Our youngest daughter, Carlianne, posted this sweet note to me on Facebook:
"Thanks, Mama, for always making our home feel so cozy and fun on rainy days growing up. Perhaps you got your love of the rain from your dad, Grampa Edtl, and Sharnessa and I got it from you. I guess we're pluviophiles! 😘☔️🌧💙🌲💧🍃 #pnw #rain #lovetherain #perspective #pnwgirl"
...and this is the short video she posted below the above note:
Click on the above graphic, which will take you to the Higher Perspective Facebook page, where you can click on the actual image/link and see and hear raindrops for 21 seconds. (By the way, this site has loads of fun and interesting, life-enriching stuff! I highly recommend liking and following it!)
While you're listening to the rain, I want you to do a quick "rain mood-o-meter" with yourself to see how that sound makes you feel...
Depressed? ... Cozy? ... Stressful? ... Peaceful?
If it makes you feel peaceful and cozy, then you probably don't need this blog post ~ unless you want to share it with someone who finds rain depressing, and has no problem telling the world so on a regular, whenever-there's-a-rainy-day basis.
But if the sound of rain makes you feel like dark clouds are encroaching upon you, pleeease stay with me...
In response to Carlianne's post, one gal asked:
"What did you guys do on rainy days when you were kids? I'm curious because I'm trying to get my kids to appreciate and enjoy the rain but my daughter's not buying it. Haha."
In response to that, Sharnessa, our oldest, wrote:
"LOL! I think it was a combination of how she talked about it and her attitude about when it was raining, along with various things we did ~ like cuddle and read, do an activity, warm up by the heater, watch a movie or TV show, etc. And of course occasionally go play in it. 😉
She didn't talk negatively about it when it started to pour, but rather talked about the cozy things we could do inside, how beautiful the rain was as it was pouring down, how it was making everything healthy and lush and such. ... I hope that helps!!💕"
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone lament about how much they hate the rain, I'd be a millionaire!!! I sooooo wish I had started collecting 50 years ago!
RAIN HATER: "UGH, I HATE the rain!!!"
ME: "Bummer. That'll be a dollar, please."
Besides making me rich, it might have made people think twice about complaining about the rain if they had to pay to complain. But probably not, because this is a heart issue; they would simply have not complained around me.
So how does one go about changing one's heart-perspective on rain?
It's a process, and I've got a few ideas for you...
Rehab Plan for
My plan is fun, real, spiritual, hands-on, and practical. Here are my seven steps:
1) Play it forward.
If you have any connection with children ~ parents with kids still at home, grandparents with grandkids who come and visit, or teachers with students ~ you need to realize that, with every word you say about the rain, and every look on your face and the tone in your voice as you speak, you are actually helping to create their current and future perspective.
Think ahead to how your current view of rain will affect them. Did you get your perspective on rain from an influential adult in your life? ~ for better or for worse? You probably did.
Every single time you say anything about rain to someone, you are actually ~ not just sort of ~ sowing seeds into that person's future attitude toward it.
Do you want your kids, grandkids, students to be dependent on sunshine to have a good day?
As you can see from what both of my daughters ~ at ages 30 and 39 ~ said above, my attitude toward rain went deep into their thinking and their hearts, and has lasted their whole lives, with little chance of changing to a dark-cloud view.
And would you like to know a secret? I didn't actually love the rain as much as they thought I did. It was a decision I made. And that decision, in turn, actually helped reshape my attitude! (And theirs as well!)
2) Find the good in the rain.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, the rain creates the lush, beautiful, green environment.
Without as much rain as we get, it would be much drier and browner. That's its own kind of beauty, of course, but if you prefer the lush green variety, there's a price to pay for it, and it's a wet price.
But rain brings more than "green." At Reference.com I found this answer to the question "What are some advantages of rain?"
"Rain brings a multitude of benefits to the earth, including watering wild plants and crops, humidifying the air, creating streams and rivers, replenishing the water table and creating healthy negative ions. Perhaps the most important benefit of rain is its redistribution of fresh water in the water cycle."
3) Make up your mind and heart to like rain.
The above advantages of rain are good, but it'll take more than that to change your mind and heart. You have to actually decide to do this.
Since we knew many decades ago that we'd be raising our family here in the Pacific Northwest ~ because this is where our extended family is ~ I made up my mind to like it.
I know a few people who just really can not live here and be happy. They moved to places with more sun, and that's okay.
In fact, many older, retired people here in the Pacific Northwest are "Snow Birds" who live here during the summer, but then head down to warmer climates when it gets colder and wetter here. And that's okay too.
But if you aren't of that age yet, or you just really want to be close to family (and job, and church, and...) year-round, are you relegated to a miserable, cloud-filled existence?
Nope! You can actually make up your mind about what things you like! And this is one!
4) Disempower the weather from being able to affect your mood.
Soooo many people let the weather ~ the rain in this case ~ dictate what their mood will be for the entire day! They look out the window in the morning, see the rain, and decide right then that the day is going to be gloomy.
What a WASTE of LIFE!!! No one is guaranteed any certain number of days! Why waste even ONE of them on gloominess?!?!?
You truly can ~ and you need to ~ unplug the weather from having any power whatsoever over your mood!
It's probably a deeply ingrained habit by now, perhaps even from your childhood, so it will take some doing. But you can let it go.
In my 65 years of life, I've had many such changes to make in my thinking. In my marriage... regarding writing (didn't think I could, but then wrote 8 books)... and speaking (thought I would DIE doing so, but then spoke at conventions for many years, in front of 800 people)... in deciding to homeschool (I SO did not want to, but then did for 24 years)... regarding hospitality (hated it, but love it now!)... in how I viewed myself (wasn't good! Is now!)...
And here's a verse that has helped me many times:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19)
And God has made many "ways" in my wildernesses and "rivers" in dry places of my heart and life!!!!
5) Let go of your hatred of the rain.
This might sound redundant ~ the same as 3 and 4, but it's really not. I know people who actually hold on to their dislike of the rain ~ as if it's a "cool" thing to do, or as if they have to hate it. So you might find good in the rain, realize it's not helpful to your kids, make up your mind to like the rain and unplug it from affecting your mood, but if you find those don't work, it's because you haven't let go of your hatred of it. The first four will help you let go; but you have to "just DO it" and actually...
6) Prepare your environment. Be it home, school, or homeschool, here are a few things you can do that will help spice up a rainy day, and even help the kids look forward to it. Please note that even doing just one of these is plenty! The goal is not to "do it all"! Just whatever you want and think will help the peeps in your life.
a - Create a Rainy Days Scrapbook or Notebook - This could be one notebook for the whole family, or one notebook for each person. It could be educational, or artistic, or memorable, or a photo album, or a journal, or "D, all the above"! Different page titles to include in it are: "What I Did on This Rainy Day," "What Rain Does" (see step 2 above), "Rainy Day Photos Around my Yard" (get close-ups of puddles, plant leaves, etc.), "Rainy Day Thoughts," "Sketches of Rainy Days," or "Recipes We've Made on Rainy Days." (I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!!! ... And if anyone wants me to make printables of these, let me know!)
b - Set up a Rainy Day Cozy Reading Spot bin. - Set up this bin with a special blanket, pillow, tea cup, tea bags that you have only on rainy days, and a few special books, age-appropriate for your kids. If you have several children, get as many spots designated around the house as Rainy Day Cozy Spots. If there are favorites, let the first child to get their chores done have first choice, the second one gets the next choice, and so on.
c - Do a fun rainy day activity. - Kimberly Foster wrote a wonderful blog post on Rainy Day Activities! In it she shares five creative things you can do with your kids on rainy days. Check it out!
d - Put together a "On Rainy Days Only" bin - Fill this bin with simple items that are accessed only on rainy days. Things like:
a new coloring book - Have one for all, which you can section off for each child, or have one per child.
a family book - Read this aloud together only on rainy days. (Maybe they'll actually look forward to the next rainy day?)
a science experiment in a bag - Make this up ahead of time so that supplies are gathered and ready to go on a rainy day. Just for starters, here is an article called "50 Easy Science Experiments for Kids Using Household Stuff" compiled by Karyn Marciniak, which contains a list of links to a variety of science experiments. One example: Put a package of Pop Rocks, a bottle (not can) of soda, and a balloon into a zip-lock bag, along with the printed instructions from #5 at the above link.
(These last two ideas contain a few Amazon affiliate links, which just means that if
you make a purchase, I may get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.)
7) Bring Your Own Sunshine. - No, don't worry ~ I'm not going to suggest that you fix up a pretend sunshine in your house. What I'm talking about is bringing joy. Developing a cheery attitude, a warm heart, a bright disposition that doesn't depend on the weather outside to brighten it, nor is it dampened (literally and figuratively) by the rain. Rather, be the one who cheers, warms, and brightens the room you enter. (Sometimes I do better at this than other times, but I can say it's not dependent on the weather.)
Think of people you know who are always cheerful; who, wherever they are, bring their own sunshine. No matter what it's like outside. In fact, the drearier the weather, the more their sunniness shows up.
You want to be one of those people? Or are you settling for being a cloud?
If you don't like the answer, you have the power to change it. And I bet a lot of people will be glad you did!
P.S. I realize that there is a very real disorder called S.A.D. = Seasonal Affective Disorder. My ideas may or may not help a person with this, but they're certainly worth a try. Whether they help or not, pleeeease don't take on any guilt from my article! I'm just talking to those who can and want to take a look at and change their negative attitudes.