Tag Archives: habits

Swimmin’ In the Rain

A Man In Love

A Man In Love

Let’s see…for the month of July, we’ve spent $1000 on pool repairs and maintenance.  What with bad weather, assorted sicknesses, and a brief green period, the pool has sat idle for most of July.  If we divide that $1000 by 3 people going swimming 3 times each and that comes out to….carry the one…borrow 10…old math vs. new math….too much damn money and not enough fun!  So I left work today with one goal in mind:  GET IN THE POOL.

(Oh, and by the way, the bikini still hasn’t been worn.  It was too BIG!  I’ll try again with one size down.)

Anyhewwwww.  We got in the pool.  Vivi started some elaborate game that required her to corral a bunch of stray pool noodles (that she referred to as “dawn horses” or Eohippus) and some rubber balls (baby sabre tooth tigers) while Carlos and I worked on him kicking and blowing bubbles.

And not 10 minutes into our swim, it started to rain.  Big plunking drops that hit the surface of the water so hard, each drop made a bubble pop up.

“OK, let’s get out of the pool!” I hollered in my best upbeat yet not-to-be-contradicted Mom voice.  I shuffled towards the steps with Carlos in tow.  Vivi set the Eohippuseseses free in the deep end and headed over.  She pointed to our cups, sitting beside the steps and said, “Aw, man!  The rain is getting in our water!”

Wait, what?


The rain is getting in our water?  And we’re getting out of the pool because…we might get wet?  Wetter?

I stood still and listened for a moment.  No thunder.  No lightning.  No high winds.  Just plinky plunky rain on our heads that were already wet from being in the pool.  Hell, it was warmer in the pool.

So we got back in.  And we LAUGHED about it.  I turned my face up to the sky and let the rain plunk and plink on my skin.  Carlos practiced holding on to the wall and kicking.  Vivi went back to the life of a nomadic prehistoric herdsgirl.

We went swimming in the rain.  Because sometimes you follow an old habit just out of habit, but when you look around, there’s no real REASON for that habit.


I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy again
I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin’,
Singin’ in the rain

Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!

I’m dancin’ and singin’ in the rain…

Why am I smiling
And why do I sing?
Why does September 
Seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up
Each morning and start?
Happy and head up 
With joy in my heart
Why is each new task
A trifle to do?
Because I am living
A life full of you.

(Hit it, Gene Kelly! If you’ve never watched this segment from the movie, PLEASE do yourself a jaunty little Tuesday kind of favor and take four minutes.  It’s totally worth it.)


Make a Resolution To Practice Gratitude

I write about gratitude a lot, and gratitude journals in particular.  Several of you have mentioned starting the practice for yourselves…so how about now?  Why not add gratitude journaling to your New Year’s resolutions?  

This week, when you’re out shopping for gifts for others, wander on over to the bookstore and buy yourself a beautiful journal.  Put it by your bed.  Each night, jot down at least 5 things that you appreciated from that day.  It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence or punctuated or spelled correctly.  This journal is for you.  

Here’s an early blog post called “Gratitude Grows” that I wrote about the stack of journals by my bed.  It’s been growing there since 2004–that explains the dust.  Richard was still alive in the bottom of the stack.  The purple one is from the year we bought this house.  The red one holds the year he died.  I met G and my children higher up.  The stack has grown by one more since I took this picture.  

gratitude fixed

It’s a Habit

OK, it’s Monday night and I’m high.

High on life.  Coming off a nine day vacation straight into a new job.  Where I get to do interesting things with people whom I genuinely like.  At home, I find myself surrounded by loveliness.  A sparkling jewel of a pool.   The wildflowers and roses in the backyard are singing in the rain.  Our grill still has gas in it from last summer.  I paid all the bills and had some dollars left until payday.  The children are acting like Von Trapps.  It was Father’s Day and they made hand print art in a wide variety of adorableness.

That kind of high.

Here’s a good soundtrack to that kind of high.  It’s called “Follow Your Arrow” by Kasey Musgraves, from her album Same Trailer, Different Park.  Get ready to whistle for the rest of the day!  I don’t listen to the radio much these day (or the Pandora-Sirius-youtube-interwebs either) so it took an episode of CBS Sunday Morning to introduce me to this album.  One listen to one song and I was on amazon buying it!

On another note (I promise to tie all this together, but first, to make a long story longer…), I’ve started subscribing to Seth Godin’s blog on the advice of my friend Michelle.  He’s a marketing guru (so is she!) but his daily thoughts on customer service, viral marketing, social media, etcetera get me thinking.  The other day, his topic was“Angry Is a Habit.”  Here’s an excerpt:

It’s easy to imagine habits like a scotch after dinner, biting your nails or saying, “you know” after every sentence. An event or a time of day triggers us, and we go with the habit. It’s easier than exploring new territory–it’s merely a thoughtless response to an incoming trigger.
But emotions can become habits as well.
Distrustful is a habit.
Lonely is a habit.
Generous is a habit.

Happy is a habit.  Because I’m happy today–and that “happy” translates to a complex combination of  rested+energetic+validated+challenged+cherished+nourished+useful–I see happy things all around me.  All around me in the same flea-bitten trashy house filled with the snot-nosed kids and the piles of laundry.  Seriously, we are so behind on laundry that I wore maternity underwear today.  And they weren’t exactly baggy.  Whatever!

But when I’ve had the chance to follow my arrow for a while, I get back to this happy place.  Just now, I looked over and saw Jinx the cat asleep on my cesspit of a desk.  I saw the little kitten my dad rescued from a trash can instead of the teetering stack of bills and magazines.  It’s 10pm and the kitchen still smells like the dinner dishes that are stacked in the sink, but that wrecked kitchen means we have plenty of food and I made a tasty meal from it.  Carlos still didn’t eat it, but he manages to thrive on a diet of bananas and air with some dog hair stuck to the bananas.

I tried to grill hamburgers tonight, but thunderstorms put an end to that.  So I broiled them, but they were still pink inside after 30 minutes and the smoke alarm going off twice.  So I fried those bastards in a frying pan right on top of the stove.  And while I waited for them to cook, I looked out the kitchen window and enjoyed watching the butterfly bush drinking in the rain.

Well, when I get this high (ON LIFE), I start to ramble I guess.  And I want to eat cake and Doritos, but that’s typical for any night.

So go make lots of noise, kiss lots of boys, kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into…when the straight and narrow gets a little too straight…follow your arrow wherever it points.

What are you seeing differently today?  Which way is your arrow pointed?