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    Snowball Gestapo

           Precisely when, as an adult, did you decide that, spontaneously grabbing a handful of snow, forming it into a snowball and throwing it at something, anything, was strictly for kids? You probably don’t remember. Because it wasn’t a conscious choice.
           Like a lot of the choices we make as we get older, it just happens. One day, we’re happily chucking snowballs. The next, we’re not. Because somewhere deep inside of us, without us even knowing, we’ve made the unconscious decision that such behavior is for people younger. As if there were a Spontaneous Snowball Throwing Cutoff Age. An age at which the Snowball Gestapo, suddenly and without warning, without your awareness of their very existence before now, makes their omnipresence during snowstorms known.
           This is exactly he kind of Adult Group Think that I want us to revisit. To in fact, eliminate.
           As kids, when it snowed, we were overwhelmed with the possibilities that snow created. Sledding. Snowmen. Snow Angels. Snow Shoeing. Snowball Fights. Snow Forts. Dousing snow with food coloring that we stole from mom’s cupboard and writing words with it in the snow that we weren’t allowed to say (one of my favorites). Eating Snow. Making snowballs, storing them in the freezer until the summer, then assaulting our unsuspecting friends with Christmas in July. The possibilities were endless. They still are.
           As adults, the reality of snow grabs us like Sargent Slaughter’s Cobra Clutch and wrings out all the fun. Snow becomes an entirely different phenomenon. It becomes an impediment to our productivity. Another thing we have to “take care of”. Another added responsibility to our ever growing, never ending, list of responsibilities.
           Quite simply, snow goes from something we choose to “Play With” to something we have to “Work At”.
           I get that. But I offer that, as adults, making conscious choices, we can choose to play with snow while acknowledging the added work and responsibility it taxes upon us. Who the fuck says you can’t do both? Who’s “The Man” that dictated that to you? Take care of the stuff you have to, yes. Then go play with the snow. Embrace the possibilities that were so alive in you as a kid. It’s not regression. It’s Revitalization. It’s Rediscovery. It’s digging into yourself, sometimes just a little, and getting to that fun person just underneath the highly responsible one. Integrate the two, instead of dichotomizing them. Embrace the fact that a snowstorm is a beautiful, wondrous, magical spectacle of Mother Nature. Doing so ignites the all too oft forgotten sense of wonder, fascination, and curiosity that were so alive in us as children. By simply choosing to look at a snowstorm this way, we can fire up that neglected framework. Suddenly, the world looks different. Our lives look different. Even just for a little while. Isn’t that worth the stretch?
           I’m learning to do that more and more in my life, so I will continually share my insights and discoveries along my journey. Maybe that will assist you in yours. My challenge is probably the inverse of most. I’m very connected to the kid inside of me. I come from a place of fun and excitement and childlike wonder and fascination easily and naturally. My work is in integrating my responsible, disciplined, and committed to self actualization, adult, into my whole person.
           That adult is alive and well and very active n some areas of my life, like my physical and emotional fitness. I’m practically militant about that, in a good way. In a way that gets results that enriches my quality of life in immeasurable ways. And my kid is alive in that environment as well, because I find great joy and fun in physically exerting myself, sweating, and pushing myself, both physically and emotionally, to higher and deeper levels. I can use that as a model and an example for what I can accomplish when I bring both, full force, into my life.
           As adults, our options for fun in the snow have actually increased. Not too many nine year olds would consider going for a long walk with the opposite sex, coming home, lighting a fire, and doing it on the rug in front of that fire. But adults not only have that, and many other “adult” options open, but we have all the options that were open to us as a kid.; if we allow ourselves that latitude.
           Go buy some food coloring and write a sonnet to your love in the snow, then go show it to her. Nobody stops you from doing anything so outrageous, silly, and nutty, like that but yourself. So let yourself off the fuckin’ hook already.
           It’s snowing, right now, as I write this. How apropos. Gotta go. Enjoy the snow. Did you know? It’s in you, bro?........(and sis).

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

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