why winter is good for you

Bad weather is good for you, if it doesn't kill you first.

I grew up in Upstate New York. We had winter. Real winter. Winters there were long and hard. From November to May, winter brought cold, snow and ice. Lots of cold, lots of snow and lots of ice. Months and months of it.

Early on, by age 5, I learned that Nature could hurt you if you weren't prepared or paying attention. As a child, the first time I went out the front door in January without a coat or mittens, into below-zero weather, I learned something, something important. I learned never to do that again. It was painfully cold. My hands, nose and ears were ice cold in seconds. It hurt. If you do not know what it feels like, stick your head in the freezer for 5 minutes, that's what it feels like. That pain taught me something about Nature and about life. It taught me to be aware of my surroundings, evaluate reality, and to be prepared for what it may bring. It's a good way to avoid pain. Or death. Yes, a deep new snowfall is often picturesque and beautiful. It's also a pain in the ass, cold as hell, and it can cause you to be snowed in and stranded for days.

Later on, at 16, I learned to drive. I learned how to drive in snow and ice. If you are not careful and knowledgeable about driving in severe weather, like blizzard conditions or ice on the road, you can easily die. Or quickly slide right off the road and into a ditch. Nature can be beautiful and comforting. Nature can also be unforgiving and deadly. It's smart to be able to tell the difference. Living in the harsh natural conditions of Upstate New York winters, I learned the difference in my formative years. And, as a result, throughout my life, learning and applying this first-hand experience with hard and long winters has made me stronger and smarter and forced me to deal with reality. Because if you don't recognize or deal with reality, or prepare for it, it can cause you a lot of pain, or kill you. In real winter, if you go outside without paying proper attention, you can die.

I am lucky. I grew up with beautiful and deadly Winter. She was a harsh teacher. And she forced me to learn some valuable life lessons. For that, I am truly grateful.

Now I live in sunny warm Los Angeles. We don't have real winter. We don't even have four seasons, we only have two seasons: hot and hotter.