My eyes were half-open as I groggily moved the bristles of my teal toothbrush across my pearly whites. The door of my bathroom creaked open and my mom popped her head through the crack. I looked up with my sleepy eyes and mumbled “Huh?” expecting to be chastised for waking up late. Instead I received what I thought was a joke. “Laurel, make sure you set aside extra driving time. It’s snowing.” Wait, what? My bleary, just-awoken mind couldn’t quite comprehend the information it had just received.
Snowing? But it’s April! The thought, by itself, scared the pants off me.
But it was indeed snowing. Little white flakes, like cloud dandruff, mixed with a slushy rain that would soak one to the core, were floating down from the sky.
This weather phenomenon didn’t make any sense. Just two days ago, I woke up to sunny skies and high temperatures. I smiled at my ability to slip into lace shorts and a silk shirt with three-quarter length sleeves. Being able to walk outside without a coat on was the most exciting part of my week.
But now, waking up and seeing the dreaded white fluff falling from the sky, I had to struggle into a pair of crisp jeans and dig a sweater out of my box of winter clothing that I had just put away.
During the recent rainstorm, the temperatures dropped as soon as the clouds turned the day to gloom, and I was left sad and soaking in the parking lot in my shorts and sandals. I had joked about “making a commitment to spring.” Even though it clearly wasn’t warm enough to flaunt bare legs and toenail polish, I prepared for each day by ignoring the denim jeans hanging in the back of my closet.
Today, that wasn’t the case. I couldn’t make excuses for dressing in summer clothing when the hints of winter still hadn’t passed. Even when I walked outside in my bundles, my bones shivered, and goose bumps popped up on all visible skin.
The fact that it was snowing was depressing. Because of this, I have personally decided that it should not snow in April or March or any other spring month for that matter. But I have no control over the weather. I have no say over what the clouds decide to spit out. This reminder of a fact that I’ve known my entire life makes me realize something much bigger. In reality, I have control over very few things.
I may have control over what activities I will take part in next Friday night, but in the long run, decisions such as this don’t really matter. Things that actually matter also happen to be things that I can’t control. Realizing that early makes life so much easier.
When tragedies occur, such as the unexpected death of a family member or a natural disaster, some people have tendencies to blame themselves, even though it’s irrational. But realizing that, as humans, we can’t control things such as life and death or the weather, we can focus on working around them to control the things that we can.
So when it snows in April, and you don’t think it should, take a step back and realize how few things you can control. Take a deep breath and relax.
By Laurel Critchfield