How Taking It from ‘Termination’ to “Anticipation’ Changes My Outdoor Attitude (Outdoor Diary)

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humans outside episode 332

The changing leaves and crisper air has me a little moody as I feel the last wisps of sunny weather and sunshine moving out of my grasp. I can be sad — and believe me, I am.

But what happens if, instead, I’m excited? And how can a simple change in terminology change my perspective?

Consider this: instead of looking at the changes as a “termination” of what you love, look at them as a “anticipation” of what’s to come.

Here’s how that’s changing my mood. Listen now!

Some of the good stuff:

[:35] It’s that time again whether you like it or not

[:50] Here are some of the symptoms

[1:19] A little terminology

[1:39] Followed by a shift in perspective

[2:36] Here are just some of the things I like

[3:26] No, I actually am excited

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

It’s that time of year again — where I am trying to remember things I like about the upcoming season so I’m not too sad about the ending of the previous one.

In some ways, autumn can feel like a weeks-long funeral for summer. The air is changing, things smell different and I’m more than a little sad that the warm, optimistic, endless daylight days of summer are behind us. We lose somewhere around five minutes of daylight every day right now. The leaves are doing dramatic things and then falling to the ground. The weather has been so wet that the fungus in the grass is growing fungus of its own. And the snow is creeping down the mountains, closer and closer to town.

That snow fall is known as “termination dust,” the first snow on the mountain signaling that things really are getting serious with this changing seasons business. “Termination” is such a sad word, too, like we’ve made the collective decision to end a thing. That’s it, good weather, you’re ousted. Time for snow.

But I realized this week that getting over the end of one season and then finding a good attitude about the next one is a job for emotions followed by a decision to have a good attitude. Finding something to be happy about doesn’t mean I’m not sad. It just means that I’m choosing a new perspective.

So, for me, getting ready for winter means finding something to look forward to.

I think our local ski club put it best in a social media post they created. Instead of calling it “termination dust,” they called it “anticipation dust.”

Think about that reframing for a second. It’s the same snowfall, viewed a different way. One is a negative. The other is a positive.

It doesnt mean you have to only be positive, but it is an opportunity. After I’m done being sad, I’m flopping the whole business on its head and getting a little happy.

Termination becomes anticipation. And anticipation brings joy.

And so, yes, amid my sorrow that the cold weather and darkness is coming, I’m feeling a spark of something exciting. I really do enjoy cross country skiing, and the closer the snow gets the sooner Ill get to do that again. I loves these long sleeve shirts I have that I wear all winter, but it’s not cold enough for them quite yet. When it’s dark outside I get to see the aurora, a treat we got for the first time this season just this past week. I sat in my hot tub in an early morning 30 degrees and watched it dance across the sky. And let’s not forget the stars. In the summer it’s never dark so I never get to see the stars. That means the nightski is a treat for the winter, and I really do enjoy it.

I love the cozy closeness of family and community in the winter, the deep silence of the woods after a big snowfall and the exhilaration of wearing 100 layers and getting out on the wild ice with my skates.

Maybe you can hear in my voice the way I really am looking forward to these things. And while I am also remembering the many things I dont love about winter — Im not going to list them for you because we dont need to dwell on that right now — the anticipation of the things I do like is giving me a joy of its own. And that’s a good thing.

Im recording this diary episode earlier than I usually do because when you hear this Ill have just returned from an adventure in the Grand Canyon, a place where winter anticipation is a little further away. Hopefully I’ll have completed a one-day, over 20-mile long rim to rim hike and been more than a little warm in the bottom of the canyon.

You can see pictures of that adventure and so many others on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. I want to see your outdoor adventure photos too, as always — tag them #humansoutside365. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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