It’s So Easy to Be Critical

Colorado blizzard March 2016 | Happy Simple Living blog

This Wednesday we had a nice spring blizzard in Colorado. It snowed sideways here from about 4:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon, and the blowing snow caused Denver International Airport to close for the first time in ten years. I shot the picture above from my home office at the height of the storm’s blizzardiness. When it stopped, we had over a foot of heavy snow.

My First Mistake

Yesterday morning, just before I put on my parka and snow boots to begin the task of shoveling the driveway, I happened to read this headline from The Denver Post:

Denver Won’t Be Plowing Residential Streets After Wednesday’s Blizzard

The article was accompanied by a dramatic photo of cars buried under snow, and included a partial quote from the Denver Public Works spokesperson Nancy Kuhn that the Post put in quote marks like this:

Kuhn said the decision not to deploy residential plows came after “careful consideration.”

My Second Mistake

I don’t know what possessed me, but for some reason I clicked on the Comments section of the article and began reading the various remarks. (Is this ever a good idea? I read somewhere that you lose a minute of your life for every minute you spend reading online comments – ha!)

Here’s an example, from someone whose forum name is Tony T.:

“You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s going to snow again on Friday night, so they’re just going to shrug their shoulders and hope it gets warm!? This isn’t the first time they’ve tried to pull this crap, and it won’t be the last.”

It bears mentioning that we don’t live in Denver proper, and the main street circling our neighborhood was plowed. However, I was steamed as I tromped out and began shoveling the driveway.

My Third Mistake

I felt increasingly indignant as I shoveled. My mind latched on to this issue and filled my head with angry thoughts. How dare the city not plow and help the residents of Denver? Why don’t we have the budget for proper plowing? What about all the new tax revenue we’re supposedly generating with marijuana sales? 

The problem soon escalated to much larger-scale thoughts like: Our government is such a mess. Our infrastructure is crumbling and cities are going bankrupt. In this day and age, why is it so difficult to find good political leadership? And so on, and so on…

Does your brain ever lapse into an endless loop of negativity like this? I hate when that happens!

What Brought Me Back

The snow started melting quickly yesterday (part of the reason Denver Public Works decided not to plow) and a large, wet clump fell off the front locust tree and hit me right in the face. What a blessing! The friendly snowball made me laugh, and it also knocked some sense into me. What was I doing? Why was I in such a huff?

I re-set my mind on the glorious sunshine and glittering white landscape against a blue, blue Colorado sky. I sent thoughts of light and love to the DPW spokesperson Nancy Kuhn, who must need extra grace and a thick skin sometimes to defend the city’s actions. I vowed to stop reading anonymous online comments.

And I decided to save figuring out the world’s problems for another day.

Hugs and happy Easter,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

3 comments to It’s So Easy to Be Critical

  • carolyn

    It does remind me of the year, during a similar snowed-in situation, a gentleman, reading scripture at our church, read the ten commandments, then the eleventh (?) – Thou shalt not blow snow on thy neighbor’s driveway!

  • You’re so right, so much of the way we experience the world is dictated by our own attitude. And there is some poison online as well as some good stuff! Glad you saw the beauty of the snow in the end.

  • Good one. Those feelings can snowball. It takes a thump on the head to get one to look up and see the remarkable Colorado sky. By the way, when the plows did come by, they pushed the street snow up on to the shoveled sidewalks. The only place to walk the dogs was in the middle of the street. I was reminded to be careful what I wish for.

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