whiteoutIf you’re going through hell, keep going.
~Winston Churchill

Winter sucks. And by that, and what follows, I do not mean life sucks, just the winter portion. I’m sick of storms and snow and freezing rain and ice and now, this past week, you can add thunder-snow. It’s right up there with, well… it’s up there. Pretty high. Reason number one I relocated to a place that looks a lot like home, but with about four months less of winter.

And at some point during the last barrage of blizzards I had a bizarre thought. Life is a lot like winter.

Not that it is cold and heartless and never-ending. Nothing that grim. More like winter while you’re driving. Whether it’s the hypnotic snow of the image (above) or Pete-forbid “snow fog”, it can be difficult to see the road. Hard to know where you’re headed.

I find I hear my dad’s voice a lot lately, “Never follow someone’s taillights.” I respect the man who not only taught me to drive on ice, but also once made tracks through a blizzard for an ambulance—I sometimes wonder what happened to that patient. And I find his voice echoing even when I’m not driving. Because whether it’s snow, or ice, or rain, or just life, you should never follow someone taillights. Sure, they may get you where you’re going, but they may also lead you right into the ditch. Make your own path, follow the lines the best you can when you can see them, and slow your roll when you can’t.

But even when you slow your roll, keep going. Because really, what other option do you have? Pull over and wait? You can’t wait for life. You have to keep going, even if it’s just at a crawl, a snail’s pace, so slow it doesn’t register on your speedometer but fast enough not to kill you when the semi drives past and blinds you for a moment. You don’t slam on the brakes, you simply take your foot off the accelerator and coast until you can see again. Teeth gritted, breath held, but still moving forward, still coasting.

We can’t always see the road. We don’t always have a map. The future is a big scary unknown in the dark of night with questionable weather, but it’s there. Out there beyond the windshield. Around the next corner. It’s there. Waiting. And we all have a magical gas tank that doesn’t run out of fuel until the car itself is broke down on the side of the road waiting for a tow (okay, that may have been the thickest metaphor I’ve ever uttered, but you know what I’m saying).

It’s not Monday. It’s the beginning of a whole week. Another day. A mile-marker. And no matter how bad the roads are, how shitty the visibility, you have to get to the next mile-marker. You have to keep moving forward. Whether you’re driving at high speeds with the windows down and the radio up, or coasting while you squint at the edge of the road praying to see the line. Keep going.

And never follow someone else’s tracks…

Thoughts? Tell me what you think...

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