Graphic of winter storm Jonas, the blizzard of 2016

Wow – what a week. We went from great spring weather to a snowstorm within a matter of hours. I was on the road late Monday night, and it was miserable. Snow, rain, and ice wreaking havoc on the area. I cannot recall the last time that the weather changed so quickly. I have to admit that I was caught somewhat off guard. I knew it was going to snow but did not prepare myself for the change, unlike last year. You will recall that last year we experienced the blizzard of 2016. The storm lived up to the hype, dumping over a foot of snow.

Bad weather makes us slow down

Three life lessons come to mind when I think about how a storm affects us. First, we have to slow down. The roads are slick, and it is dangerous to drive too fast. If you do not slow down, you will end up in a ditch. The roads on Monday were rather dicey, and I was not sure I would make it home unless I took my time. In life, sometimes slowing down is the right thing to do. We tend to rush through life without paying much attention to what is going on around us. If you are not careful, you may end up in a dangerous situation.

Riley, Ruger, and Gavin in the 2009 snowstorm. It was a big one.
Riley, Ruger, and Gavin in the 2009 snowstorm. It was a big one.

We stick to the basics

Second, the storm forces us to prioritize our needs. Everyone flocks to the stores for supplies to stock up before the storm hits. Notice that we buy what we need like milk, bread, beer and toilet paper. This lesson is helpful when thinking about how to spend your money and your time. Both are limited resources. Don’t waste them on things that are not important. You will regret it.

Riley and Gavin standing on a snow pile in Reston Town Center.
Gavin and Riley standing on a snow pile in Reston Town Center.

We change our plans

Third, the storm teaches us to be flexible. Think about all the plans that had to change. Thousands of flights were canceled, stores and schools closed, and we all had to hunker down during the blizzard. Being flexible is critical because you cannot control the weather at all. You may experience a similar situation at some point in your life. It will change in ways you do not anticipate and you will need to be flexible to deal with it. Hopefully, Spring is here, and we will not have any more weather surprises…but you never know.

And you may ask yourself, “What is that beautiful house?”
And you may ask yourself, “Where does that highway go to?”
And you may ask yourself, “Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may tell yourself, “My God! What have I done?”
– Once in lifetime, Talking Heads

Veteran leader, life-long learner, and novice blogger. Faithful father of two fine young men. Founder of All The Way Leadership! Former US Army Airborne Ranger and Officer. Currently work as a management consultant at a top firm.

    4 replies to "The weather can change quickly – just like life"

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