Colorado weather has been whipsawing lately, as it does so often, which reminds me of when I first moved here and opened SMAA over 20 years ago.
The first seminar I hosted, with a visiting instructor, was in January of 1999.
My teacher flew out from Florida and was shocked when I picked up him in the morning wearing shorts and a t-shirt — it was 75 degrees out, in Colorado, in January.
He couldn’t believe it, it was warmer in CO than in Florida.
I’ve had 2 decades to get used to wild, daily fluctuations in weather, and have come to welcome them.
Last week, as my daughter and I stepped outside to a 30 degree temperature change she looked up at me and said, “Welcome to Colorado. If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes,” with a chuckle.
I was relieved because I was expected to hear her complaining about the cold, but she handled it with humor instead.
Colorado weather, as you know, is erratic and inconsistent.
We live in a place where we always dress for the 4 seasons, regardless of the calendar season.
It’s as if we experience each season every day: Winter at night; Spring as the sun starts to rise; Summer at midday; and Fall as the sun starts to set.
My father’s lessons to always wear layers and bring extra warm clothes — “you can always take it off, but you can’ put it on (because you didn’t bring it) — was never more apropos than in CO.
Short sleeves, a long sleeve, sweatshirt and coat (with gloves ready in the pockets) along with a sun hat and a warm hat are all par for the course.
Today is no exception, as it’s about 40 degrees colder than yesterday with snow/rain in the forecast.
You might think this post is about preparation, but it’s really about patience.
Places that have consistent weather, like San Diego’s weather always in the 70’s, breed complacency.
When I lived in South Florida, people would grumble if the weather dropped 10 degrees and act as if Armageddon were here.
I’ve found the people like to complain about the weather. Even though they can’t do anything about it, the weather can ruin their whole day.
Here, Coloradans have developed patience about the weather because we know it will change, up or down.
This weather-patience is a boon when it crosses over to the rest of life.
One of my teachers gave me a powerful lesson when he asked me once,”Are you feeling bad? ”
“Don’t worry, it won’t last.”
How cliche, I thought at the time.
In hindsight, he must have been waiting for this next exchange a few days later….
“Are you feeling good today?”
“Yeah.” (thinking he cared that I wasn’t so sad anymore)
“Don’t worry, it won’t last.”
Then I got the full lesson — change is constant, so enjoy it before it’s gone (the good and the bad).
I use this wisdom on a near-daily basis.
On the negative side, I have, through much training, developed the self-awareness to recognize, acknowledge and manage my emotions so they don’t control me.
When I’m down, I remind myself that right now I’m down, but it won’t last, it’ll pass and I’ll still be here. This little self-talk strategy allows me to carry on, regardless of my current emotional state.
On the positive side, whenever I’m feeling happy, enjoying a beautiful moment with family, friends or in nature, I have learned to relish this precious time because I know it won’t, and can’t, last too long before the cycle of positive and negative (yin and yang) continues on its way.
Emotions are rather like the Colorado weather, and if you don’t like yours right now, wait 5 minutes, they’ll change.