Just checked the weather here in Saskatchewan and it is a balmy minus 41 degrees celsius – with the wind chill. Oh, it’s not so bad, I try to tell myself. Without the wind chill…now that would be a problem. Might as well be living on the dark side of the Moon then.
The weather guy will no doubt report the temperature in Jamaica or Hawaii or Morocco tonight. Not sure why they do that, but that is what the weather people like to do in cold countries, like Canada. Gives people a sense of hope, I suppose. Or, more likely, it just makes everybody feel bad. Nasty weather people.
“How are you enjoying global warming so far?” my former boss used to say, on days like this. I would be enjoying it a whole lot more if I was a penguin, I think to myself. Believe it or not, you can get used to extremely cold weather. Why else would the penguins live where they do? After a while minus 20 starts to feel like good sun-tanning weather. All the crazy college and university students, here on the prairies, break out the shorts and T-shirts right about then. Do they do that in northern Europe? In Russia? Down in South America? Or, do I just happen to live with all the crazy people?
Needless to say, you have to plan ahead and take some precautions when the mercury takes such a drastic dip. Especially when travelling. Charge your cell phone, pack some blankets, bring some food, grow a beard (if you are the beard growing type), update your will, notify your next of kin; and if you plan on going beyond the corner store, you need to really be prepared. “How bad can it be,” I said to my wife, as we ventured out one winter morning. How bad? We soon found out.
On another occasion, I remember running out of gas on the Trans-Canada highway just east of Calgary, Alberta, when the arctic air had once again settled in. Believe me, you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road wearing nothing but your Hawaii holiday clothes when it gets that cold. Turning “California Dreaming” up a little louder on your Mp3 player isn’t going to do much good, while you shuffle down the highway in your sandals and swimsuit, through the snow. You might even find yourself featured in the evening news, and for all the wrong reasons: “Crazy Canuck goes for walk on winter day and freezes fanny; claims the Beach Boys are to blame.”
Planning ahead is the obvious prudent thing to do when travelling on an extremely cold winter day. It is a matter of survival, really. And planning ahead is also extremely important when considering which career path to take.
Where are you going to end up in five years, in ten years, in twenty years if you make the career decision you are considering today? Something to think about. Think hard. What seems like a great idea when you are 20 years old, may turn into a story your grandchildren hear – about what not to do – when you turn 60. Career decisions often have profound consequences. Ten concussions, two brain transplants, and five broken bones later, a professional football career – for example – might not feel like such a great and glorious choice after all.
Try to get a picture in your mind of what your life will be like in the years ahead. If you don’t like what you see down the road, as it were, you may be able to make some critical adjustments and arrive safely at a much more appealing destination.
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