A year ago I was probably enjoying the few cool days Miami offers during the “winter”.

This year I’m trying to make the best of real wintery weather. I look out the window and everything is white. A shimmering white blanket falls, falls, falls…without a care in the world.

I had forgotten what it felt like to walk on snow, the crispy noise and the peculiar feeling under your boots that quickly moves up your spine.

I did remember, from my Boston days, that it doesn’t feel that cold when snow is falling.

What I had no idea about was shoveling or driving in snow. While at Boston University I lived in the dorms and walked everywhere. Last week right after our own Polar Vortex, Abraham traveled. I was faced with the mission to shovel or keep my son at home for another day.

The choice was clear.

If you know me you know I’m not a morning person. I feel work, school, life should start after 10AM and your first cup of coffee.

But I set my alarm and woke up much earlier than usual. I took the huge shovel from the garage and started pushing snow, lifting snow, having fun with snow until I wasn’t. It was cold. My nose was runny and I remembered how uncompromising I had been when Abraham told me we were moving to Chicago.

“I will NOT shovel snow” I said.

Yet, there I was. Shoveling away. I shoveled enough to get the car out and it took me forever to do so! My neighbors probably think I can’t drive. Ariel, probably saw through my frustration because very quietly he told me “It’s ok, Mami. You are almost there”.

After dropping him at school – yes, I probably was the person driving at 10MPH in front of you, I returned to shovel some more. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy because as I shoveled I talked to myself, sang, danced, cried, and laughed. And as I did something I thought I wouldn’t or couldn’t…I actually felt proud of myself. There was a small shift in the way I was looking at the situation, and oh! what difference it makes.

By the end of the day my driveway was clean. There was salt everywhere (inside and outside the house). My arms and wrist were hurting but I felt I had accomplished something.

Sometimes breaking out of comfort zones takes a lot of shoveling but in the end it feels great.


9 Responses to Leaving Comfort Zones

  1. No se porque dicen que las mujeres no somos capaces de hacer ciertas cosas. Aqui, para la muestra un boton. Que bien Helena no te dejaste vencer de la nieve. Me encanta tu buen sentido del humor. Abrazos!

  2. James Munoz says:

    Just read the article about you and your family in the Northbrook Tower. At least I know there are now 2 Hispanic families in Northbrook. I’m originally from South Texas, and I’ve been living here for two and half years.

    • Helenation says:

      Hi James! My husband lived in El Paso and San Antonio and is a Texan at heart :) Happy to meet another Hispanic family in Northbrook. Saludos!

  3. Elmer Velasco says:

    Hola Helena!
    We are coming out of the wood work, count me in for 3 families! (actually we are interracial, but count us in) I’m from San Francisco California, was born in El Salvador and moved to Chicago 3 years ago, living in Northbrook for the last year. Welcome to winter in Chicago this is the worst one I’ve experienced so far… :-)
    Deberiamos organizar algo entre los Latinos en el “North Shore”! Saludos! Elmer Velasco

    • Helenation says:

      This is amazing! Calling all Latinos in Northbrook. I lived in Nicaragua for almost 5 years…but haven’t lived on the West Coast yet. Yes, organicemos algo pronto. Saludos!

  4. Gigi Aguilar says:

    Hola Helena, lei tu historia en el periodico tambien, y te dire que somos mas de 3 familias hispanas en Northbrook. Bienvenida, si necesitas ayuda con cualquier cosa no dudes en pedirla, vivo aqui desde hace 14 años. Saludos!!!

    • Helenation says:

      Hola Gigi! Un placer :) Lo mejor del articulo ha sido este contacto con otras familias latinas en Northbrook. Muchas gracias por pasar a saludar. Un abrazo!!!

  5. Michelle Figueroa says:

    Wujuuuuu super bien… eres muy positiva y eso me encanta…espero verte pronto

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