“Yesterday was the best powder I’ve had all year.”

I felt a pang of sadness roll over me. Dang, my laziness had led to yet another missed ski day. My friend, Kate, had texted me to let me know how much fun our ski posse had skiing last Friday. I’d had the day off. I knew Winter Park was getting fresh snow. But when I glanced at the cell phone while the rising sun’s rays pierced our blind, I instead rolled over and went back to sleep.

I just felt so damn tired.

I’ve skied a sum total of four days this ski season. Four days. It’s the least amount of skiing I’ve done since we moved to Colorado thirteen years ago. If someone had told me that I would ski only four days in a ski season, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Skiing at Winter Park has always been my happy place. Nine years ago, when I lost my job, and felt completely desolate, skiing brought a little bit of joy into my life during a very down time.  When I slide down the mountain, it brings out the inner child in me. I actually whoop and holler with glee. When I felt horribly defective that lonely winter, skiing made me believe there something good, something redeeming inside of me.

But I just couldn’t find it in me this year. I had the best of intentions, signing up to return to my sixth season ski instructing despite a global pandemic. But then my mother died suddenly, and we brought my dad to live with us. And suddenly it wasn’t just my life at risk when I considered going skiing. It just seemed too unsafe, too selfish.

Then after I got dad settled into a senior living community, I thought, well maybe now. I still have two months to get some ski days in. But then Winter Park had a terrible covid outbreak among their employees, and it forced me back into my cocoon. On the rare occasions I got called into teach, I never went into a single building, choosing instead to retreat to my car for a snack break. After all, I have an autoimmune disorder, and who knows how Covid would affect me. I

t seemed more important to live to see another ski season, that enjoy this one.

So here we are, with just a couple of weeks. I’m actually fully vaccinated as I  type this. It’s finally my time, right? But instead, I’ll be spending my Friday getting our car fixed and taking my dad to a doctor’s appointment. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time anymore to indulge my favorite wintertime sport.

I’m sad. I miss the sheer joy of whooshing through powder. I miss the sun on my face as I sit on the Panoramic lift, on a perfect spring day. I miss the person who feels so completely in the moment when she’s making turn after turn through the bumps.

Maybe next year…