If you are a Sydney sider like me you will have noticed that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. The chill of winter is definitely upon us. It’s fascinating how different seasons can affect people’s moods and perspective on life. Some people get quite melancholy and depressed in winter. There are others however who love the cold and the opportunity to get out their winter woollies and ugg boots.
When I was growing up, summer was my favourite season. Summer meant longer school holidays, trips to the beach, warm nights and lots of fun with friends and family. Growing up in the far south of New Zealand I was not such a big fan of winter. But every year it returned, regardless of whether I was happy to see it or not. I realised then that although I couldn’t control the seasons of my life I could control my attitude.
My dad was a great role model for me in this area. When it was raining, which happened a lot, he would say ‘rain is great for the farmers’. If it was sunny then his response was ‘sunny days make the grass grow’ and even when it was bitterly cold he would remind us that ‘winter frosts kill the bugs’. He was determined to see the positive in every season.
Now I am a parent I have realised that I too need to be intentional about developing a positive perspective in the lives of my two boys. The other day we were all walking back from their athletics carnival when the complaints about the winter weather began. To be fair it was really cold but rather than correct the boys or join in with the complaints I simply said ‘I love winter. Winter reminds me that we are going to the snow these school holidays. Whose excited about that?’
In one sentence the conversation turned from complaints to celebration. Its not always easy, and I certainly don’t always get it right but its amazing how powerful perspective is. Our words create atmosphere and expectation, not just in the big moments of life but in the everyday ordinary moments too.
How do you handle the different seasons of life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.