I arrived at work grinning this morning at 9am. At the risk of sounding like spam, here are my 4 simple tips to Montreal winter glee.
1. Expect the unexpected. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. But what about doing the same thing in an extremely different conditions and expecting the same result? Fact: there’s a foot of snow on the ground. It’s going to take longer to get places than it did yesterday. People will be late. The world order will probably not fall. It’s going to be ok.
2. Don’t feel obliged to be miserable. I won’t deny that there’s misery in the Montreal winter: I was volunteering at Dans la Rue last night and it is certainly brutal to be out there, under-dressed facing a night of unrelenting blizzard. There will be -30C days yet. There will be freezing rain. But this little winter wonderland? Get over it.
3. Dress warm! Helps keep the aforementioned misery at bay. Long Johns, socks over tights, waterproof boots, mittens, scarves: so hot these days.
4. Walk. Now that you are warm and happy and ready for something new, you may as well walk. That’s what I concluded as I passed two 105 buses stuck in traffic on the way to Vendome metro. And I wasn’t alone: as I turned towards Vendome metro I was surprised to see at least two dozen people strolling down the middle of the street (the sidewalk had not yet been cleared).
I crossed a neighbour pulling his daughter in a toboggan.
“Beautiful day,” he said in a way that may or may not have been ironic.
“Actually, it kind of is,” I replied.
“I like it too,” he confided, “it makes everybody slow down.”
Oh, and if you’re tired of listening to alarmist traffic reports, here’s a much more spirited soundtrack for the First Snow of the Year (by Hawksley Workman)