Upon arriving at work one morning I was immediately sent on a delivery run. I stepped out into the cool-ish fall-ish air, shivered a pampered Southern California shiver, and loaded up the company car. Now, the company car is much newer than mine, as easily demonstrated by the amount of buttons covering the stereo system. One such button is for temperature control. Unlike my AC/heater, this car gives you the opportunity to choose the ideal temperature you’d like the interior to maintain. My boss likes it at 68, I like it at 73.
That morning, when I got inside the car I did my usual rearranging of the controls. I moved the seat up, turned the mirrors in, adjusted the rear view, and cranked the temperature up to 75. Once everything was set, I went on my merry way.
As the day progressed and the sun rose higher, I sunk into my usual routine of obsessive temperature control. At sunny stoplights I’d roll up my sleeves and turned the dial down to 70 and on shady side streets I’d turn it up to 76. Up and down, up and down, ensuring that I was comfortable at all times.
On my third run of the day, the sky grew dark and peppered with clouds. I leaned into the steering wheel and looked up, wondering if we might actually get some rain. A gust of cool air erupted from the vent and I shivered, rolling my sleeves back down and cranking the dial up to 77. Then, as I became hyper aware of what I’d just done, I started to laugh. I turned down my music, looked at the temperature dial, and just laughed, loudly and without restrain. How ridiculous was this? What a complete wimp I was.
There are people who survive the hottest of deserts and the coldest of winters, and it’s not because they stay indoors with temperature regulators keeping it a crisp 75 degrees, it’s because they’ve taught themselves how to deal with the extremes. To work through it. For even the coldest winter turns into summer and the most menacing storm turns into calm. With the proper patience and preparations, we are built to withstand it all, and while we can appreciate the tools given to us to help fight through tough weather, we can’t take advantage of them. Once we start relying on outside sources to fight through the storms for us, we’ll lose the strength we have inside to do it ourselves.
Once I finished laughing, I pulled over for a moment to get a good hard look at sky. The grey had already begun to fade back into blue, and the shiver in my spine had long passed. There were still inklings of a storm in the air, though perhaps not for a few hours, so I rolled up my sleeves and got back in the car. Upon turning the keys in the ignition, hot air came bursting through the vents, trying desperately to satisfy my previous temperature request. I switched it off, cracked the windows, and turned my music back up. Who knew what kind of weather I’d be facing in the future (honestly in Southern California you have no idea) regardless, I’d get through it, be it in 10 layers, a raincoat or a bathing suit.