Make Your Own Sunshine

Posted By: Gene Williams
Posted On: February 26th, 2017
Attending: NUI Galway

Of all the typical apprehensions about living in a foreign country, one trumped the rest for me before coming to Ireland: the weather. I figured I’d have zero problems adjusting to the daily life, cultural barriers, and academic/athletic differences. On the flipside, I was unsure about how I’d handle nine straight months of being soaked by rain or looking at the sky only to see perpetual clouds of darkness. After all, I’ve been on record saying that an ideal weather day is anywhere between 90 and 100 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius for all of my Irish people reading this) with nonstop sunshine. In my head before leaving in August, I prepared for the worst.


As luck would have it, according to my Irish friends, this year’s weather has been the best in decades. Washed out, rainy days haven’t been the norm and the temperature hardly drops below 40 degrees. Considering the fact that last winter in Galway saw 100 straight days of rain, I think it’s fair to say I came at the right time.


That’s not to say we haven’t seen our fair share of rain and darkness however. Let’s not forget it is Ireland. And on the days when it’s raining and dark, it becomes easy to let the weather dictate your mood. As my Irish friend noted the other day, “Americans let the weather get to them so easily”. Her point was valid and it made me realize that the Irish folks don’t even bat an eye when it comes to bad weather. In fact, the only time they mention the weather is when it’s a nice day; you’ll never hear them complain about a bad day. It led me to recall a quote that’s stuck with me during my time here, and it comes from a lady that I coach basketball with… “If you let the weather affect your daily decisions here, you’ll never get anything done”.


After thinking more about that quote, I recognized that it can be applied to situations other than the weather. It boils to down to this: if you let external factors determine your outcome, you’ll never get anywhere in life. All we can do as people is focus on our internal-selves and control what we can control. So the next time the weather is grim or something outside of your control is about to impact you negatively, just remember that only you have the ability to let yourself be influenced. In other words, even on the darkest of days, you have to find a way to make your own sunshine.

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