I’ve heard visitors and settlers from colder climes say that Australians don’t do winter well. Our houses aren’t built for the cold; our heating systems aren’t up to the task; and some of us don’t even know how to dress for freezing weather!
Fair enough. Of course, if there are any of us who don’t do winter well, it’s because we don’t have to; and I’d much rather live in a milder climate with fewer freezing days and endure the occasional barbs of a visitor or expat than live in an ersatz Siberia.
Having said that, this winter I am simply having to accept some things, things I cannot change so must live with and work around:
- I’m not enjoying the grey skies.
- I don’t like this biting cold.
- I’m grateful for the rain, but amazed it isn’t snow, hail or sleet: it feels as though it should be! (As an Australian, at least an Australian south of the tropics, I’m constitutionally obliged to always be grateful for the rain.)
So now to the nexus of old spirituality and new psychology: radical acceptance. As St Francis prayed centuries ago, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”, and so read the DBT (dialectic behaviour theory) texts of today: radical acceptance is the name of the game.
You won’t hear me complain about the cold (much). You’ll find me snuggled up somewhere warm, making the most of the excuse to coddle myself against biting winds and driving rain, and catching up on some work or play …
… but secretly grateful that it’s only this cold, and our winter only lasts that long.