Wednesday, September 11, 2013

{My Happiness Project} Celebrating the Rain

When I first told Miggy about my happiness project and announced that September's theme was ‘celebrating’ he needed me to explain more. So I said that I was really going to focus on little things that we normally overlook, complain about or take for granted; like the rain. He looked at me like I had spaghetti noodles growing out my ears. "Isn't it silly to celebrate something that seems so ordinary?" I defended myself and explained that 'celebrating the rain' doesn't mean you have to do a crazy rain dance or chant beneath the moon. Celebrating doesn’t have to be a big fireworks show or lots of extra work - it can be spontaneous and simple. You can celebrate the rain by listening to it or reading a cozy book beside the window.

Last week, Seattle was hit with a heavy rainstorm. We huddled together outside Barns and Noble & watched puddles forming in the dark parking lot, thunder and lightening booming above us. Eventually, we ran to the car and sat inside what sounded like a giant tin can. I laid backwards in the front passenger seat — my head resting on the dashboard and I looked up through the windshield at the dark sky. The view reminded me of a ride at Disneyworld where you fly off into space, stars streaking into your peripheral vision, your stomach feeling slightly sick but you don't want to stop. I tried not to blink as the water droplets fell onto the glass above my eyes. Then, when I sat up, I looked down at my legs and stared at the animal-like pattern of water droplets being projected through the window by the streetlamp. I imagined what it would be like if this was the pattern of my skin.

When we arrived home at midnight, Miggy and I were greeted by a giant pile of recycling that had to be taken out to the road before dawn. I growled and grumbled — what a terrible task to have to do in the middle of a soaking wet night. (Oh, and you should know that because we live in a countryside neighborhood, we have to drive our garbage & recycling half a mile down the road.) I crawled into bed and pretended that I never saw the recycling. That would be my excuse....fatigue-induced oblivion.

Five minutes later, Miggy came into the bedroom and told me he was taking out the recycling. He didn’t complain or even ask for my help. I heard him upstairs putting on his shoes and jacket. I kept reading “Happier at Home” by Gretchen Rubin. I turned the page and read a sentence that gave me no choice but to get up and run out the door to help Miggy,

“Act the way you want to feel." and “Act the way you want to be treated.”

Miggy saw me coming,"What are you doing here?"
“Nobody should have to do this task alone," I said.

Together we packed up the car in the torrential darkness and drove down the hill. To lift the mood I played some music on the radio. The car was finally empty and Miggy sat down in the drivers seat, ready to go home. The rain was pelting down on my head and I remembered the sentence, “Act the way you want to feel.”

I remembered my bold claims to "celebrate the rain" so I started dancing, right there in the rain, outside the passenger door. I thought Miggy might laugh and then tell me to get in the car but he surprised me with something even better. He spun the volume up as loud as it could go, took off his shirt and ran out into the middle of the street and started dancing in the rain, lit up by the car's headlights. Right on! We're doing this! I took my groovy moves out into the street to join him. 

To top it all off (no pun intended haha) I took off my top too — so we were dancing half naked in the street. This was Miggy's empowering idea because he knows I'm trying to overcome my discomfort with being naked. Small steps, right?

So there we were, shirtless, sopping wet, jumping to the music (Blurred Lines Robin Thicke) blasting from the car out, in the middle of the valley road...celebrating the rain. Like I said before, you can celebrate the rain with a cup of tea beside a window, no need to do a fancy rain dance (and I mean that), but speaking from recent experience, it's worth giving the rain dance a try ;)

Resolution 2: Celebrate the Rain