By all accounts, today is a miserable type of day. It’s raining & dreary. The clouds have obscured any sunlight that might break through & cheer up the landscape a bit. It’s not cold, but it is cool enough a jacket is common fare. You can see the usual happenings as you drive around town. Minor accidents due to slick roads. Traffic delays due to the accidents. People talking about the weather, and their desire for a return to sun drenched days & blue skies. I have my rain coat on. I’m prepared to meet the day as it has presented itself, aware of the challenges both mental & physical which may show up at any moment. However, I’m also carrying my sunglasses with me.
As I walk through the office to my cubicle a co-worker points out my sunglasses hanging from my shirt & half chuckles as he asks me if I’m aware of the weather outside. I guess it does seem a bit odd to have my sunglasses as part of my rainy day attire. There are excuses I could use to explain why I keep them with me – maybe I have sensitive eyes or something along those lines. Maybe folks will think, I think, I’m cool enough to wear my sunglasses anytime. But that’s not how I look at it or the reason why I bring them with me everywhere.
Above the rain clouds, above the storm, above the current dreary existence we are experiencing, the sun is out. It is a sunny day. We just can’t see it – yet. I have my sunglasses with me because I expect to see the sun. Because I know it is there, just above me – just out of my site. It is always a sunny day. Just, sometimes, we can’t see it. A day so bright it will require me to wear my shades I keep with me, hanging from this shirt of mine. My sunglasses are a physical reminder today is an awesome & beautifully sunny day even if I can’t see it. The weather I can see & feel shouldn’t dictate my perception or preparation for the day. I’ve got my sunglasses with me for when the sun comes out. Plus, I do look cool wearing them, even when it rains.
How do we prepare for our day? Do we realize it is a great day even when everything around us tells us otherwise? When work or life has us stressed out, it can be a real challenge to remember, or have the mindfulness, that it is a sunny day & we need to be just as prepared for it as for the rain we see all around us. We need to have our sunglasses in the rain. If we remember this, it can help us to be more productive because we can more readily see the opportunities around us when we know it is a good day. I guess you could summarize this into a motivational saying about attitude, but I think it really is more than forcing yourself to have a good attitude. Understanding the sun is always there even in the midst of the storm is different than being in the storm & trying to force yourself to be happy in spite of it.
A number of people who are successful with this mindset will use meditation, or mindfulness as it is called more & more these days, to help achieve it. I have found it very helpful in my life as well for this very use. I have always been one of the most cynical & critical people you could meet. This has changed a lot in recent years, as I have started to make some changes in my life, and mindfulness was a great place for me to start. It might be a good place to start for you as well, if sunglasses in the rain is something you are interested in making a part of your life.
As I look outside, I see the clouds have broken since I started writing this, and the sun has come out. Coincidence? Probably. However, I’m prepared. I have my sunglasses. Do you have yours?