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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Whining about the weather

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.  ~ Terri Guillemets

It's January 19th, 2011.

Also known as Winter.

In New England.

This time of year, it's cold.  And it snows.  Sometimes a lot. 

I know, big shocker.

We had such an event around these parts yesterday.  The television meteorologists masquerading as ambassadors of goodwill forecasted 2-4" of snow in and around the Boston area.  There was a possibility for heavier amounts of precipitation north and west of the city.  However, temperatures were on the rise and it would all turn to rain sometime around noon.

I had the early shift yesterday, working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The snow didn't start to fall until I was about 10-12 miles from work, so I had a joyously uneventful commute in.  I figured most of the hoopla would be going on while I was inside, working and warm.  As I looked out the window, it became apparent to me that this wasn't stopping anytime soon.  In fact, it almost seemed to intensify.  At one point, the snowflakes were so huge, they resembled golf balls falling from the sky.

And everyone couldn't stop talking about it.  From the time it started until the time I left to go home, everyone that passed by my area had to talk about the weather.  Comments like, "it's so nasty out there!" to "when's it supposed to stop?" came in an endless stream of chatter.  I kept hearing daunting warnings from folks such as, "the roads are awful" and "you better leave early or else you'll never get home".

I'm pretty resilient as a general rule but, I had to admit, I was letting it get to me.  I don't enjoy small talk.  Most of the time, it's just white noise to me.  And, when it involves the weather, I enjoy it even less.

I live 37 miles away from my place of employment.  On a good day during off peak hours, it takes me 40-45 minutes to get from point A to point B.  Pretty reasonable, if you ask me.  However, throw some snow, ice or even rain into the mix and, well, you can just double, triple or even QUADRUPLE that travel time.

Succumbing to the negativity, I began surfing all of the popular weather sites, reading the gloom and doom about dangerous, icy roads and reports of spinouts and accidents everywhere.  What had started off as 2-4" of predicted snow now became 4-8".  I get that meteorology isn't an exact science, but that seemed like a substantial difference to me.  I had the doppler radar up and running, hitting the refresh button every five minutes to see if that snow/rain line had moved any closer.

I became a woman obsessed.  And a little cranky too.

I started my workday as a relatively normal, well-adjusted person.  I was on the verge of ending it as an escaped mental patient.

Finally, I went out, started up the red car and got her cleaned and ready to travel.  I worked myself up in a panic to the point where I ended up just getting mad.  So what if the roads are bad?  So what if it takes me two hours to get home?  I'm not the only person who has to get someplace, after all.  There are a lot of other drivers out there who will be in the same boat as me.  It is what it is.  I'll get there when I get there.  What other choice do I have?

I got in the car, put it in gear and headed home.  It was 2 p.m. when I left work.

I reached my destination, home, one hour and 37 minutes later.  Safe and sound.

Yes, it was slow going.  Yes, it was slippery.  But, it wasn't impossible.  As long as you go slow and pay attention to the other motorists who may not be employing common sense, everything will be fine. 

So, in the final analysis, why do we make such a big deal out of things that, well, aren't really a big deal?  Is it fear?  Maybe.  Control issues?  That's also possible.  Regardless, it doesn't change the current reality.  It had been snowing for hours.  Had it started a few hours before I left for work, perhaps I would have made the choice to stay home.

But, it didn't.  And I went.  That's the reality.  Instead of should have, could have, would have and railing against what is, acknowledging and accepting things as they are seems more productive and practical.  Folks, there are certain things in life that we have no control over.  If you can't affect a change one way or the other, why exert energy in trying?  Parents, think about the power struggle you have with your children about cleaning their rooms.  And you want to take Mother Nature on????


I admit.  Sometimes, I sweat the small stuff.  Sometimes, I forget what's really important and become a raving lunatic.  Sometimes, I don't make creative use of my emotions, knowledge and time.

But, I get over it.  I always do.

It's January.  It's cold.  And it snows.  I've lived in this part of the country for 31 years.  This weather pattern is not news to me.  Beyond picking up and moving to another part of the country, there really isn't anything I can do about it.  Except, I can focus by taking a deep breath, relaxing and going with the flow. 

Sure beats whining about the weather.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I fully agree and it drives me bonkers when people whine about winter. While this year it's getting to me as well, I'm keeping that mostly to myself.