Inclement Weather, Inclement Life

Inclement weather, inclement life. www.thepartilove.com

Currently in Montana, our roads are snowy and slick. Being a native Southerner, it has taken me almost a decade to fight the initial instinct to panic and gather bread and milk at the mere threat of snow. When I taught school in North Carolina, nary a flake of snow needed to hit the ground before school was dismissed and busses full of thrilled children had already vacated the property.

When we first moved to Montana, I texted a friend almost daily to see if there would be a delay or cancellation. Finally, she firmly (yet kindly) told me that they will NEVER cancel nor delay school due to weather. The last time was in the 80’s and that was only because there was a power outage and it was 50 million degrees below zero. Please stop asking was her point.  So, I did.

And since then, I’ve gotten a bit Montana tough. Life just goes on here. Buses run. Businesses open. People shovel walkways, put their trucks into four-wheel drive and we start our day.

Inclement weather, inclement life. www.thepartilove.com

But you do drive differently in inclement weather. You go slower (well, most of us do) and you give yourself adequate time to arrive with some cushion built in, just in case. You don’t take corners too quickly nor do you rashly change direction or overcorrect when you slide. Nice and easy is what we repeat in our heads. Nice and easy.

While driving on the snow packed streets in our rear-wheel van this week, I understood that these same principles apply when our life is experiencing inclement times as well:

  1. Slow down.
  2. No rash moves or pivots.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time and space.
  4. Be gentle to yourself and others.
  5. Nice and easy. Nice and easy.

Remember this the next time your life feels a bit out of control or slippery. When the elements are changing and you haven’t quite found your footing or direction yet, recall that sometimes you can act like a Southerner and hunker down and pray for the sun. Other days you’ll feel strong enough to be a tough Montanan and get your 4×4 in gear and get movin’.

Listen to your heart. Give yourself plenty of time and take it slow. Hard times are growing times, which means you’ll likely be dipping into your spiritual, emotional and physical reserves. Let others know that you’re experiencing heartache. Let them listen. Don’t apologize for feelings and thoughts. Keeping hard-to-feel emotions stuffed away makes them even more scary and dark. Air ‘em out. Get comfy with them.

Inclement weather, inclement life. www.thepartilove.com

The older I get, the more I appreciate the realness of others and I give myself permission to be flawed, broken and vulnerable. If I need to cry, I cry and I don’t wipe the tears away. If I need a good laugh, I don’t hesitate. If I need someone to listen, I pray or reach out to a friend.

Friends, God does his best work in the valleys. Pain gives you strength as well as deep wells of empathy and compassion—don’t push them away.

Inclement weather, inclement life www.thepartilove.com

 

But remember the five rules of navigating through inclement life events:

  1. Slow down.
  2. No rash moves or pivots.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time and space.
  4. Be gentle to yourself and others.
  5. Nice and easy. Nice and easy.

photo cred: pexels.com

Postscript: My mother’s health is not well, so posts here on the site will be spotty at best for the next foreseeable future. I will more than likely be posting shorter items (like this one which was posted earlier this week) on TPIL’s FB page. Feel free to follow along here: https://www.facebook.com/thepartilove/.

As always, thanks for being along for the ride!

xoxo,

Elizabeth

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