Winter You

Compete with yourself!

Dear, oh, dear. It’d been a dreary past few days as the final traces of pristine Snow White was replaced by its cousin Grey Slush. The rumour of Winter Blues had turned into tabloid fact. Nothing was going to be able to shift this slippery muck of seasonal gloom. Nothing? Really?

Until this morning that is. Yes. The snow is back! The dusting of snow reminds me of a conversation I had with a colleague in Boston last week.

How much snow have you got?

‘Happy New Year! We’ve got at least three inches of snow!’ I said. ‘Happy New Year to you, too! We’ve got six inches,’  John said. It suddenly dawned on me that the novelty of snow depended on who you are, where you grew up and where you are now. I remember feeling a fleeting sense of foolishness at what must have seemed like much ado about nothing. After all, Boston had six inches of snow and London only had three. I brushed the thought aside. We had snow in London and that was what mattered to me most. Or was it?

Life as a Competition

All the time I’d been growing up, I’d believed that life was a competition. Not just any competition. It was a competition against other people. To be the winner, there had to be losers. That was just the way things worked. The fact was there were plenty of children bigger, smarter, faster than me. Just like there are plenty of adults bigger, smarter, faster than me now.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to make sense of the Game of Life and the myth that ‘To be the winner, there had to be losers’. I could see how competition can drive things forward, help us achieve things we never thought we could, so competition in itself is not a bad thing. Yet the rule of having a winnner and losers still didn’t make sense. More recently I observed that ‘I am my own biggest impediment’. Don’t you sometimes just hate being right? As I thought more and more about this assertion, I realised it wasn’t the answer to the conundrum either.

What Lies Within

As I peer through the flickering curtain of snow, another thought light as a snowflake forms in the snowdome of my mind. It’s never been about me and the others. The invisible rule to the Game of Life is this. There is no other. You are both the winner and the loser. You are competing with yourself.

One Response to “Winter You”

  1. John writes:

    Hi Portia,

    First of all, I am flattered to be part of your excellent blog. Secondly, the message that you were communicating in your post is such a fundamental aspect of life that really does need to be thought about. Life can be so busy sometimes that we continue on without thinking of ‘who we are’ or better yet ‘why we are’. In this world of competition and always striving to be better than others, we sometimes lose focus of the fact that (as you stated) we are both winners and losers and we really are only competing against ourselves.

    Love your post!!

    Life is so short and yet so fascinating, so interesting, so connected.

    Kind Regards,


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