We’re into August, and we’re often in for some pretty hot days, at least in the Northern hemisphere. To call them “Dog Days” is a fitting phrase with an amusing history. Briefly, it refers to the ascendance of Sirius, traditionally called ”the dog star,” in the Summer night sky as part of our creatively conceived constellations.
That image is entirely appropriate, because dogs lack the sweat glands we have. The way they beat the heat is by sticking their tongues out. It helps a dog quickly get rid of excess body heat through a thin, moist part of its body. Further, panting helps accelerate the rate of evaporation. It’s also a comical image for us: The extruded tongue, the panting, and a dog’s widened eyes imply an unrelenting eagerness. Indeed, they are eager: To cool off.
Mark Twain wrote, “Everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” He was a keen observer of human nature, and pretty much onto something quite common: It makes for good conversation, and allows us to connect with each other. It also lets us complain and commiserate in a rather good-natured and harmless way.
Yet, what’s going on when you’re all too eager to complain about it all? When you feel hot under the collar about most everything, or hopelessly oppressed by the heat? Then, it’s not just about the weather anymore. You’re externalizing your unhappiness with most everything, and working yourself into a lather about it.
Folks often say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait for it to change.” Likewise, in San Francisco, they joke: “If you don’t like the weather, change neighborhoods.”
Whether you’re dog mad or doggedly unhappy, waiting for whatever’s around you to change won’t help much. Nor will a change of place help for very long, either. You’ve got to look at what’s going on inside, so the unwelcome weather won’t be much more than a temporary but sweaty situation.
It turns out you really can’t do much about the weather, at least in the short term. You can hydrate, wear loose clothing, keep out of the sun, reduce your activities, take a cool shower, and enjoy all the air conditioning you can. That’s about it.
Yet, you can do something about yourself.
So let’s talk. We’ll find a way you can beat the heat your moods can generate. Let’s weather it together, and work on helping you feel cool as a cucumber despite the heat. Then, you won’t get all steamed up, or just feel like giving up.