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RISMEDIA, February 5, 2009-The grass is always greener on the other side. I say, not really, just a different shade of green. In this case a different shade of cold! Our market may be cool, but I’m feeling toasty after hearing about life in the North Pole. This story is a reminder that our perspective has so much to do with how we view our lives.

An associate from our publishing team lives in the North Pole. I know. The first thing we think of, (and she gets it all the time) is, “Do you know Santa?” This is generally followed by, “What’s it like to live there. Isn’t it too cold?” In short the answers are clearly “No” to the overused Santa line with no subsequent ha, ha; and “YES” to the cold factor. She told me that it is -55 degrees now.

As I write this from my office in Toronto, I have a scarf around my neck and a blanket around my shoulders, and I’m still in my snow boots. I would not survive an Alaskan winter. When asked why she lives there, she oozes with glee about how absolutely beautiful the summers are with abundant camping, fishing, and hiking. Perspective is an interesting thing…

Here are some cool facts about the North Pole as shared by Jennifer Young:

Life without Auto Start is a chilling affair: Picture this. “You are wearing your pajamas. You put on a pair of chunky bunny boots, throw on your bathrobe, tie it tight, take a deep breath, open the door, exit the house and run to your car. Your forehead starts hurting as the cold hits it and starts freezing your skin. Your eyelashes can freeze together so you have to keep your eyes wide open. You reach your car only to realize the door is frozen shut. You yank until your fingers feel burned from the cold and finally give up, kick the door and try again. This time the car door mercifully opens. When you get inside your whole body shakes and you fight the desire to light yourself on fire to warm back up again. Pleasant huh?”

Fire and Water. “The other day on my ride into work, I passed a car completely engulfed in flames. The sparks were flying across both lanes of the highway and traffic was flying by trying to avoid the gas tank explosion. The firefighters arrived quickly after I drove by. Their water tanks are heated so the water doesn’t freeze when it is being used, however as the spray is blown on their jackets, it freezes solid. Each firefighter with a hose has a backup firefighter behind them with an axe. This individual’s job is to hack the ice off of the other person so that they can continue to have the ability to move and fight the fire.”

Square Tires. “Why would anyone have square tires? When it is this cold, it happens. Your round tires sit on the ground all night flattening on the bottom. The rubber hardens and stays that way until the rubber warms up by being driven on the road and the air inside the tire circulates. In the meantime, as you drive down the road you hear and feel distinctive thump, thump, thump, thump as one side of the square turns to the next.”

There are parts of Alaskan life that sound very romantic. Outdoor hot tubs are essential, cozy fireplaces, stunning stars and mystifying constellations, snugly flannels and mitts seduce us with visions of hot chocolate, warm kisses and frosty frolics. I’m sure the summers are gorgeous, especially by comparison. I mean what a relief! It must be paradise.

Young’s summers are her gift-the silver lining to her northern lifestyle, truly the ‘icing on her cake!’ Her story reminds me that if we look for all the good things in life, then they will be there for us despite the cold. The real estate market is cold. What can we do to warm it up a little? Perhaps we need one of those little automatic starters to get revved up and ready to roll!

Jacqui Markowitz is the Director of Communications for Frame of Mind Coaching. You can reach Jacqui at