Finding the Good in the Bad

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. ~Abraham Lincoln

The other day as it turned from warm sunny and beautiful to windy, Chief and I found ourselves complaining that it was now too breezy to grill our dinner outside.  We set aside our plans for a barbecue and a bike ride with a resigned sigh and went out for dinner.  The next day, the wind dissipated and so we went out to grill our original meal, finding it still and muggy and hot.  As we started preparing everything, we realized the mosquitoes were out.  If only we had some wind to keep them away!

We have pretty much stopped using our air conditioning and heating, the Houston climate sometimes verging on freezing and often verging on hot, but never enough that you can’t stand it.  It doesn’t make sense to blast air in to our old and energy inefficient house.  All  last winter I ran around covered in three layers and down slippers, occasionally a hat, piling on blankets to go to bed.  I dreamed of the summer days when I could again walk around feeling warm, taking cold baths and wearing hot yoga shorts and a bralette around the house.  Well, those days arrived and guess what?  I once again found myself longing for those days we spent snuggling under the covers and making hearty stews.

All of this has caused me to reflect on how we feel about life in general.  Sometimes we long for something to be how it used to be, or to look forward to the way things will be without appreciating all the things about the present moment.

When it’s windy, it keeps the bugs away.  When it’s raining, it’s good for the garden and plants and gives us an excuse to not feel guilty about curling up with a book or movie.  When it’s cold, it gives us a chance to put together cute outfits and make a fire and snuggle up with loved ones.  When it’s warm, we can leave the house without worrying about a chill. When it’s humid, it keeps our skin plump and hydrated.  When it’s dry we can cruise on foot or bicycle without becoming covered in sweat.  When it’s sunny, we can soak up the vitamin D and watch the solar-powered rainbow maker.  When it’s cloudy, it gives us a cozy feeling.

What if instead of assessing what’s wrong with today, we appreciated what this weather or circumstance was bringing to our life?  I am trying to be thankful for the things that may seem like annoyances or deterrents and appreciate them for what they are providing instead of focusing on what they are preventing.  Like weather, life always changes.

A windy (but bug free!) hike in Big Bend National Park

A windy (but bug free!) hike in Big Bend National Park

4 Comments

  1. maureen October 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm · Reply

    Beautiful article Emily! We all need to be reminded to count our blessings. Often the weather determines our activities, and having spent most of my life in North Dakota, I know only too well how we can get to complaining about the weather.

    • Emily October 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Momo! I agree 🙂 This year I find myself anticipating fall weather more than ever. I don’t think I used to enjoy it as much, knowing it meant the start of a long cold winter. But when I reflect back, some of my best and coziest memories of childhood were surrounded by snow and ice and darkness!

  2. LizzardB October 22, 2013 at 2:31 am · Reply

    Yes, I always like to look for silver linings when I feel disappointed in something too, there always is one, even if it’s a small lesson. Personal growth is always so much faster and rewarding when I do this and I love it when I see others that realise this too. Nice one Emily!

    • Emily October 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm · Reply

      I agree! Sometimes it takes a long time to be able to realize what a particular circumstance brought us. But I feel like life always teaches us the lessons it needs us to learn and takes us exactly where we’re supposed to be. 🙂

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