a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Nov, 2019

I’m turning the other cheek (when it comes to the weather)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

While many people in Ottawa were anticipating delays on the LRT or scraping the snow off their cars this morning, I was enjoying my usual commute a little bit more than usual:

Walk to work

I walked to work, admiring the scene, enjoying the fresh air, thinking WOW. This is nice. Aren’t I lucky?

What helped, of course, was that I was dressed appropriately. I had dug my hat and parka out of the back of the closet and donned my new boots and mittens.

The weather is a major topic around water coolers everywhere (even virtual ones, like Twitter). We LOVE to talk about it. And we love to complain about it.

I’ve decided to take a different approach to talking about the weather this year. I’m not going to complain about it. Here’s the thing: I don’t actually hate the winter! I like to ski. I like to walk the dog in the snow. I like to go on hikes. I don’t like being cold, that’s true, but you can dress for winter. Winter is a big part of where we live so I am making a concerted effort to reframe the experience.

Complaining about the weather doesn’t really serve any purpose. Sure, it brings about a small moment of connection between people (“OH my god! Can you believe all this snow? How many more days until it’s gone?”), but it might be more positive, more healthy, and more happiness-inducing to connect over something good instead of something negative. Does negativity breed negativity? Does complaining beget complaining? Does it leave a residue on my brain afterward? I have a feeling it does, so I’m not going to contribute to the conversation any more.

So the next time someone comes at me with a negative weather statement I’m going to find a positive counterpunch.

What I do know is that it would help my mental health if I lived in a society where were we all happily embraced the weather, no matter what the number was on the thermometer. Maybe if other people regularly expressed happiness about the weather it would subtly alter my happiness about it too.

What do you think?

p.s. Feel free to ask me about this strategy in March. ;)

3 Responses to "I’m turning the other cheek (when it comes to the weather)"

1 | Amy

November 16th, 2019 at 3:38 pm


In Norway there is a saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

2 | Lynn

November 19th, 2019 at 2:23 pm


I’m with you. The past few years I’ve really tried to change my attitude toward winter and it has worked quite well. I think it’s really hard to live in Ottawa, in particular, if you are going to grumble and snow and cold all the time – it’s half the year, for heaven’s sake, and I just don’t want to feel sad half the time.

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Tiny resolutions, and how to read more books in 2021 - a peek inside the fishbowl

January 8th, 2021 at 8:00 pm


[…] vitamin D at breakfast. Touching your toes when you get out of bed every morning. Deciding NOT to complain about the weather. So maybe it’s a good idea to make a smaller promise to yourself instead of a big […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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