What I Learned About Myself From My Response to Weather

As I sat at my computer, with strong winds and rain in the background determined to burst through my window, I thought about all the people that were likely very angry that it was rainy and cold in Boston (in April) after such a beautiful summer-like spring day. Little did they know, but Mother Nature was to serve up two inches of snow the next morning followed by clear blue skies and a cool spring-like day… and then another cold winter day after that. This is the yo-yo weather of New England.

[Comments in winter …] “If it snows one more day… I am so sick of the cold.”

[Comments in Spring when it doesn’t feel like it…]“Thanks Mother Nature for ruining my day with the rain… Isn’t it supposed to be spring? You could have fooled me… I cannot deal with this weather…I wish it were warmer… hotter…”

[Comment(s) when Mother Nature grants us summer…] “It is too hot.”

[Comment(s) when summer moves into Fall…] “I miss summer.”

Mother Nature is never good enough and can never seem to please everyone. Those that love winter find discomfort in the summer, and those that love summer find discomfort in winter, fall, and spring. She is simply damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

From time to time, I too have been guilty of complaining about the weather. Then one day, I realized that I was complaining and commentating on something that I can in no way, shape, or form control – even if I wanted to. I started to notice that my response to the weather was great insight into the attitude in which I was responding to life. Although I would have never considered myself to be a person who complained for the sake of complaining, I was noticing that I was negatively commentating and spending too much energy on areas of life that I could not control, rather than putting that same energy into areas that I could. It was the principle of the matter. Why complain, comment, or exert too many emotions on things that I cannot control?

I am not suggesting that you should not comment or express your feelings about the weather. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a particular season and looking forward to it with great anticipation simply because you love summer, spring, winter, or fall. Saying, “I am so sick of ____ ” every now and then is not a bad thing. However, if we find ourselves complaining too much, it might be useful to see if there are parallels to our attitude in other areas of life. If we cannot control the past, why continue to complain about it? If we cannot control chronic ailments, failure, physical features, temporary circumstances, or other people for that matter, why spend more energy on it than on what we can change?

However, we are human and we will have those moments where we simply cannot stand the weather or our life circumstances, and we will want to comment on it with passion; and in those situations, you should get those feelings out. But, when it moves toward becoming a pattern of negative thought, and you are questioning Mother Nature/life more than you are simply stating facts about your feelings, you have crossed into the potentially dangerous territory of complaining about that which you cannot control.

In the grand scheme of life, there will be more days in which we cannot control or anticipate the weather than days in which we can control our attitude about life. I am trying to transition my attitude more toward understanding that the world either needs whatever weather exist or maybe we are causing global warming and have ourselves to blame for the inconsistent weather. Either way, it makes more sense to check the weather, dress accordingly, adjust, and move forward. And the same for life – control what you can and limit the energy you spend on what you cannot.

As the Serenity Prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” 

Share your reactions, thoughts, and questions below!