Today's high temperature is forecast to be 3 degrees.
During just about any other January in Iowa, that wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, but it's a vast departure from the consistently above normal temperatures northwest Iowa has been enjoying the past month or so.
Winter overall has been mild, so when the temperatures drop and the winds pick up, there's bound to be a few complaints.
What if there was a way to avoid this barrage of negative energy, or at least soften the blow of it, without moving south or becoming a hermit wearing a Snuggie next to a fire someone else built?
Actually, there is. It's called perspective.
That three-syllable, life-changing theory was once described in this library-friendly manner.
Think of holding open a large, leather-bound book in front of your face. It's so close, you can hardly read the words, let alone put together what the sentences and paragraphs mean. In doing so, the meaning of the book is either distorted, confusing or both. At the same time, that book is your only focus because you can't see anything else.
Now, slowly pull the book away from your face. Suddenly, you can make out the words and make sense of everything. Take it back a little further and start to see other things in the room. Ultimately, when the book -- representing problems and complaints in this case -- is on the shelf, one can see and appreciate everything else in life.
That is perspective.
When things are in the right place, you can focus on the right things.
One rule of thumb is when things are not going well for you, think of someone else. Likely, someone else is in a worse situation. It is also likely that you can learn from the situation you are going through to help someone else in the future.
Another way to look at a problem is to say, "I'm so blessed that this is the biggest thing going on in my life, considering how small it is in the grand scheme of things."
That's definitely a way to change your perspective.
Back to the topic of weather, some negative temperatures and snow could improve a few things.
The ice on the Lakes is thickening up just in time for the University of Okoboji Winter Games in two weeks.
A couple inches of snow would bring out snowmobilers and also put some money in the pockets of those who move and remove it.
Plus, if it's going to be cold, it might as well look like winter, right?
I guess that, too, is simply a matter of perspective.