This week we have had quite a bit of snow. As usual the snow gets compressed by the passage of people on pavements and cars on the roads and surfaces become icy. Snow looks lovely but I don’t really like it. I know it can be fun to play in the snow especially if you are wrapped up nice and warm, my daughter adores it. I don’t and I think it’s probably because with snow there is more ice and I hate icy conditions.
This week the weather has disrupted normal routines. Tuesday was the worst day with local road, even the main ones, becoming gridlocked. My kids both get school transport provided, every day for my son and at the moment two days a week for my daughter. My son’s transport was about 40 minutes later than usual which isn’t bad compared to some problems that day. My daughter’s transport didn’t show at all because they got stuck somewhere. Eventually we took her to school ourselves much later in the morning, my husband doing the driving, and by that time traffic was flowing reasonably well. We picked her up from school that afternoon slightly early again with my husband driving. If he hadn’t been home doing work on our bathroom we wouldn’t have gone anywhere because I feel far to nervous about driving in that level of snow and ice.
Wednesday main roads were much better but the street outside our home is not a main road and it was still covered in compressed snow and ice. My son’s transport was still late but not as bad as the day before. My husband drove my daughter and I to her school and I walked her into her entry point while my husband stayed with the car. By the afternoon things were looking a bit better. There had been a touch of a thaw and some grit had been spread on our street now but pavements were still icy.
That evening the forecast was bad, particularly for areas further south and east than us with further snow and wind forecast during the night. And it would be a little below freezing during the night too so more ice! I cancelled plans I had made before all this snow to go out and meet a friend the following morning. I was too nervous about what the weather would bring. Our area didn’t get more snow overnight. Local roads first thing this morning were icy in places but not too bad. School transport turned up on time for both kids. I’m beginning to feel better but still anxious.
When my son was only a few months old I fell on an icy street on the way to work. The fall didn’t seem that bad at the time but I wrenched my back. I had six months of back pain after that fall and walking to work became too painful for that period of time. Eventually I had some treatment from an osteopath and that helped the injured area to finally heal.
Not long after I had finally passed a driving test I bumped into the back of another car because I couldn’t stop my car due to ice on the road. I was going very slowly but that feeling of being completely unable to stop what I could see was going to happen stayed with me. No one was hurt at all, both cars got bit scratched but nothing worse than that. But it scared me. I have remained nervous of icy roads. I can manage it it’s only icy patches but the last few days our street has been much worse than icy in patches.
My anxiety in this weather is founded on very real fears but I still feel I should be able to manage better. I recognise those feelings of inadequacy are also part of the anxiety but…
And I turn to thoughts of my ancestors through the ages. The cold weather, the arrival of snow, the fear of icy footing. Many, if not all, would have felt these things. Injuries are more common in icy conditions, healing from anything takes longer. Outdoor tasks are harder and take longer. Water can freeze over and before the mains water supplies we often take for granted frozen water supplies could be a big problem. And keeping warm also became much, much harder. I believe fear and anxiety during winter conditions would have been common to my ancestors. I am not alone.