We have just had a three day stay at Thredbo. We arrived right at the official end of the ski season, so there were no crowds but still enough snow to make snowballs. A win in both camps for Geordie.
It was only the second time we have been ‘to the snow’; the first being two years ago. As I stood watching Geordie throw snowballs and slide around in his hired snow boots, the differences between our last visit and this one slowly began to dawn on me.
We had done all of this before!
Geordie knew he would have to hire snow boots. He knew they were heavy and uncomfortable and might give him blisters. But this time it did not take 15 minutes to convince him to leave them on. This didn’t mean he enjoyed wearing them, but he tolerated them.
Geordie knew how high the chair lift went. He still had a ‘white knuckle’ grip on the way up, but he wasn’t shaking and anxious waiting for our chair to arrive.
Geordie knew that the snow would make him wet and uncomfortable. He knew that if he didn’t wear gloves he wouldn’t be able to make snowballs for very long. He didn’t enjoy the tactile sensations of the snow, or of wearing the gloves, but he put up with them because they were known sensations.
All in all, our trip up the mountain was relatively stress-free compared to our first time; I knew it felt different, but it took a while to work out why.
The anxiety caused by the unknown was gone.
Standing on the mountain, being buffeted by the wind and shifting around on my freezing feet (I should have hired snow boots too), I thought about how important it is to appreciate the little things.
Wearing new or different clothing.
Experiencing unfamiliar smells, sounds, sights and textures.
Sleeping in a different bed, showering in a bathroom with different taps, eating off plates that aren’t yours.
These are all ‘little things’ for many of us, but they are HUGE for Geordie.
However the ‘little things’ can, and do, become familiar. And when they do, instead of not noticing them, we should celebrate them.