My Umbrella

My Conclusion

After a week of clouds, humidity, and daily rain, I’ve come to a conclusion. This weather pattern doesn’t simply affect my ability to walk outside. It affects my mood. Anything that affects my mood tends to affect my productivity, and not in a good way.

First, my energy level is lower. I become more slug-like. Couch-surfing, along with watching the news non-stop, becomes my go-to activity. This might be ok on an occasional basis, but during the rainy season (Florida is semi-tropical), this is a daily event. Even the days that start out sunny become ominously dark as the day progresses. 

The Money Pit

On that note, I can’t tell you how much I spend on umbrellas. It’s so easy to lose one. If I hired a detective to track down my lost umbrellas, I’m guessing they’d be found on restaurant seats and floors, grocery cart baskets, check -out counters, friends’ houses, as well as the myriad of places I simply put it down.

It only takes a fraction of a second to forget about the umbrella. It’s not something that rates five stars unless it’s actually raining.

If I’m lucky and the stars have aligned, I’ll have left it in Whole Foods or Walgreens where I can actually buy a new one. In fact, I often do a mental review to see if I’m walking into a store that actually sells umbrellas. This is because not having to take my umbrella out of its “safe place” on the bucket seat is like a little savings plan. It’s an automatic potential savings of $14.95. It may not sound like much, but I’m here to tell you, it adds up over time. 

Buck up!

I shouldn’t complain, because at least I don’t have to deal with Siberian temperatures here. Humidity may portend a bad hair day, but it’s good for my skin. That seems like a fair trade off. But I draw the line when the temperature goes below 60.

Ok. I know I’m spoiled by warm weather and tropical breezes, but let’s face it. I’m a weather wimp.

Here’s another drawback. You’ve heard of spectrum lamps? These are for people, like me, who tend toward depression or even old fashioned grumpiness when the sun stays behind the clouds for too long.

There’s even a name for it. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD Syndrome. Talk about an appropriate name. I’ve included a link if you’d like to buy what they call a SAD Lamp. If you suffer from this disorder, which miraculously goes away after Spring Break, one of these lamps can give you much needed relief. 

If you live in a region with four seasons, you get a little reprieve. 

If not, you can always move to Florida. 

But beware…there’s always the rainy season.

Why Are You Here, Anyway?

Here’s a question. Why are you here…on planet Earth?

 Do you know? Is it even a “thing?” Or is it simply a passing fad, like the pet rock?  

Has this question even passed through your mind, and why should it? 

Ok. What Is It?

Many people think it’s a job…a career. It can be, but doesn’t have to be. Basically, that may be one of the reasons you’re here. I say one, because I believe you’re here for multiple reasons, with multiple goals or spiritual assignments. As they said on Mission Impossible, “your mission, should you choose to accept it, is…”

That’s the cool thing. You don’t have to accept it. This is called “free will.” Free will gives you power with a capital “P”. You’re in charge. Your acceptance is mainly a matter of whether it coincides or interferes with what you define as what you’re here to do, be, or accomplish.

However, and this is a big however, I believe it’s a setup. I feel, in the depths of my being, that you’ve already agreed to this mission, or you wouldn’t be here. Maybe you’d be lounging on some cloud, but you wouldn’t be on this battlefield. 

Since you’re reading this, I take it you’ve accepted your mission.

You’re a soldier now…a type of Navy Seal on Planet Earth. In other words, you signed up for the ultimate adventure…life.

As a child, you probably didn’t give a thought to esoteric issues like spirituality, religion, or self- examination. There are too many other developmental things occupying your time and demanding your attention.

But at some point, most people begin to wonder what it’s all about, and question their place in this maelstrom. Thomas Moore defined it as “the dark night of the soul”. Peggy Lee warbled, “Is that all there is?”.

This may sound depressing, but it’s actually a good thing, akin to the butterfly breaking through the chrysalis.

There’s no one way that works for everyone. For some, the search for meaning is born through tragedy, misfortune or loss. The book,” When Bad Things Happen To Good People “by Harold Kushner comes to mind.

With others, therapy may crack open the search for one’s life purpose, or at least propel a search for meaning through a trip down memory lane, or a life review.

Never Too Soon To Start

At the tender age of 13, my teacher assigned an autobiography. I still have it. It’s called, “From Pablum To Pizza”. Even at that age, I had zeroed in on the events that made a difference to me, the events that stood out as meaningful. I believe those events were pointers to my life purpose.

 Even meeting people you feel like you’ve known before can make the events of your life seem less random.

Finally, we all have intrinsic gifts and talents. We all have things that excite us and move us to action. These are also pointers to the reason we’re here.

Still, life is basically a mystery, but overall, I think these are worthy issues to ponder.