Leno’s “Headlines,” or Elegant Metaphor?

I can just hear Jay Leno ragging on this headline in today’s Dallas Morning News:

Rains Reduce Risk of Drought Sequel

Oh sure, it seems redundant, since the word “drought” refers to a lack of rain. Duh. But the Associated Press article isn’t goofy, as the headline makes it sound.

Last summer, Texas dried up into a smouldering tinderbox that left dead cattle and wildlife all over, even in acreage that didn’t literally burn, which a lot of it did. But why didn’t we get any rain all summer? According to the National Weather Service, it was the unusually low rainfall throughout the spring. The dry land allowed temperatures to climb higher than usual during the summer, which led to even less rain, which led to higher temperatures, and so on through a deadly spiral.

A drought.

This year, from March through May, we had about three times as much rain as we did in the same months last year. This time, the spiral will tend toward lower temperatures (not cold, mind you–this is Texas, after all) which will allow more rainfall, and in turn keep temperatures down, and so forth through a spiral of, um, normalness.

Apparently, each day’s weather does not stand on its own, like cards randomly drawn from a deck. Rather, the weather in the spring season tends to set up a pattern that continues throughout the summer.

Now, this may be a bit of a leap, but I think a similar principle applies to life. As each day’s weather does not stand alone, neither does each day’s quality of life. What I’ve done before tends to snowball on me.

I shared one “f’r instance” in my writing group’s newsletter: If I get “in the zone” and write three or four pages in one morning, that tends to motivate me into an upward spiral of more creativity. But say I get stuck. If I respond by stalling, I’m in danger of letting my ideas wither. The “stall” becomes a “vacation” which ends up as an “unfinished project,” or a writer’s drought.

I have to make my own “spring rain” by pushing past the obstacle.

More parallels occurred to me. Time management, especially if you are in school, is one general example. When I was in college the second time around, you better believe I stayed on top of every assignment. Each semester I kept up from the beginning, so I didn’t have to catch up toward the end. No academic drought for me. In fact, I harvested some pretty doggone good grades.

Or what about money? Do you save a little every month, or do you keep piling on credit card debt? The more you owe, the more discouraging it is to think of trying to save. Are you spiraling up or down?

Are you making steps each day toward your goals and dreams, whatever they are, or just letting them slide? You know: downhill.

In many ways, then, our spring choices set the tone for our summer climate.

But what if you’ve wasted your springtime? What if you are staring into the face of a financial, academic or career drought?

Well, the nice thing about life, as opposed to the seasons, is that spring can start any time we decide to make it start. Abandoned project? Flab instead of fitness? If you don’t like the looks of your current “summer,” you can pick up the pieces now and start a new spring. As near as I can figure, even a small step in the right direction is likely to spiral upward and your next season will be better for it.

What are you doing in your spring to prepare for summer?

Thanks for reading,
Linking with Jen and my dear sisters over at Soli Deo Gloria, and with Rachel Anne and the Company Girls Coffee. You all rock!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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10 Responses to Leno’s “Headlines,” or Elegant Metaphor?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jan, You are so right about goals commitment and life. Jennifer came over today and we recovered benches for each of our bathrooms. We have been talking about doing it for some time. Finishing projects and not just talking about it, we had a great visit while we were at it, even got Bryan involved. Sharing our family stories and just knowing how all my wonderful grandchildren are doing is so delightful.
    Got more projects so have to run. Thanks for your wonderful thoughts, Jan
    Love and God bless you all


    • Jan says:

      Way to go, Mom! I should finish some projects instead of just talking about them.
      Thanks for stopping by; you are always a blessing.


  2. It’s already summer here but I’m taking steps in all kinds of areas to catch up and see summer’s low hanging fruit. You are so right how sometimes we can allow a circumstance to snowball into a pattern. Enjoyed your wisdom.


  3. Dionne says:

    So true…we are in a drought when we are stuck in ruts. I think financial is a huge one for people. We have been debt free since 2005!! We did the FPU (Financial Peace University) and it made a lot of difference. I think what we are trying to do to make our summer better is to do more positive parenting with our children, ALL working on not overreacting when things are tough or frustrating and ways to express feelings so we are communicating more. Thank you for sharing your insight!


    • Jan says:

      I like your comparing a “rut” to a drought… very apt, I think! We’ve studied through the FPU course. GREAT stuff, which we’ve passed along to our boys. And speaking of kids, “overracting” was my middle name when both of ours were at home. I hope your “spring” leads to many better summers to come. Thanks for commenting! It’s always good to see you online.


  4. So true, and so encouraging! I will admit to thinking “what if I’m already in summer”, before I got to that part, and you are right I can choose to start a new Spring now! thanks for sharing…


  5. marlece says:

    Spring into summer always leaves me EXHAUSTED, it seems my calendar gets crazy busy! I think it’s because not only am I concentrating on what it is that I have to do with the inside but also the outside. Yes, the drought, the ruts……summer brings me out of that for sure.


    • Jan says:

      Hi, Marlece! I know, every time I get one thing OFF my schedule, two or three others crop up. Have a happy and rut-free summer! Blessings.


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