What I Learned About Myself From My Response to Weather

As I sat at my computer, with strong winds and rain 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 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 that would be followed by another cold winter day. This is the indecisive weather of New England.

Comments in winter: “I am so sick of the cold.”

Comments in Spring: “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.”

Comment when Mother Nature grants us summer: “It is too hot.”

Comment in 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 commenting 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 a great insight into the attitude with 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 commenting and spending too much energy on areas of life that I could not control. 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?

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. But, when it moves toward becoming a pattern of negative thinking, you may 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 when we cannot control or anticipate the weather. I am trying to transition my attitude more toward understanding that the world either needs whatever weather exists 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 goes 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.” 

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