Cold, Mud and Stoicism

It’s been three weeks since my last post. A year ago I would have worried about such a long gap between posts. Now with my decision not to publish a post just to meet a self-imposed schedule, I don’t let it worry me.

The Alexa rating for this blog has slipped above 1 million, the worst it has been since it briefly dipped under the 300 000 mark 18 months ago.

I am not worrying about the gap in posts or the Alexa rating. They are neither good nor bad, they just are.

I have not lost any subscribers, I gained another today.Visitors to this site have remained constant and in fact increased over the last week.

The more I have read about the stoic philosophy over the last few months, the more I have come to see the value in accepting things, events, situations, conditions as they are, not as I would like them to be.

It was a very harsh winter here in South West Ontario, February was difficult with many consecutive days below -20 C, frozen water pipes, a frozen water pump, we burned a huge amount of wood to keep ourselves warm in our old house. But it was equally cold for every one else in this part of the world, it was not a condition sent to make my life miserable, an obstacle specially designed to upset me.

We knew that eventually Spring would arrive, it would get warmer.

It did.



Now with the thaw, there is mud everywhere.The dog and cats have to leap over knee-deep ruts where I have driven the tractor to collect wood from the woodpile. The dog leaves trails of muddy paw prints all over the house.

It’s a small temporary inconvenience, soon the ground will dry out, we will fill the ruts and the grass will grow again.

A favourite maxim of the personal growth movement is:

“What we focus on expands”

I have been reminded of that when reading recent posts on some of the blogs I follow. Is Stoicism or the Stoic Philosophy the new “flavour of the month” for bloggers?  Eric Barker is a writer who has written good articles on the subject recently. It seems that more and more bloggers are writing about the topic since Ryan Holiday published his book “The Obstacle is The Way”. 

There is a huge and very important difference between being stoic, enduring circumstances that we cannot change and irresponsibly using obstacles as excuses for not trying to improve situations.

How well do you cope with frustrating, challenging or difficult situations?

Wishing you an enjoyable Spring.

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  6 comments for “Cold, Mud and Stoicism

  1. Roberta
    April 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    You ask: “How well do you cope with frustrating, challenging or difficult situations?”

    Sometimes well. Sometimes not. I think for the most part I cope reasonably well. But it is not always easy. Many times I cope poorly, but with time, or sleep I make a conscious decision to try to endure and carry on. That is life.

    • Peter
      April 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Seems to me from reading your blog and following you in Social Media channels that most of the time you cope very well Roberta. For readers who have not visited Roberta’s blog, treat yourself to wise words, great photographs and delicious recipes at

  2. April 10, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Peter I haven’t taken the time to thank you for tweeting me so faithfully! Your mud caught my eye today in my business as I woke up to 3″ of snow so heavy it broke the windshield wipers that had not been shut off last night when it was raining and they came on when we started the car. This afternoon however everything melted and tomorrow will be close to 60 and sunny. Welcome to Wisconsin! Life is an opportunity for growth and it seems the older I get the more I grow in every direction 🙂 LOL! I too have had struggled but great things on the horizon. As you said…seasons change! I am finally coming out of the abyss and have teamed up with a colleague who had a similar dream….to help others realize their potential and seek to make their dreams come true. We are going to be getting other coaches on board and sure would love to be able to have you consider being a presence on our developing “team” of professionals we can refer to…..…. Bless you Peter! You are a gem!

    • Peter
      April 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      You are welcome Linda. The mud has dried out, the sun is shining, what a difference a week makes. I visited your new website, it looks interesting, let’s talk about your idea.

  3. April 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I choose to pay less attention to the problems I have no control over and more attention to the ones that I can solve through my actions, reactions and interactions with other people. Doing the opposite of that has had a profoundly unacceptable affect on my life.

    • Peter
      April 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Philip, how true, what a pity it takes most of us a good part of our lives to determine the difference between those we can control and those we cannot.

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