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Don't Be Cold

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I am a feeler of the cold. Always have been; always will be. Sometimes I feel it so badly, I lose feeling altogether. There's no shame in it though; some of us are just a little more at the mercy of the elements than others. Of course, you adapt. Humans are good like that.

I was lamenting to a friend about feeling rather glacial last a Saturday morning and upon donning an extra layer - a fairly reasonable move given the context - I was met with a strange response.

“Mate, you’re soft”.

Ok, let me clear me schedule.

Firstly, if I was softer I wouldn’t be in this situation. Secondly, sorry but I must have missed the part about freezing to death in order to prove I am some kind of renegade? I didn't realise I needed to pour a bucket of ice over my head so everyone would know I laugh in the face of fragility? Maybe I’ll go jump in the minus twelve degree river right now and wade around with a sign on my head that reads “Town Here”. It’ll be a great indication of what society like in 2017 when I awake from my self-administered cryogenic coma in 50 years.

I’m fairly positive that in most scenarios, if I need something and it's available, I'm going to go after it. Hungry? I’ll eat. Thirsty? I’ll hydrate. Cranky? I’ll watch cat fails Youtube. If that makes me soft, then stick a skewer in me and toast me on a fire.

It’s as if humans are afraid to expose themselves as... only human. Who are you hiding from? We’re all in the same boat here.

Don’t get me wrong, I like stories of great triumph. The one legged marathon runner who raises $50K; the guy who cuts his arm off after its been wedged between two boulders; the granny who lifts a car off a small flower. But you can’t be hero all the time - it’s exhausting. What is even more refreshing than an ice bucket to the face or a dip in the river (I assume), is when humans are transparent about their humanly-ness.

I love seeing people just do what feels good for them. When I invite a friend out and they politely decline because they’d rather to stay home, eating Cornettos and watching Clueless, I respect that. Thank you for doing you, you're like a walking permission slip for others to do themselves too.

You don’t fail to adhere to some universal definition of ‘real man’ or ‘boss lady’ when you decide to put your own personal comfort at the apex of your priorities. In fact you’re cultivating that definition. You’re the real boss, of yourself.

So when it's a Saturday morning and I'm feeling a little chilly watching the local footy, if there is a jumper in the back seat of my car I'm going to put it on. And yes, I'll be soft, and warm and prefectly happy.

Originally published in The Murray Pioneer

Paige Leacey