Last weekend, as I prepared to travel from the northern side of Vancouver back home, with the snow falling in the air, I was a bit concerned about driving in a winter wonderland , as I am by no means the sort of person who is comfortable with that. Fortunately, last week I was able to do my grocery shopping and not have to worry at all about driving in the snow that was gently falling all the way while I drove but not staying on the roadways. I was not so lucky this week. When I woke up this morning and looked out my bedroom window I saw some snow on the ground and some people trying to walk or drive, and I realized that I would likely have to venture out in it at some point, only wondering when the best moment to do that would be, as one can never be entirely sure about that sort of thing. My roommates had talked about going out, but the weather scared them away, even if my own need for groceries was great enough for me to consider it necessary to go out at some point, so long as I was not absolutely snowed in.
Of course, my roommates were joking in their usual apocalyptic way, and so once it became obvious that the snow was not going to melt today but that the roads had likely been cleared, and I was done with at least some of my reading and writing for the day, I got ready and made my way outside to brave the cold weather to get my necessities for the next week. As I stepped on the flaky powder, I figured that the snow was not nearly as bad as it could have been, but even so I avoided taking the shortest way out of the complex because I had some doubts about whether my car could make it up hill along the turn that leads out of my condominium complex. So I took the slightly longer but safer way and did not have any problems driving up to the main road and then slowly and patiently towards the grocery store. The road had been plowed, but there was still snow and ice in strips on both sides of the lanes, so I made my way carefully and about fifteen miles an hour below the speed limit to make sure that I would not get involved in anything reckless. I then made the turns and after scaring away some vehicles from being behind me, made it up the hill to the grocery store.
Despite the chill of the day, I managed to go about my usual shopping experience, which is grocery shopping like I’m a contestant in Guy’s Grocery Games . After that I managed to make my way down the hill again, and off to grab a pizza to eat while I read at home. Although the local pizza place on the way was empty when I arrived, by the time I had picked up my cheese pizza to devour like a book, there were three other gentlemen there, one of whom who had brought a sled to bring the food back, who had gotten an impressive amount of pizza and bread, for I hope were at least half a dozen people or so. I then made my way home, glad that the police cars in the opposite lane had not impeded my progress on the way to the store, and then went back inside to stay warm and relax for the rest of the evening, glad I had been able to do my errands and acquire the groceries for the week without putting myself into harm, even if the drive was very stressful and far from as comfortable as I would have preferred.
While I was driving, though, and after I was finished as well, I pondered that much of life is as stressful as a drive on snow or ice, where one tries to go cautiously and carefully, aware that one is at risk and is in danger, and sometimes has to make the best of it when one does not feel safe. It is a shame that life is so often like that. Perhaps when everything is stressful one does not feel the same sort of stress at the sorts of things that make everyone stressed out, but one feels stressed out at what other people consider fairly ordinary and harmless sorts of activities. There are always tradeoffs, and it is definitely a difficult matter to be able to face the rush of blood to the head and the stress of danger because one experiences it so regularly that one can, by habit, live an almost normal life in the face of continual pressure. There ought to be a better way to live, but I don’t know how to do more than cope with life as it comes, day by day.