Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blowing Hot and Cold

I hate being cold. Especially my neck, the back of my arms, my feet... so, year-round, I'm more dedicated to scarves, sleeves, and socks than sundresses, skimpy tees, and sandals. This works fine in the winter but requires fighting the fashions of summer. Summer's when I really get cold.

These days the issue, really, is not what the sun is doing (or not doing) or even what part of the country or world you live in, but how you or those around you use heating and air conditioning.

Have you noticed how strongly people feel about such things? Some of my favorite families are really committed to keeping energy costs down; I laud their economy but dread spending time in their homes in the winter - I can't relax when I'm freezing! The roommate and I are able to keep the house at mutually comfortable levels, summer and winter, but the rest of my world is heavily invested in summer air conditioning. The climate of my church is gauged to the needs of a pastor in coat and tie, not the scantily clad teenage girls who - sheesh, how do they manage? Similarly, come spring, the coffeehouses and other businesses I'd like to frequent are carefully kept too cold for my comfort (unless I dress more like a man).

So... there you have it. How much are we going to let things like this affect us? How much am I?

In recent years I've noticed what an edge things like maintaining a comfortable temperature, as well as minding what and when I eat, getting getting enough exercise, and dressing with care can make in my battle to keep a positive attitude and do good work as well as loving and serving other people. Since the latter things are quite important to me I've tried to take more control over the former.

On the other hand, making it my goal to manage, maintain, or control my environment creates stress of its own; often it simply can't be done. There's no sense sticking out my lip like a pouting preschooler or throwing a fit because I don't have my blankie or didn't get my snack or nap. Whether my situation supports it or not, I'm still responsible for my attitude and behavior. Excuses don't hold up. Though I lack the presence of an actual preschooler in my house or in my history, I'm still called to be a grownup in these matters. What does Paul say?
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (See these verses in context to discover his secret.)
Maybe you wonder how I dealt with the hot/cold thing traveling to Siberia last month. I made sure to bring  warm clothes, of course. When we got to the home of our host family and found the lady of the house in a light cotton house dress, though, I breathed a sigh of relief. It turns out Siberians share my point of view on this matter. Even in the winter, people keep their apartments so warm you may not need a blanket on your bed. When I was inside someone's house or business I was never cold. Didn't need my sweaters. On the street it was another matter, but again, we were prepared.

1. What "little" things like temperature do the most to help or hinder your ability to respond well to life?
2. What helps you respond graciously when such factors are beyond your control?

See also: Simple Solutions - The Hot Tub & The Tea Kettle (Nov, 6, 2008).

1 comment:

Megan Noel said...

you know i am a fan of shawls and fingerless gloves!
my friend kathy's house is cold but she always has a blankie ready for me! sometimes the cat will snuggle with me too :)

here in my condo I never have to worry about cold! Most people would probably find it too warm but I don't! And I can always open my windows if need to.