Last time I was out skiing, several weeks ago now, I wrenched my knee. My usual form of recuperating from something like that--ignoring it till it goes away--hasn't helped. Shocking, I know! I'm now deliberately and safely walking and doing a few select and gentle exercises to ensure that my leg muscles heal and strengthen. Skiing is finished for the season, for me--even if we again find that sweet spot of enough snow and warm enough yet cool enough temperatures.

And bonus: now that the sun is up for 12 hours a day, the roads are clearing. Often, I can walk at a challenging pace without fear of twisting my ankle (which I did in November) or falling (ditto). Even today, after yesterday's dump of ice and snow, I will be able to get out and get moving.

When I'm outdoors these days, I no longer fret about wearing too many layers. I don't care if I appear gnarly or girly (go girls!); I don't care if others might say I'm "overdressed." I will wear enough to keep me warm--and top it with a layer of wind protection, even if I don't strictly "need" it. The ends of my fingers and toes thank me when I protect them adequately, and when I'm warm and the gloves are no longer necessary for the return trip--well, that's what pockets are for.

My point is this: the more I can let go of how I think I "should" be able to interact with winter in my (gently) aging body, the more I can respond to reality. And here are several of those realities: I like having warm fingers and toes; I have to take the vitamins instead of just buying them; things don't heal when you ignore them; conscious attention to exercise is necessary because just running around isn't enough; the weather is what it is and I can either shake my fist at it or enjoy it however I can.

Call my responses "concessions" if you will. I call them "how I make the best of the latest Spring I've ever experienced." And yes, these concessions are metaphors for writing: all I can control is what I do. So I write. I revise (and revise and revise some more). I submit. I live and read and love and gripe and laugh and eat and exercise and meditate. And I write.