Some people dismiss the topic of weather as a superficial conversation starter, used only to break the ice. I don’t agree with that sentiment. Weather has greater importance than you might think at first glance. I believe that we use weather in our conversation because it has such a huge impact on our daily experience of life, even if we aren’t always conscious of it.
Many of us tend to be very cerebral in our daily living. We focus on our work and intellectual endeavors. And yet we are supremely physical beings. We navigate the world in our bodies and we interact with other creatures as well as natural and man-made objects through our physical senses. So it should not be so surprising that our experience of weather is so important. It is such an overt physical reaction to our earthly surroundings.
I find our relationship to weather fascinating. Even though we cannot control how the weather will be, we obsess over weather forecasts. We hope and pray to the weather gods that we will have nice days ahead, especially if we have planned outdoor events. And though we humans universally react to weather, the physical reaction may differ from person to person. You might have more aches and pains in wet weather than the next person. Or you might feel more relaxed in warm and humid weather. Or perhaps you feel at your liveliest in brisk cool weather. And that’s just the physical reaction.
The mental reaction is a whole other kettle of fish, though highly related to the physical experience. Even though you try to go with the flow, weather can be brutal on you both physically and mentally. Many people live life as an emotional roller coaster via weather changes. If you get headaches from barometric pressure changes as I do, then right before a rainstorm you probably experience emotional changes in addition to the physical sensations. (See also Ways to Reduce The Weather Roller Coaster.)
When the weather is beautiful, people exclaim, “Oh, what a wonderful day is it!” And indeed when the weather is nice it is so much easier to have a day that makes you feel spectacular. When the weather is not nice, or you are particularly hot or cold and you don’t want to be either hot or cold, it can have a huge influence on your emotional experience of life.
How each person reacts to certain kinds of weather do vary, though typically people tend to move to locations that support the weather that they prefer or at least can manage with out too much emotional or physical discomfort. Some people love the rain of the Pacific Northwest— though I suspect that even they would exclaim it to be a beautiful day when the weather is moderate and the sun is out. Some prefer the cool weather and others like it red hot. But no matter your preference, you are likely to acknowledge that the weather has a big impact on how you feel day to day.
So when you run into someone and start discussing the weather, don’t dismiss it as shallow conversation. Acknowledge how weather has not only a physical impact on your livelihood, but your emotional well being too. Explore how you feel on any given day and any given weather system. Learn how you respond to the different cycles of weather. Practice accepting the weather’s impact on you and explore why it makes you feel one way or another. Weather is big part of our physical experience of living on the planet earth. Thank goodness we are here to live it.