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Jim Collar: Weather shows little things are bigger than we think

3:35 PM, Mar. 10, 2014  |  Comments

I don't often use this space on the day's biggest news story, yet some happenings demand deeper analysis.

Let's dig in right away with the most pressing questions: Did you get to spend some time outside?

Wasn't it fabulous?

Pardon the light-hearted sarcasm and know you're in good company if nothing else grabbed your attention Monday quite like that first good taste of spring. As for me, the year's first dance with downright pleasant weather quickly served up some good reminders.

The difference between happiness and something less on any given day is so often settled within the small points. As this brutal winter season has shown, the little things - a simple, warm beam of sunshine hitting the back of the neck or a moment tuned into the singing birds - shouldn't be taken for granted. But they so often are.

It was interesting to take note of the big impacts on attitude tucked inside just a few small Monday moments. The first came when I stepped from the house before sunrise and didn't have the typical bristle when smacked by chill.

The National Weather Service's Appleton forecast was among the first sites in my morning Web regimen. I don't usually smile before my third cup of coffee, but I did - and it wasn't so much about the words on the screen. It was far more a matter of what was missing.

There wasn't a minus symbol to be found. There was but one, lonely single-digit temperature listed for the entire week and I could shrug that off. We can't have it all.

I later set out for a short walk down the street to breathe it in. It felt good to see the sidewalks glisten.

It all led me to wonder, "How do I hold onto that?"

It's a worthy challenge. It's so easy to pay deeper attention to the little bits of satisfaction when they've long eluded us. The truth is, a beautiful June day would likely bring forth the same energy if I slowed down to take it in.

It goes beyond the weather. I could do better to slow up and squeeze a little harder when there's a hug for the taking. How many friendly smiles and warm conversations have passed without full impact when my mind's focus strayed?

The little things add up. As Monday illustrated, they do so more quickly if we take even a split-second to fully recognize and relish.

I suppose it's only fitting to ponder that the lowest temperature of the week and another dance with Jack Frost is about to settle in. Might I embrace the brisk, knowing that winter will soon enough be fully behind us?

On second thought, maybe some things are just best let go.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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