Forecasts, Expectations and Surprises


With the arrival of Fall, we have increasingly fewer ideal opportunities for outdoor activities,  so with each sunny and warm forecast, our expectations are naturally heightened.

I woke up this morning to a cloudy grey sky and I had to coerce myself out of bed to start my day. The gloomy weather wasn’t particularly crucial to the productivity of my day, but it had already impacted my thinking.

Weather can be a powerful mood changer.

But by the time I showered, prepared for a new client session, packed my lunch and out the door, the clouds had drifted away and the sun was bursting over a crisp and cloudless cobalt blue sky.  I was surprised.  But I was even more surprised about how it shifted my thinking. I was rejuvenated with a more positive energy and grateful to have stolen another summer day in October!

This past summer, although a bit hazy now, I can’t remember a time that the weathermen gave us an accurate forecast. Too often, they didn’t get it right.  When weather matters, it impacts our day. We plan based upon these predictions.

I can recall back in July a couple of times when weather really mattered. The forecasters predicted a stellar weekend. I was invited to a dear friend’s wedding where the nuptial ceremony was to be held outdoors. Elaborate preparations were made to seat all the guests amidst a breathtakingly landscaped vista.

Although there was a Plan B in place, no worries, because the five-day forecast predicted nothing but sunny skies. There was no threatening weather to even consider.  Until that morning. I woke up to grey skies and ominous clouds. The patchy drizzle that continued throughout the day slowly shifted the optimistic forecast to a more sobering realistic expectation. The weather didn’t look promising but it was beyond anyone’s control.  It always seems that man plans and G-d laughs.

After all, it is the chance you take when you plan for an outdoor event. The bride and groom, parents’ and team of event planners, florists, and photographers had to make the call. Adjust and implement Plan B, or take the risk. Weighing in on the hourly doppler radar and trusting updated forecasts were paramount in this decision-making process.

Fortunately and to everyone’s surprise, it all worked out. Not only did the weather hold out, a brilliant mango sun eventually burned through the clouds just as the ceremony began. What a magnificent evening after all.

Later that July, I had a similar experience.  I was invited for a special get-a-way weekend to play golf on a beautiful private golf course.  Weather certainly mattered. The forecast was not great but knowing that it could be wrong, we went anyway. We had the expectation of “expecting the worst and hoping for the best” attitude.  Unfortunately, as predicted, the rain fell hard.  That first day we only got to play a couple of holes, before the glaring sirens ushered us off the course for lightning threats.  Eventually, after a 3 hour rain delay, we went back out to finish the round.

At dinner, we discussed the next day’s game plan.  With a 90% chance of rain, we adjusted our expectations, and assumed that chances were high that golf would be canceled. When we woke up, the soaking grounds confirmed that it had rained throughout the night. The weather didn’t look favorable, so we showered, dressed, and planned to eat and drink our way through the day, lol. If we couldn’t control the weather, we certainly could control our attitude.

But this time, in our favor, the weathermen were wrong.  By the time we finished breakfast, the weather had shifted before our very eyes and the sun broke through. We ditched Plan B, and off we went to enjoy a warm sunny day and another round of 18.  No expectations yielded a welcomed surprise.  Timing was key…the impending monsoon arrived just as we sat down for a late lunch.

I wonder how forecasts affect your expectations. Do you make a Plan B? Does weather impact your attitude?

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