Ride the Storm

“So how did you get on?” I asked tentatively. My [new] husband had just arrived back after a motorbike spin around County Cork last Sunday.

“Well, do you remember what it was like when I left?” He said. Of course I remembered. At the time, I asked him would it not be a good idea to wait until later and see if the weather improved. I could see he was itching to try out his new bike. He was also aware that the roads were going to be very wet, slippery with leaves and dark, even though it was only midday.

He continued, “I was wondering if I should turn around every mile I drove, but something led me onward. I had decided on my route beforehand, and I was heading into worse weather. I then decided to change direction and head towards blue skies. Within 10 minutes, I was driving in sunshine!” His eyes lit up as he continued to describe his trip.

It struck a chord with me after he finished describing his bike ride (which included words like very windy, exhilarating, beautiful, extreme, wet, dry, cold, sunny, uncomfortable, enjoyable) that the trip he was on for the past couple of hours, is similar to journeys we make ourselves in our lives. If we are to constantly worry about the climate “right now” and in our immediate vicinity, we will never explore.

A Storm brewing ahead

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

We will never take the chance to go out there and seek the sunny spots, even though we know there is joy and happiness out there. So we stay stuck in, putting up with the doom and black clouds hanging over us.

It is more true now than ever, with recessions, depressions, floods and adverse weather conditions to keep us metaphorically indoors. But the reality is that everything in life is cyclical, including good times and bad times. We knew that the boom wouldn’t last and if you were born before 1980, you also know that recessions don’t last. This is the third recession in my life span. I did not think Ireland and my family would recover from the bad times in the 80’s but hey presto, we did. When we have the ability to look outside and see the black clouds, and still get on our bike and ride through it seeking the sun, eventually we will ride through the darkness.

“And the weather is going to be very stormy tonight, so you really had better wrap up warm!” – Becky Mantin

We just need to trust in that – nothing is infinite, nothing lasts forever. Change is the only constant in life. Death is the only surety in life. So lets not dwell on what we know, but be willing to go out there and explore. Be willing to ride through the rain and wind knowing we will come out the other side. Let’s wrap ourselves up well and brave the elements, because we know the rewards on the other side will conquer the fear.

“In Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.” – Billy Connelly

OK, so along the way, we realise we are heading further into the storm. We have options! We can change direction and head to bluer skies, leave behind the original plan and veer towards success. It takes willpower and self-awareness to realise our original plan may not have been the best plan. Just like when we plan a journey in the car and come across traffic. We know another road up ahead, so we take it. Well let’s in future try that turn-off, even if we are not 100% sure it will take us directly to our destination. Maybe we need a diversion before we reach it. Either way, once we keep the end result in mind, we will get there! A recession is a kind of diversion, we just ride the storm until things calm down again. We just have to face away from the oncoming storm as we plough through it to the other side.

“Every man has a rainy corner of his life whence comes foul weather which follows him.” – Jean Paul Richter

As I mentioned earlier, nothing lasts forever, even though it can feel like that at times. Ride the storm, accept it, don’t fight it but don’t lose sight of your goals in life, and be willing to make diversions if necessary to avoid pitfalls. Some pitfalls we drive into blind, like a flood on a dark night. Some pitfalls are discovered before we hit them and a diversion is already in place. Whether we are prepared for it or not, we will come out the other side, sometimes with lots of assistance and guidance. That guidance and assistance can be in the form of life coaching which helps to eliminate the crushing feeling we can feel at times which can freeze us in the moment and prevent us from moving ahead.

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