As I left the hospital after 27 hours, the legal limit in New York, I found it surprisingly difficult to ditch work-related thoughts. I could see that it was cold outside; everyone was bundled up with their cold weather gear—fur lined coats, massive scarves, and Russian style fur hats. And I remembered learning in medical school that at certain extreme temperatures, your ability to stay warm is limited by the fact that you must continually inhale new cold air, and exhale warmed air. As the warmed air leaves your body, your warmth leaves your body. As I was determined to only loose heat from breathing, I bundled up the best I could before I walked outside.

A friend once commented as he was contemplating building a bed and breakfast in Wyoming made of prairie grass and focused around encountering nature in it element, that really, Ashley and I were living the environmentalist life. As you can imagine, I took some pride in that! He pointed out that the footprint of our studio apartment was dwarfed by that of his much larger home, and that while he and his wife had always owned one or sometimes two cars, Ashley and I had sold both of our cars and had therefore cut our emissions as we were now restricted to walking and using public transportation. In our tiny apartment and self powered transportation, we were, he explained, living the dream! I stepped outside and started walking home.

As the cold air blasted me awake, I felt proud to be walking. I was protecting the environment, being a model citizen. As I felt my ear lobes sting and and then freeze, I thought: who needs a warm, climate controlled car? As I felt ice crystals begin to form in my lungs, I looked to my right at those using cabs, and thought: shameful! But as I lost sensation in my feet, I walked the last block to our apartment where I knew Ashley would have opened the blinds and sunlight would be streaming in, warming our apartment, and Ashley, who would not yet have left for work, would be waiting with a warm embrace.

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