Columnist’s Note: I see you’ve found the Porch Swing. Welcome to our new days together! Look for me on my porch now on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month.
Weather. There are some folks who are totally engulfed in weather. Especially this time of year, we encounter an endless barrage of comments and queries such as: “Sure has been a mild winter so far, but next month, look out!” or “How much snow did you get from that big storm Monday?” or my personal favorite, “Big snow coming, I can feel it in my bones; better head to the store for bread and milk!”
From forecasts to almanacks to stiff joints, some people look for any clues as to what the weather will be on any given day. Some folks even refuse to plan their day before consulting their unique and varied weather prediction sources. And let me be frank, (excuse me just a moment, weather alert on my phone and I can’t miss that!)—now, yes, to be frank, I don’t know why we pay so much attention to it. It’s futile to devote such concern to what the weather conditions may or may not be today, tomorrow, or a month from now.
But weather is just one of the pointless things we pay attention to in our lives. We wonder what the neighbors next door are up to as if our existence teetered on their actions. We have undue concern regarding celebrities and the intimate goings-on of their lives. But we pay especially close attention though to how other people see us. Are our outfits matching and is our hair in place? Do people like us and consider us their friends? If so, how do we maintain their superficial affinity for us, and if not, how do we obtain it?
We incessantly concern ourselves with these thoughts and devote great amounts of time and effort into ensuring we know and affect what other people think of us. Just like the weather report, we consult the mirror before going out to make sure there is nothing about our appearance to negatively impact someone’s opinion of us. (Note: Looking your best is important and a good trait to adopt; constantly fretting about others’ opinions of how you look is not.) And even if our appearance pleases our acquaintances, even if the weather looks sunny from our window, what if we misspeak, express an unshared opinion, or what if a “pop-up shower” should appear? (You notice I’ve brushed up on my meteorological jargon just for this column!)
Now, consider this truth: the weather cares not about what trained meteorologists have predicted, it doesn’t give a second thought to the Old Farmers Almanac, nor does it even begin to understand what weather report your bones and joints have to offer. Would it surprise you to learn people don’t either? I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
So, live your life. Stop worrying about whether your shoes match your belt; no one will notice but you. And stop worrying about that snow in the forecast, it may not even arrive. I’m not the least bit concerned about the weather; I’m looking forward to our next visit in a couple weeks, or perhaps before then at the local grocery—I’m off for bread and milk!