Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud



This post by Joe Stephens



I can’t decide how I feel about this time of year. Part of me is looking forward to cool weather and brightly colored leaves and hikes in the woods without a thousand bugs flying in my face. But I have this weird quirk; I struggle sometimes to enjoy what I have because I can’t stop thinking about what comes after it. I just keep thinking about how fall is followed by winter, which is fun for about the first two weeks, and then I’m ready for spring. If we could have snow on Christmas Eve rural, road, countryside, forest, woods, trees, fall, autumn, leaves, fog, foggythat lasts until New Year’s and then the temperatures went back up to the fifties and sixties, I’d be okay. But as it is, I struggle to enjoy fall because I know it means that snow and cold and dreary aren’t far off.

I’m the same way with weekends. I love Friday nights and Saturdays, but Sunday after church, especially since I spend so much of that time doing school work, is unenjoyable to me because it’s like I’m mentally already back at work. And however many days a vacation is, subtract one and that’s how many I have fun because all I can think about on the last day is how it’s the last day and it’s almost time to go home.

pug, dog, pet, animal, cute, sad
Me on Sunday afternoon

There’s probably a syndrome for that, but I have no idea what it is. Maybe it’s just good old fashioned pessimism. I don’t know. But I’d like to get over it. Maybe when I retire and can spend time in the south during part of the winter and won’t have to go back to work on Mondays and can end vacations when I want to, everything will be better. But in the meantime, I’m robbing myself of joy by focusing on the end instead of being in the moment. Do any of you struggle with that? How do you deal with it?


sunrise cover option 7Joe’s newest book,Dawn of Grace, just debuted on June 9. It’s available on Amazon.

ITS Cover ArtCheck out his third book, In The Shadow on Amazon

kindle cover

Take a look at his debut book, Harsh Prey on Amazon 

Kisses and Lies Cover Michele croppedTake a look at his second book, Kisses and Lies on Amazon


20 thoughts on “Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud

  1. Hang in there, when you retire you will have all the time you want to do as you like. However you will find that you will be busier but it will be with things you enjoy. The one thing I find annoying is that time fly’s by much faster. But, you can take a nap any time you like.

    From one who knows. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I don’t mind being busy at all. I just like being busy on things I choose to do, even when I enjoy the things I have to do so I can get paid, like teach.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand your title! And it made me smile. I think human nature or perhaps Beelzebub puts that in us. It’s a conscious effort sometimes to not look forward to the cloud! Causes me some sleepless nights and I’m normally a Polyanna. Grabbed my Bible this morning to try and ease my mind over some clouds I’m looking for. Good luck with school this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Joe, right after summer solstice I start a countdown until winter solstice and it starts getting light earlier. Like you I enjoy the seasons, but…

    The students you help guide, well, they are special and probably are glad you’re there. I’ve learned, as best I can, to be in the moment and find what joy there is and let what I can’t control go to the back of my mind. Never gone, but just not as important. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joe,
    Whatever the syndrome is, I have it too. The other thing I don’t like is how I see the daylight get shorter and shorter. I like it when it’s still light at 8-pm. When it’s dark at 5pm, I feel like the day is over too soon. Thank you for attacking this important issue. 🙂
    – Stephen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I used to think it was the cold I objected to during winter, but then I realized that it’s actually the dark. I couldn’t ever live in the far north in the winter where it’s dark for months at a time.


  5. Love the title of your post, Joe. I’m one of those weird people who enjoy winter, so I happily hop from season to season and enjoy them all. Maybe it’s because I’m retired and don’t have to worry about getting out if I don’t want to. So, my advice would be to wait a few years. I’m sure your outlook will change!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For a while ( a bit more than a year) after I gave up teaching, I dedicated myself to writing novels nearly full time. BUT…things changed and my grand kids came along, so now my writing has taken a back seat for a while. I enjoy different things and put aside those moments of ‘after this will come’… 🙂 When the time is right…things will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! I look forward to the day I can do that. But I need to try even harder to enjoy the now. I hate to think that I’m doing what I warn my students against–wishing my life away.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The onset of autumn is a mixed bag for me nowadays, since my mom’s death in 2003. She had ALS, and it was a death watch. I recall one drive from North Carolina to Ohio. I was on the WV Turnpike… the wind was blowing, swirling the colored leaves. It was a beautiful sight, yet I couldn’t help but contrast it with what I was going to emotionally deal with once I was back in the ‘family’ home trying to help make mom’s final days easier on her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That had to be so hard. I’m starting to deal with that same issue with my mother as her memory loss is becoming more and more pronounced.


  8. For me, I take in the moment during each day. I try not to focus on seasons they just take from the experience of something relatively new each day. But yes, the drastic heat and frosty cold days are not my favorite either.


  9. My part-time job takes up my Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, leaving me 4-day weekends to write, speak, or travel, including visits to my parents’ home in Montana (or go to the cabin to write). I love that! Those four days fly by, though. I’m looking forward to autumn — it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year!


  10. Hey Joe,

    I’m no psychologist, but in some ways you have powers of foresight, although it is mixed with pessimism. It could be twisted so that every summer leads to fall. Every Monday night is closer to Friday. Winter leads to writing time. Maybe a spin on your inclinations to look forward.
    I feel I’m too much in the present and past thinking about squandered opportunities, mismanaged time, etc. even while I’m doing whatever action in the moment. (stress out about not writing FB posts) The idea of next week is something to improvise when I get there. I wish I had more structure. Retirement is something I need to lay groundwork on, but haven’t because – look squirrel!
    I don’t looking forward is bad, if could be a positive.


  11. I do the same, Joe, especially now as i’m coming to the end of a fabulous vacation – one of the best i’ve had in a long time. I think I will just have to suck it up and think about the next time i’ll have a great trip. I think that’s what keeps me going in such situations…knowing it’s not the last or that there are many other wonderful trips/events down the road.


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