Posts Tagged With: weather

Day 214: (Small) Talk About The Weather

When I was younger, I used to think that talking about the weather was “small talk.” When people talked about the weather, I thought they were avoiding talking about something important. I had some judgment about small talk, assuming that it was the avoidance of a deeper, more authentic communication or connection.

There have been times when I’ve said, “I don’t like small talk.” And   “I’m not good at small talk.”

Lately, I’ve been wondering if there is such a thing as small talk.

The more therapy groups I do and the more I really listen to people with an open mind and heart, the more I hear in every statement.

Right now, on the morning of my last work day before my two-week vacation, as I listen to the rain outside my window, here are some random thoughts about “talking about the weather.”

  • Weather is often a metaphor for how people feel.
  • Weather really affects how people feel.
  • When I studied English Literature in college, I remember learning about “pathetic fallacy”, which is defined here as ” a literary term for the attributing of human emotion and conduct to all aspects within nature. It is a kind of personification that is found in poetic writing when, for example, clouds seem sullen, when leaves dance, when dogs laugh, or when rocks seem indifferent.”
  • The weather is something that a lot of experts have been talking about lately, with different amounts of concern and fear about the future.
  • When I talk to people about their emotions (especially disowned or otherwise negatively judged emotions such as anger or sadness), I use the metaphor of allowing emotions to pass through naturally, “like the weather.”*
  • I have had moments of worry about what the weather will be when I travel to England and Scotland next week, because people have been telling me that area of the world has been “unseasonably warm.”

Here’s what I’m thinking, right now, as I’m readying to wrap up this post, so I can go into work and wrap up some things before leaving on vacation:

It helped me to write this post, as always.

However, I think I might have written about some — if not most — of these things in previous posts.

And I’ll name this: I do have a fear of repeating myself.  I guess I fear that repeating myself will make what I am saying seem … what?   Less believable? Less important?

Sort of like small talk.

Which, as I hope I’ve demonstrated for your reading pleasure and satisfaction today, does not exist.

And even if “less important” communications do exist,  just wait.  They will pass through —  just like the weather — soon to be replaced by the next big thing.

Let’s see if I can find a photo I’ve taken this year, to illustrate this post …

Image

That’s a photo I took, a few months ago, when I did my last (small) bit of traveling. (Knowing me, I probably had some moments of worry about the weather for that trip, too.)

Okay!  Thanks for reading everything small, or big, I wrote today.

____________________

*  Thanks to my friend Carol and her friend Eric for talkin’ ’bout this metaphor.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 33: Groundhog Day

It’s Groundhog Day!

I love Groundhog Day.

The groundhog saw his shadow today.  Which means, according to Punxsutawney Phil, that there will be an early spring.  Spring in four weeks, says the furry prognosticator!

Wait a minute.  That would mean spring will be here on March 2.  The groundhog is telling us that on March 2, it will be warm,  the flowers will be blooming, the birds will be singing like crazy, and all those things I LOVE to feel, see, smell, and hear after a cold, grey winter will be here.

Naw.

Just won’t happen.  I don’t mean to be cynical and doubt my beloved groundhog.  But that’s impossible. At least where I live.

I’ve now seen 60 Groundhog Days and not ONCE has spring arrived on March 2.

That’s one of the interesting aspects of my lifelong experience with Groundhog Day.  It’s based on something that is completely and utterly incorrect. We might even get dramatic here, and say that Groundhog Day is based on a pack of lies!!!

That is shocking, isn’t it?  That the

King of the Groundhogs,
Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators,
Weather Prophet without Peer,

actually doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

Of course, I suppose we could crankily say the same about our experiences with professional weathermen and weatherwomen.  (I still  usually call them weathermen and weatherwomen, although I understand that they prefer the term “meteorologist,” which does sound quite scientific and reassuring, although more like  people we’d call when a meteor is about to hit the earth.)

Where was I before the parentheses? Oh, yes. Meteorologists are often wrong, too. And I’ll tell you what drives me nuts about THEM.  (It’s Groundhog Day, so I’m allowed to rant.)  Not once, in my sixty Groundhog Days on this earth have I EVER seen ANY meteorologist acknowledge IN THE SLIGHTEST when the forecast has been completely and utterly wrong.

I’ve listened to these weather-people warn us, with concerned faces and dire voices, for HOURS (or DAYS!) about catastrophes looming on the horizon. And then when the terrible weather event just … doesn’t … happen ….  Nada!  They say nothing.  It’s as if those forecasts, which sounded so absolute and definite, never happened. The day after one of these Forecasting Faux Pas, these weather people betray not  a tinge of embarrassment and regret. Believe me, I’ve looked.

And I’m somebody who — so far in her life — has been SO different from these blithely bumbling meteorologists, when it comes to mistakes.  I’m hyper-aware of mistakes  — often painfully so — and  I am quick to name them to anybody I think might notice.

Well, mistakes are something that I am definitely working on for this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.  I am working on accepting and letting go of mistakes, and assuming less about other people’s reactions to mistakes.

And as a result, this may be the best Groundhog Day I’ve ever had.

Here’s to you, Punxsutawney Phil.

And to you, too, dear reader.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 24: Nature ups the ante (and lowers the temperature)

I just checked the temperature on my phone.

I couldn’t help but react audibly when I saw it.  I’m not sure whether I made a gasp or a moan or a strangulated whimper.  Whatever sound I made, it was in reaction to seeing this:

Oh, my.

Well, here’s one way to tell THIS story. Going out this morning  will be an interesting test of what it will be like for me — the day after I wrote in this blog about how extreme weather affects my sense of safety (and when I’m still not back to baseline, health-wise).

I think writing about the extreme cold and my sense of safety yesterday is already helping. Just writing or talking about something — sharing a story, especially a previously unexpressed one — can help quite a bit, I believe. (I guess it’s good I believe that, since that’s the backbone of what I do for a living.)

And it’s also helping this morning, to share my reactions in today’s post — especially that initial, primal THUMP of dismay I felt when I saw that tiny digit on my phone.

It’s a ONE, for heaven’s sake. ONE degree.

Here it is again, in all its small starkness:

(I keep thinking that some of you who are reading this, perhaps living closer to one of the Earthly Poles than I do and regularly experiencing colder temperatures, might be chuckling at my delicate whussy-ness right now, but Hey!  I think we can all bear more easily whatever we’re used to.)

So, as I was saying, it’s a ONE.  Just a smidge away from a zero.  Zero. Nothing.  (Fahrenheit, the crueler measurement of cold.)

So, yes, that scares me.  This is a situation where the  smallness of the number is bad. I’m not talking golf, blood pressure, or “bad” cholesterol,  where smaller numbers are reassuring. In this situation, numbers considerably smaller than normal are dangerous — like the realms of salaries, grades, and the heart rate of a child.

So it’s more dangerous out there, dear readers.   But as I said earlier in this post, writing about this, sharing this with you, feeling not-alone with this, is helpful, especially as I’m gearing myself up to go out and meet it.

And as I’m preparing myself right now, about to put on my layers of armor and venture into The Land of One Degree, I’m feeling …..

Like a hero, actually.

Really. (And I guess that showed up in my language, directly above.)

And rather than feeling beaten down — as I did when that fearsome  and shocking 1° popped up on my cell phone — I actually can feel a sense of excitement.

Really!

And here are some things I’m believing right now:

I can do it.

I will be okay.

Even better!

I will pass through this, triumphant.

I will beat this dastardly degree!

I mean, it’s only a puny little ONE, for heaven’s sake.

Ta-da!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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