I’ve never liked the rain. As far back as I can recall, I didn’t care for rain. It frightened me as a child. In Arizona, I associated rain with Monsoon storms – lightening and thunderstorms and flooding.
As an adult, it meant car accidents – I’ve only lived in SoCal and Arizona, two places where people do not have rain-driving skills – and traffic jams and hassle.
On the rare occasion it would rain, my husband would relish the moments (because they were fleeting and because he loves the rain). I’d hope they would pass quickly.
A few winters ago, he missed most of the San Diego winter rains because he was in Japan for a few weeks. I was supposed to drive to Arizona with the kids to spend that time with my family. I was frustrated that I had to delay the trip until the bad parts of the storms – the ones that caused rock slides and flooding – to pass. He was sad that he was out of the country during what was surely a rare occurence.
This is my first winter back in Arizona in three years. And for the first time in my life, I’ve longed for the rain. I’ve hoped for it. And the few times that it has rained in the past three months, I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I put my rain boots on and splashed around in the puddles outside our house with the kids. I’ve checked the weather regularly, desperately hoping for more winter showers.
I moved back to Arizona on a whim – with inadequate planning and only my heart to reassure me that it was the right and best choice.
And it was. It’s one of the better choices I’ve made.
But as goes life, there have been disappointments. And those would have been the same no matter where I lived. This winter has been full of nasty flu bugs and viruses and infections, as it has been for a lot of people.
I worked so hard through November and December with my eye on the prize – a few weeks off of work to enjoy my family and make my way through my silly, but still important to me, goals: to learn to make crock pot dinners, to do some crafts with my kids, to soak in their sunshine.
Instead, I spent the entire time sleeping off the flu.
After I finally recovered from the flu and after the holidays were over, an unrrelated antibiotic-resistant infection that, thankfully, warranted nothing more than several antibiotics, a trip to urgent care and a few doctor’s appointments, rained on my parade. Most recently, I hoped for a nice three-day MLK weekend. At the top of my list were walks to the park and mom-daughter mani/pedi appointments. Instead, I slept through most of it, trying to get over another icky virus.
During Christmas break, I kept reminding myself that at least it was a holiday and so I wasn’t stressed about the days I spent sleeping – the work wasn’t piling up. My husband reminded me that it was far better than two Christmases ago, when I was in isolation with the threat of the ICU hanging over my head.
And over this weekend, I’ve been glad for the extra day off – to lounge around the house and sleep and just hang out with the kids when I was awake.
Life isn’t easy all the time, but there’s always a silver lining. It’s all about what we choose as our focal point.
I snuggle with my kids on the couch and watch the inauguration. We talk about what MLK Day means, what having a black president has done for our country and what opportunities we have – as simple as the one that allows us to just be a family – because of the sacrifices others have made.
I listen to my husband talk to his twin brother, who just became a father for the first time a week ago, on the phone. I hear my husband telling him that “you don’t have a clue what love is until you have a child.” My heart melts.
My kids tell me how much they love me in their 4- and 5-year old ways and I am pretty sure my soul has been made whole.
My parents are just a phone call – and 8 miles – away.
My little brother is here.
My “old” friends are everywhere. Even my friends who I miss in San Diego are just an email or Facebook message away.
Work stress is replaced with excitement over what the coming year has to offer.
Rainbows and silver linings in the midst of raindrops. That’s what life is all about.