Why is it that people associate rainy days with bad moods and negativity? Sayings like, “I’ve got the rainy day blues”, or, “don’t rain on my parade” and “into every life a little rain must fall”.
In the great scheme of life, the environment is much larger than we are; just ask anyone who’s lived through a tornado or flood. But, as with most things, there’s a sliding scale that has pre-set notches like necessary, enough, too much, and unreasonable.
We all know that rain is necessary, it feeds the crops, fills our lakes and quenches the thirst of critters great and small. It’s a positive occurrence unless it moves up the scale and spills into the notches of too much and unreasonable. It’s one thing to say, “I can’t go for a walk today” and quite another to gather lifejackets and prepare sandbags.
Rain and pain are similar to me because a notched scale is how I frame the experience of chronic pain. “Chronic” is the qualifier that lets you know it has been, and, will continue to be, a part of my life experience.
I don’t play the pain by numbers game but I do acknowledge notch notifications. Let me explain using the example of feet swelling, of which I am a seasoned expert.
The “necessary” notch of pain is an opportunity that taps me on the shoulder (metaphorically) to remind me my feet are starting to feel uncomfortable.
Yeah, yeah – that’s nothing new, I respond (metaphorically) and carry on. It’s not that I ignore the reminder, however, as it’s my cue to tap into my ‘endurance bank’ which houses a healthy account that I’ve built up slowly over the years.
When the “enough” signal arrives, YOWZA! – my feet are definitely unhappy and sending annoying and frequent notifications. However, not wanting to “give in” I drain my endurance bank account and elect to dip into my credit line, knowing full well there will be interest charges. Usually, at this stage, I’m busy working, enjoying an evening out, watching TV, or doing anything but resting.
The time in between the first two notches can vary but things get shorter as the pain scale moves upward.
At the “too much” notch my feet most certainly have my attention. They are all but squeezing themselves out of my shoes and mimicking the constant throb of a hard-grinding rock band.
I give in a little and unfasten my shoes and braces but, it’s too late. The band is oscillating between Mick Jagger belting out “Start Me Up” and Bon Scott from AC/DC wailing that “I’m on a Highway to HELL!”
At this point, I run (metaphorically, of course) home and take my shoes off to free my feet and put them up. If I don’t get there in time and instead fall prey to the “unreasonable” notch, well, let’s just say relief is spelled by ice and elevation.
In the meantime, seeing as it is raining today, I’ll stay indoors and put my feet up.
After all, I have some endurance interest payments to make.
It is fun to stroll in the rain every now and then, especially when you’re at a music festival.
Here I am with my partner Jan, from Folk Roots Radio at the Kingsville Folk Music Festival in Ontario.
Be sure and check it out next Aug. 11th – 13th (2017)