience life.

Aspen in late August (image by TVP)

Anyone who has watched “Game of Thrones” understands that particular catchphrase, “Winter is coming…”, but I mean it in a different way. Because winter is coming. Winter is always coming. And so is spring and so is summer, and autumn too.

Last week I wrote about dreams. The importance of dreams (and sleep!) to our health and well-being. As I discovered in my research, dreams are a window into how we feel about our lives, our goals, our everything. Pay attention to your dreams. And sleep. Get as much sleep as you can (7-8 hours!). But this is not really what I want to write about this week. I bring up the dreams-are-important piece because on Tuesday morning I woke up, wrote down my dreams, and this was what I learned from it.

I dreamt I was in Aspen this week, in July, and if you know Aspen then you know summer there is the most perfect place to be. It’s so beautiful, and the weather is ideal. We call summer in Aspen Shangri-la for a reason. (It’s also where Happiness Series is sponsoring a mind-blowing, transformative nutrition-focused & yoga mind/body/spirit & more retreat this late-August.) I was in Aspen talking with some locals, and I felt a chill in the air. That unmistakable chill of late autumn in Aspen, when you know snow is not far behind. I looked at the woman in my dream, and she nodded, yes, that’s chilly. As I looked out and up to the hills, mountains, and lawns overflowing in blooming plants with hummingbirds hovering, about to embark on a hike, I thought despairingly that all this would soon be gone. It would be covered in snow. No more sweet, summery breezes rattling the aspen leaves like paper coins in a change purse, no more green grasses, meadows filled with wild flowers, and pungent, energizing piney smells. No, it would be cold and white and monochromatic. God, I thought, in my dream, why does winter always come so soon and summer leave so quickly? The woman seemed to understand everything I was feeling. She said, “something has changed, and July is now the end of summer here. We’re lucky if we get 6 weeks. Winter will be here soon. 8 months of it. Till next May.” What happened, I cried. “We don’t understand why, maybe climate change,” she said with a shrug.

Winter in Aspen (image by TVP)

I woke up thinking about Aspen and winter. Winter coming too soon. I woke up worried. I’ve already frittered away some of my time this summer and haven’t even enjoyed the fruits of the season. And that’s when I realized the message for me, at least in the lucid state, was that I need to enjoy every sandwich. By which I mean, it’s time to live in the damn moment. Instead of thinking about what’s coming next or worrying about winter coming or missing out on something, why not just LIVE in the season I’m in? Kind of obvious, right? The days are long but the weeks are short. Enjoy the day. Find things in my day I enjoy doing and do them! Winter is coming, yeah, but before that it’ll be autumn, and that is a sweetheart of a season. Why speed through summer to get to winter and skip everything else? I don’t know.

I’m the type of person who went to college wishing I was already a senior so I would know the lay of the land. I wanted to begin at the end, the place where I was an old hand at life on campus. Guess what? I don’t really remember much about the first year of school. I bet I had fun. Those years are some of the best, but so is right now. My advice to college kids: enjoy every dining hall meal, love every walk to class, every beer bong, every party, every study group, everything. You’ll never have those years back. And I’ll never have this summer back. This is it for summer 2013. Right now. Right here. And I don’t want to miss a moment of it worrying about what’s next.

Life is ALWAYS about the journey, not the result. We don’t go on vacation to get it done, to check it off the list. We go away for the expansion and the exposure. We go on vacation for the experience. If we wanted to go on holiday to just knock it out, like we approach work, then why go? So here’s what I’m thinking, vacation IS life. Do life like vacation. Experience it. (Oh, that’s a good daily tip! 😉 )

Summer in Aspen, rainbows (image by TVP)



Filed Under: Blogs


About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.

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