My #1 son has a favorite saying he uses when others want to back out of an adventure due to rain, snow, fog, or freezing cold: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.” He believes if we’re prepared, we can face any weather and even enjoy it.
This past February, all across the Continental United States we had colder, snowier, more bitter, weather than we’ve experienced in many years. Even northern Florida, where we spend the month of February now that we’re retired, was colder than any year we’d experienced. In fact, several days were colder than many February days we’ve experienced in Indiana back home.
How shall we deal with inclement weather?
We have a choice. Complain or choose joy. Stay in or venture out. Wear a frown or wear the coat, the gloves, and the ear muffs. No bad weather, only bad gear.
During the third week of our month in Florida, our three children and their families joined us at the beach house. Did our 5 young grandchildren complain about the weather? No. Never. Not once.
When asked, “What did you like best about your week at the beach?” Their reply was, “Everything.” “Even the day it rained all day?” “Yes; because we got to play together.”
What can we learn from them?
We have a choice. Complain or choose joy. No bad weather, only bad gear.
What is our “gear” for difficult times?
Preparation. Protection. Positivity.
Preparation includes having realistic expectations.
We knew the forecast for February was for colder than usual weather.
We packed accordingly with plenty of clothing layers for all types of weather.
We also packed stuff to keep busy indoors on the worst weather days. I beaded 21 necklaces during February; something I never seem to find time for at home.
We were prepared.
Protection is all about the “gear” along with natural and man-made barriers.
Blustery wind and chilly temps are repelled by a good coat, head protection, neck scarf, and gloves.
Choosing to hike in the woods rather than on the open beach provides natural protection from the pine and palm trees.
Selecting which side of the deck to sit on takes advantage of the house or roof as a barrier from the wind or excess sun while still spending time outdoors.
And using generous amounts of sunscreen and bug spray provides essential protection, which if forgotten leads to regret.
We were protected.
Positivity may be the most important “gear” of all.
Choosing joy over choosing to complain can be difficult but may provide the greatest help in overcoming all types of difficulties. Attitude is everything.
Attitude is also contagious. The joy our grandchildren shared helped all of us have a wonderful time.
We stayed positive.
When approaching or confronting difficulties, what can you do to prepare? How can you find protection? What can you do to remain positive?
Be grateful in all circumstances.
After our children returned home we were blessed with the warmest and sunniest week we’ve ever had in Florida. Were our children upset they missed it?
No, they were still thankful that the week they came they had missed the snowiest week back home in over a decade. They were thankful for spending time with family, seeing 50+ bird species, dolphins, and turtles, walking on the beach, collecting shells, eating shrimp and grouper fresh from the gulf, and relaxing time away from work and school.
Every year we’ve come to the beach I’ve reflected on lessons learned. This year I’ve become a believer – there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear!
“Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you'd bring me up in conversation forever. And when it rained, I'd be the talk of the day.” ~John Mayer
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