Winter Cold and Olympic Gold

You know the feeling… that curl-into-yourself-to-try-and-get-warm kind of feeling when you’re shivering and sure your teeth might chip from all their chattering? My rhododendrons are feeling that way in our record low temperatures this week. Now, before someone reminds me that a windchill of -14 celsius isn’t exactly bitter compared to what others have  experienced this winter, I hasten to add I know it’s only considered  c-o-l-d  if you live on the Pacific west coast and aren’t accustomed to this kind of weather. Some years we’re mowing lawns by now, but this year we’re frowning at the forecast for snow this weekend.

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The birds congregate around our bird feeders and gossip about the groundhog who dared to predict six more weeks of this misery. They huddle mournfully against the frigid wind and do battle with the squirrels who challenge them for first dibs at the sunflower seeds and peanuts.

Meanwhile, I’ve dug through the closet and brought out my special toasty red mittens and will wait out the weather by watching parts of the XXII Olympic Winter Games — not the opening ceremony but some of my favourite sports, hoping Canada will do at least as well this year as they did at our Vancouver 2010 Games (26 medals including a record 14 gold).

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In between my sessions of watching, I’ll be writing… or perhaps I’ll be doing both at the same time. It’s not a bad way to spend a few wintry days.

What are your plans for this weekend?

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When the clouds roll in (or, dealing with disappointment)

You plan a weekend at the lake, but awaken Saturday to unexpected rain. Or maybe you prepare a surprise birthday dinner for your hubby, only to learn that a meeting has come up and he can’t make it home in time. Things don’t always go according to plan.

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I watched several Olympic events over the weekend… saw the hope and great effort that didn’t always achieve the expected or desired results.

Canada’s bronze medal win in the Men’s 4x100m Relay Final was forfeited when the replay revealed Jared Connaughton had stepped on the line, thus disqualifying his team. He was understandably “devastated and disappointed”.

The bigger shock for me was when China’s Qiu Bo hid his face and berated himself for winning a silver medal in the Men’s 10m Platform Diving… because it wasn’t gold.

Lofty goals and expectations are motivators. As writers working towards publication we do our best to learn the craft, write good stories, polish the words, and then search out contests judges, agents and publishers to help us make the dreams come true.

But not everyone’s will. So how do we deal with broken dreams, unfulfilled desires, or letters of rejection?

When clouds darken your skies, what keeps you watching for the sun’s return?

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Hope is tomorrow’s veneer over today’s disappointment.

Evan Esar

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Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment,
put your head down and plow ahead.

Les Brown

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And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:5 ESV

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