I haven’t skied yet this week. If everything is going correctly, I’ll be driving up to the hill when this publishes, loading the lift as you read it. But for now, I haven’t skied yet this week. It’s been dumping in the Tetons, not like it’s been in Tahoe or the Wasatch, but we’ve had that consistent accumulation that makes for fun midweek skiing. And instead I’ve been working, piloting my desk, head down, only looking up for the parade of video calls that pile up in the first few days of figuring out a new job. Respond to this email. Wait, damn, don’t click that link the IT folks are trying to trick us with their pseudo spam again, and I don’t have time for another lap through the cyber crime avoidance module.
My partner has been out three days already this week. She’s been skiing with a variety of friends, doing her best to not rub it in, but I see the instagram stories. Overhead, blower, superlative after superlative comes to mind. Send another email, dig around for another address, fill out the spreadsheet, make sure I look presentable for this next video call. I guess I ought to have FOMO.
Usually I would. This winter though, I’ve been coming to a kind of uneasy peace with my relationship with skiing. I’ve mostly grown out of the frothy, aggressive, “I NEED to ski right NOW!” attitude I’ve had for the last decade or so. Recently I realized that I’ve skied more good days in my life than I have any right to. I’ve been exceedingly lucky with conditions and friends and timing and just all the general logistics that can get in the way of a good day of skiing.
If I had to stop skiing, right now, and never slip into a turn again, my cup would be full. I would be content. At least, so I tell myself. So I can afford to sit at my desk, absently pet the dog with my foot as I once again explain what I know about this new job, what I don’t know, and what it all means. Click. Type, video call, phone call, click, type.
There’s a wall of white outside my window now. The snow is coming down so hard that it’s less flakes and more continuous waves, sweeping down into the driveway. Shovel so the cars can get out, so that housemates can go skiing. I’m content. I’m lucky. I’ve been lucky. Now it’s time to pay for a little bit of the luxury of great skiing I’ve taken for granted. Click, type some more. I’m a mature adult. I don’t get powder fever. I can wait. I can hold it!
Sure. Maybe. But tomorrow I’m going skiing. Who knows how good the snow will be. Maybe terrible, beat up and depleted. But I’ll lean into a turn, I’ll loft off a cat track, tweak my skis in the air, maybe dive into a rotation or two, hip check into something soft. I’ve gotten more than I deserve. I’m so lucky. I’m content. But damn. I’m going skiing tomorrow!