After the recent warm afternoons, long days where you can still walk by the light of the sun after 8pm and when flip flops were part of the regular uniform, we woke up to a rainy and cold Monday. It was like take your breath away sort of cold and the rain was coming down sideways in sheets at certain points. No signs of spring or summer anywhere! Hadn’t I just walked the dog in a tank and shorts? And as much as a good storm can be reflective or healing or make for some awesome sleep, its hard to not let it influence your mood, especially when you have to be out and about in it.
No matter how much food I might buy at the store over the weekend, I can never seem to get a lunch packed for one of my few days a week in the office- so this rainy Monday I had to go out. But I have started to console myself that maybe that is good – a forced break. Yet on this day, nobody wants to leave the office to go out in the cold rain…. Even still I had to eat and I have this great book “She Still Laughs” by Kate Merrick I am listening to so I forced myself out to the car and into the storm.
It didn’t end up being that bad – plus the rain had stalled a little to give me the window for navigating around the big puddles in the parking lot and hardly get my feet, that should have been in boots but instead were in my spring flats, a way to stay as dry as possible. Walked in grabbed my sandwich and was starting to look forward to eating while listening to my book in the car. But just as I exited the shop, the rain started up again and I had to run to make it back to the car….. run right through a HUGE puddle. My feet were soaked and the shocking cold sent shivers to my spine. There it is, I was gonna catch a cold or be miserable in the office as the air conditioner blowed like it was still sunny out and this whole “break” idea was turning out to be a mess.
As I settled into the car, peeling off my wet coat and already feeling my toes turning to little ice cubes I began to let out this big sigh…. until I started up my car and my eyes landed on my heated seat button. And just as this crazy weather arrived out of nowhere – so did my laugh and complete change of reality. I am upset that my feet got wet, while I can get into a car with heat and seats I can actually set for warming to dry off . The truth was I was out in the elements for literally seconds and truly how inconvenienced could I be as I was able to get toasty, eat a good meal and enjoy my book from my car? And it was in this moment I remember that just because something isn’t how we envision it doesn’t mean its bad. How many times a day do I choose to see things out of a specific lens that is actually completely false? And how many opportunities do I choose the path of annoyance, when in reality I could choose one of gratitude or joy or opportunity?
In Kate’s book, she talks about how comparison robs us of something while perspective gifts us something. Yes, when I looked out my window and saw other folks avoid the puddles or be better prepared for the weather – I could choose to tell myself how stupid I am to be wearing these shoes or how awful my afternoon will go and how perfectly delightful theirs will be (when in reality, I have no idea – it could be a really hard season for them). I am taking away the good, just assuming it does not exist in my life like it does for others. Yet, driving back to the office I saw a homeless man trying to protect himself and his one backpack of belongings under an awning and I was given a mirror for seeing my blessings: a warm car, a good lunch, and eventually somewhere safe and dry to lay my head at night.
This is such a simple story and a message that we all know and could find in a million different places – yet I was so struck by it. Somehow on this Monday I had lost my complete connection to the reality of my world. Today Danny will have another esophagus widening and there is talk of him staying at the hospital through the weekend (Bessette Daily or my stories will give an update). For so many reasons this is terrible timing – one of the largest being our frayed nerves for this medical season that just won’t end! And yes the hospital is terrible and Danny has a lot of serious reasons to be concerned and feel negative. Yet the truth is the blessings of our life are still huge and more plentiful than a lot of other parts of the world. How lucky that I am annoyed at the thought of juggling it all – not plagued with fear for the hospital bills or having a good medical team. It will take extra practice these coming days and maybe some additional gratitude journaling – but what an incredible message to find me on a cold rainy Monday and will see me through another hospital season!
So whatever rain puddles you have been avoiding or maybe the rain you are dreading, you might be surprised how wrong you were about the severity. Sometimes those moments you are most frustrated by could be the exact thing you need . To get my feet warm, my jacket dry and my belly full – I sat in my car with the heat blasting and a powerful book- filling my ears and heart with truth that was necessary to the trails of this week.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!