If this winter — this long, cold, gray, snowy, disagreeable winter — has taught me anything, it’s the importance of accepting reality for what it is…not what I’d like it to be.
Believe me, if there were any way I could change reality to what I’d like it to be, the last six weeks since Groundhog Day would have been filled with serious sunshine and 70 degree temperatures.
Now on the plus side, this case of winter fatigue has gotten me thinking about life.
Over the last few weeks while I’ve longed for spring, I’ve internalized some winter lessons, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
Dealing with winter weather is a great metaphor for dealing with difficult people and situations.
Weather is what the weather is. People and situations are what they are, too.
But there are other things this past winter has taught me, too.
When I know we’ll be snowed in, I stock up on comfort food and supplies. I make sure I’ve got plenty of coffee and hot chocolate, potato chips and a cake mix on hand to make the time more cozy and fun.
By the same token, when I know I’ll be encountering difficult people, I stock up on self-empathy and remind myself that, while I can’t change the “weather” this person gives off, I can alter the way I respond to it.
When I know I’ve had enough of gray and dreary, it’s time to soak up some sun or seek out a change of scenery or location.
So if continuing to serve on a particular committee or in a leadership position will lead to “heavy weather” — it’s time to change “locations” and step back from things that lead to unnecessary stress.
I’m still tired of winter, but then I do my best to remember what winter really is — a time when plants and tree look dormant, but they’re actually busy–getting ready for what comes next.
Maybe while watching the weather, that’s what I’ve been doing too.