Brooke: Adulting we will go (column)
January 14, 2017
Adulting, as it is known here in the mountains, are those things that mature people do. When you are adulting, you are responsibly taking care of things — like enrolling in insurance before incurring penalties. When the sun beams and the epic powder day has come, the last thing any of us want to do is an adulting thing like shovel snow.
We aren't the type who needs to be out on the deck in winter, just like we aren't the type to need green grass on a mountainside yard in summer. Muffin-topped roofs were made for hucking on skis and travelers' romantic photos, not shoveling. Skiing and riding takes all our free time, making shoveling a lower priority than our frost-bitten pinky toe.
When night falls, the debate lingers in our mind – to shovel the next morning or to say no to adulting and just go skiing? We look out the windows, seeing the snow boulders have walled us in. The snow burrows over the rails like untamed weeds. As friends arrive for dinner, we send them to the side door, where it's shielded from snow. Keeping up entrances is just too much effort for our winter company, right?
If not pure hospitality or the joy of sweat equity, maybe a collapsing building was the motivation to make shoveling a new priority. So, we scramble to hire someone to shovel — surely someone else can be adulting while we go skiing? We cry out to the local Facebook group: "Is there anyone out there, adulting? Shoveling is great avalanche rescue training. I need to go ski some backcountry today, will you p-l-e-a-s-e shovel my deck." But, with the demand for adulting in short supply, no one is available to shovel for us.
We wake early the next morning and like the charging mountaineer we were born to be, we turn on our headlamp. We reach for the shovel: It's time to dig. The progress feels agitating. We text our Midwest friends whimper-faced emoticons, because we have to shovel pounds of snow.
We dig again. Then, the sun begins to rise for the first time in days. The snow chunks start to dissipate, and light shines upon our window panes once again. The more we dig, the more accomplished we start to feel. With the pride of a kid next to his sand castle, we take selfies of a 3-foot-by-3-foot corner that we've dug and send it to our hottie.
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We look over what we've accomplished. The tough stuff is shoveled now. We don't have to keep going, but we head for the main entrance anyway. We pound out the walkway we've never used in winters before, and inspect the outdoor lights for future guests. After all, our renewed hospitality matters in any season.
It was only one winter day at adulting's expense, but it was the first winter day that we walked on wood.
Shoveling is hard work on a powder day. For the adulting mountain men and women, honor is coming to you.
Taryn Brooke lives in Breckenridge.
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