How to Weather Life’s Unfortunate Events

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Melissa Gorzelanczyk of Peace & Projects.

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” – Robert Burns

Here in Wisconsin, we’ve had the snowiest winter in decades. Granted, we live in this snowy state by our own choice, but that doesn’t erase our lust for sunlight. Each day the snow melts gives us hope.

The good news is, spring officially started 30 days ago.

The bad news is, we just got 6 more inches of snow. As I’m writing this, the flakes are still tumbling from the clouds, blanketing our nearly-green lawn with another layer of white. I know the snow won’t last, but the principle of enduring another snowstorm 30 days into spring is disheartening.

In life, snow is not the only thing that falls.

We face disappointments, big and small. We scramble for ways to weather the storms.

Maybe you woke up excited to write in solitude, only to find out there’s a two-hour delay for school. Maybe you’re anxious to minimize your possessions, but the rest of your family laughs at the notion. Maybe your teen daughter decided your rules are dumb, and stops following them.

If snow in spring – or teenage drama or unexpected backlash – has dimmed your happiness, here are some tips to help you thrive in the face of disappointment. It really is possible to still shine brightly:

Live today, cherish now.

This morning, it’s a regular weekday, it snowed (again!) and school was delayed. I wondered bitterly, what’s so great about today? The answer was, well, more than I thought.

Pondering my life, I realized that while some people in the world are sick, my family is healthy. While snow is piling up, we are warm. While someone out there is lonely, we have each other, even on regular, “boring” weekdays.

When plans in life go astray, try on a new perspective, like I did. Try thinking, “Today is a gift.” Live for now, not just the plans in the future … not just for spring. Cherish what is happening in this very moment, even when it snows.

Love always.

Our kids don’t always like our rules. If you’re a parent, you know the drill. Rules get ignored and consequences are handed out. Those aren’t my favorite moments. When my daughter is acting up, it helps to remember how much I love her, no matter how bad her attitude. This softens a frustrating moment. It takes the sting out of backtalk.

Love always. Put it in front of every action, even when your loved one is acting in anger.

When all else fails …

… take my son’s suggestion and “Put a flame-thrower shield over the house.” Then, donate the melted snow to communities that need water.

Yes, that’s how Wisconsinites thwart snow in spring. Sitting around the kitchen table, we shared a laugh at the thought. Truthfully, it helped. Laughter always does.

We turned to watch the snow swirling around the window with a smile on our faces.

***

Melissa writes at Peace & Projects, where you can get her new ebook: The Hybrid Homemaker: A Guide to Personal & Financial Freedom.

Photo by Kevin N. Murphy BVWMJ6G4X4ZD

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    I agree that today is a gift. I also don’t subscribe to the concept of boredom. If you’re bored, go do something interesting. And good luck with that snow. We had a long winter in Ohio, but you and Becker had it worse in WI and VT, respectively.

    Take care,

    Joshua Millburn | The Minimalists

  2. says

    Oh, my husband has visited WI and says it is beautiful, but that would be in the summer! I have no desire to be there for the winter, lol! As you look at snow falling, I look at pollen filling the air floating to the ground, covering everything with a yellow blanket. That would be spring in GA. But, it is 85 degrees!
    Yes, a change in perspective, in looking at things, can make a difference. I am currently struggling with my youngest daugther. She just turned 18. She graduated early, a year ago, so she *feels* like she is an adult. It is a delicate dance, learning to let the young adults in your family go. Thank goodness I have learned that as she is the 4th one! So, when I feel like she is questioning WHY to every suggestion I make, I remember- I *want* to think for herself. I want her to question and understand the WHY of things. And I just remember that in a few years, she will become one of my best friends, just like my other kids did…
    Thanks for sharing Melissa!
    Bernice
    13 ways to stay stressed out

    • says

      Wisconsin is GORGEOUS in the summer. Winter too, but the winters get very long. 85 degrees sounds like heaven.
      I know my daughter’s desire to be her own person is normal … it really has a lot to do with MY perspective. You’re right, eventually we realize Mom and Dad weren’t as stupid as we thought and become friends.
      I’m looking forward to that season of our relationship.
      Thanks for stopping by today!
      Melissa

  3. says

    I’ve always used the saying “change your glasses” when someone complains to me about the weather. I simply mean that you need to look at it from a different perspective or attitude. I’m always amazed at how much people will let the weather influence their moods. Living in certain climates that can leave you feeling pretty bad for much of the year. Why not change your glasses and look at “bad” weather for what it is… a beautiful presentation of mother nature’s abilities to keep our planet thriving.

    • says

      Very true, Jason. Only in Wisconsin, we have to change more than our glasses … change our jackets, hats, mittens, snow pants, sweaters. Ha! I know what you mean, only joking. Thanks for connecting here.
      :-)
      Melissa

      • says

        Now you’re preaching to the choir. I live in Ottawa, Canada. ;-)

        Here’s my thinking…. It doesn’t matter how cold it gets. You have to put on a jacket anyway, so just put on a thicker one and enjoy the crunchy snow under your feet.

        That said, the tulips are starting to come up here and it’s going to be a gorgeous Spring.

  4. Karen T. says

    Thanks for a great post, Melissa. Love always. LOVE ALWAYS. I gotta remember that.

    About the weather — here in Northern California we’re enjoying a glorious, green, flower-filled spring, but my asthma is very bad right now because of it! And when summer comes, I will hate day after day of 100 degree temps. We can all find things to complain about, all the time. I’m good at complaining — everyone I know is good at complaining! My antidote is like yours — give thanks, cherish now. Like LOVE ALWAYS, we need to GIVE THANKS ALWAYS (very Biblical).

  5. says

    Great post, Melissa. Love your sense of perspective. I’m down in Madtown, and it snowed here and I thought the same thing…”ugh….here we go again!” But the truth is that the rest of the spring and summers (as well as fall) are BEAUTIFUL for the most part. So I’m thankful to be in WI. It was hard to see the snow, but the silver lining for me was the opportunity to make homemade chicken noodle soup and sit by the fire one (hopefully) last time before it gets too warm.

    Thankfully, our snow is gone too! Thanks again for lending perspective.

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