This is my Camino. Welcome.

What I Wore Wednesday and a general lowering of standards

Yesterday I woke up and went outside and, with windchill, it was NEGATIVE THIRTY-SIX DEGREES and as I stood in the cold, my nose-hairs FREEZING (literally, freezing) in my nose, brushing off and moving two cars before I could even get to my own in the driveway, I said to myself under my breath, “This is the worst day of my life.”

I said those same words as I walked the three frozen city-blocks from my car to my office through drifted-snow to my knees.

May I state again: NEGATIVE THIRTY-SIX.

Also. I didn’t exercise or shower because I knew traffic was going to suck and I needed an extra HOUR to get to work (I was right…and I should have left even a few minutes earlier).

What does this have to do with anything? Lots. I didn’t feel like writing a blog post yesterday because everything was cold, everything was dirty, everything was off.

And now I shall talk about: standards.

The first time I took a baby-pilgrim group to Europe was for shenanigans like seeing the Pope and sleeping on floors and stuff.

For the record: we started in semi-jank hotels in Italy. Then we moved to gyms and the like on the Camino de Santiago–where sometimes, if you arrived at the right time and you wished upon a star and it was your birthday–you were graced with a bunk bed instead of a wrestling mat. Finally we were in Madrid and we were bumped and shuffled between a too-small tent/ CEMENT PATIO where the sprinklers-turned-on-at-night, a full-of-illness gym, and a dog park. Yes, I slept in a park. Best night ever: I saw a shooting star!

So then we spent the night in the desert on what I believe was the landing strip of an airport, with bonus fire ants and burs, just to make us feel welcome. Oh, and last I heard the temps reached 109…before the thermometer broke. Not kidding.

I didn't crop so you could see our WYD refuge camp in all it's desert glory.
I didn’t crop so you could see our WYD refuge camp in all it’s desert glory.

(I’m not sure why people still talk to me, either, actually).

On the way home in the airport I was talking to this kid from Africa and he was like, “This has been the worst. The all-around worst. I didn’t sleep at all.”

And then I was like, “Oh, snap. What about my group?”

So then I asked them how they were doing after that night-on-the-airfield and they were like, “Best sleep I’ve had this entire trip.”

Which made me realize that the general lowering of standards over the course of two-and-a-half weeks had actually served to make the final experience more agreeable.

I thought of that this morning when I went outside to warm my car and it was a mere ONE DEGREE BELOW ZERO so I put my hands on my hips thought to myself, “Man! Today feels like it’s going to be a good day.”

My standards have been lowered.

Negative thirty-six is my new low.

This is my "I'm not fooling around" winter hat and my "I mean business" sunglasses. Paired together for a ferocity never before unleashed.
This is my “I’m not fooling around” winter hat and my “I mean business” sunglasses. Paired together for a ferocity never before unleashed.

But, still, nothing to sniff at, so let’s dress like the Snow Queen while we’re at it.

Fleece-lined leggings, compliments of my cousin. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bright colors because (1) they’re awesome and (2) you might be able to see the Northern Lights tonight.

Everything else you’ve seen before: skirt, sweater, scarf, boots.

Stay warm, stay awesome.

Happy Wednesday,
P.S. My sister and I signed up for SWIMMING lessons. In January: don’t ask me why. In her words, “There are so many levels of reasons why I don’t want to put on a swimsuit today.”

Word, dog. Word.

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