Complaining About Weather, or, Stop Being a Wuss


Weather.

It’s the one thing in life that is inevitable, yes? Rain, Sunshine, Cold, Heat, Clouds, Wind…we know the cycle. It’s been the same our whole lives. And yet.

Weather is the one single thing that people complain about, All. The. Time. As one friend commented recently, you’d think we would realize that every winter it is going to be cold, and every summer heat waves will come, and each and every day will either be sunny or cloudy. But no matter what the temperature, or what the sky looks like, somebody is going to complain about it. “Why is it raining AGAIN?” “It sure is dry around here.” “Snow is such a pain!” “Man, these sticky summers are horrendous.” “It’s a gorgeous fall day, but I can’t enjoy it because I know winter’s coming and I hate winter.” You’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it. And be honest, we’ve both said things like that too.


The thing that gets me most especially is when we have a snow day here in North Carolina. These are a rare occurrence, happening maybe a handful of times each winter. And while there are plenty of people that take full advantage of each snowflake, there are the inevitable mourners, going on about how awful life is because this white stuff fell from the sky and they want us to know exactly how much they hate it. Their hearts are devoid of childlike wonder and magic. If you are a committer of this crime, I have ten words for you.

Stop it or I’ll bury you alive in a box.

Just stop. It’s ridiculous, this complaining about the weather. First of all, the weather is inevitable. Your complaining changes absolutely nothing, except making all of your listeners’ days a little sourer and aiding in the growth of your ulcers. Secondly, it’s ungodly. Did you know that? There is nothing remotely Christlike about mindless complaining. If you don’t believe me, go read the story of the Israelites in the desert with all their murmuring again.


Snow is a magical gift from God, and if you could open your eyes and your heart a little, you could see it too. So is rain, and so is the summer heat, and we are fools to waste our time complaining about these things. If you feel the need to complain, go complain about child trafficking, or starving refugees, then DO something about it. As for the weather, grow up, buy appropriate clothing, learn the art of hygge, grow out your beard, run your AC at full blast, or move to Florida or Antarctica. There are more pressing concerns in this world than your silly little #firstworldproblem of disliking the temperature.


I know two people in this great big world that have resolved to not complain about the weather- my mother, and a cousin I admire. I aspire to be like them. Sometimes I slip up, when my least favorite season is at its peak, so it’s a work in progress.  And of course, it’s possible to comment about the weather without whining. But listen to yourself, and see how many of your weather comments have a negative tone. Help me make the world a better place, will you?

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Joy and Sorrow

The relationship between these two is something I’ve often thought about, and sometimes hated, even while grudgingly understanding that it must be so. But Kahlil Gibran explains the necessity of their intertwining so much better than I can.

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“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

 

Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

 

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”

-Kahlil Gibran

Five Things About Summer

Five Things About Summer

I love winter. There, I said it. I know it isn’t a popular opinion here in the south, but I love the boots and scarves and cold gray days and the few flakes of snow we get and especially not melting into a puddle every time I get into my car. On the other hand, summer is really not my favorite. In fact, it veers widely in the opposite direction. It can be hard to stay positive when the heat looms like an oppressive cloud, the AC can hardly keep up, and trying to take a gentle walk results in becoming a sweaty mess.

However, I am also a firm believer (most of the time) that it’s just dumb to complain about the weather. I don’t always manage not to, but it is my aspiration to keep my comments cheerful when the temperature is not to my liking. So with that said, here are five things I’ve enjoyed, or am looking forward to, this summer. After all, gratitude turns even summer into something to be enjoyed instead of merely a season to be gotten through.

1. There’s hardly a better way to spend a summer day than by paddling one’s feet in a mountain creek. And taking a group of five wee ones to the creek (as I did yesterday) and watching them just thrill in the experience is such fun.

 

2. Frosties! Ok, I know you might think this is an odd obsession to have. But here’s the thing. When we lived way back in Erandique, Honduras, the closest familiar American fast food chain was a Wendy’s, about four hours away. Occasionally we would stop in there on our way past, order fries and frosties, and sit for a while in the air conditioned room as we dug our toes into the luxurious (and probably disgusting) carpet there. We may or may not even have driven 40 minutes or more out of our way once, just for the ice cream. Suffice it to say, while good ice cream is less of a luxury now than it was then, frosties are still just as good. And having them delivered to me at work on a hot day? Well, I don’t complain about that.

3. I love people watching, and summer evenings are the perfect time to sit on the bench outside my apartment and watch the world go by. Also, watching thunderstorms roll in over the old brick buildings and staying outside till the last minute possible before getting soaked is pretty fun.

4. In a couple weeks I get to go to a summery outdoor concert at…wait for iiiiit…The Biltmore! I won two tickets, which is awesome both because I rarely win things like that, and also because I get to see this amazing place again. Not only that, but the concert is just a few days before my birthday, so it’s like my own private celebration, which, let’s admit it, is pretty cool.

5. Across the street from my house is a little ice cream shop that has a wide selection of marvelous flavors for really good prices. Sitting on the sidewalk there with friends that came from Ohio to surprise you is a pretty excellent way to enjoy warmer weather.

And there you have it- five reasons why I’m enjoying this summer. What about you, do you enjoy this sweltering season, or are you eagerly looking for the first signs of fall?