I woke to the sound of a pounding no-nonsense rain hammering the chimney cover. It sounds like an act of vengeance, all beat and no melody. Because I enjoy rain, generally, I enjoy the sound. What if I disliked the rain, what then? It rains a lot here.

I glance across the table at my winter coat, draped over the other chair, and near to the heater, where I left it last night. I’d arrived after a rainy commute, pleased that my winter coat kept me both warm and dry. I had been thinking, on and off, about needing a winter coat. My last one managed to wrap me in rain resistant comfort (no longer quite waterproof) for 5 years.

Evening before last, I stood at the light rail platform waiting for the train in the rain, in a crowd, and realizing I just did not want to stand all the way home, and this particular train was clearly going to be standing room only, I ducked into a nearby discount retailer on a whim. Out of the rain, warm and dry, I could pass 15 minutes walking the aisles and thinking about life and then take the next train… Feeling purposeful, I walked to the outerwear section, and flipped through the coats. It was the fabric and cut of the thing that got my attention first, olive drab, cotton blend, and a not-quite-an-army-parka look to it. It made me smile. I tried it on and it fit like it was tailored and felt comfortable to move in. Warm. I tried talking myself out of it by trying on other coats. The alternatives did not fit as well, or (to my eye) look as good. I looked at the price tag – doable. It amuses me now that I didn’t wear it for the trip home that night.

Yesterday  morning wasn’t raining, but it was quite chilly. My coat was warm and dry. Comfortable. When I left the office at the end of the day, it was raining. It rains a lot here. I haven’t yet given this coat a water-proofing, and I wondered how well it would stand up to the rain without it? I arrived home, warm and dry, coat wet but not soaked through. A win all around. I even enjoyed the night walk, through the raindrops, across rain-slick pavement, and over the Hawthorne Bridge, wrapped in warmth. I’d have been completely miserable, soaked to the skin and cold to the bone, without a coat. I guess it’s more or less “winter” here now. I mean, the sort of winter we get, which is mostly chilly and muddy and wet, and not very frozen except for a few days in January, generally, and sometimes some snow in December.

The evening passed fairly quietly, in a state of great contentment. My neighbors were partying, which is common and not usually a problem, but the evening’s fun was doing them in with its excesses on this occasion, and at times that was fairly unpleasant to listen to. We usually hang out together a lot more, but since the break-in I have felt much less social, for no other reason than that this is my space and I intend to reclaim it for myself. I made a point to bitch gently about the noise, they were delighted that I am okay, and honestly I felt the same; reassured that they are okay, too, and that we matter to each other. The remainder of the evening was quiet, and I felt asleep feeling safe and content.

Huh. That’s a lot of words about a rainy evening and a winter coat. I’m not sure why. I think the point I was making is something more or less on the order of “don’t stand around being miserable… change something!” 🙂  As true this morning as it was last night, as it was the night before, as it was on election day, as it has been in the anxious days since then… Don’t like the state of things? Change. Change you, or change your choices, or change your circumstances – or embrace the state of things and change your perspective; it is not a requirement in life that we endure misery indefinitely, and certainly there is no requirement that we choose it. So… why do we? I’m not sure taking time out of a day to troubleshoot that is a productive choice. The why, it seems, mires me in a spiral of discontent. Accepting that choosing misery is something people do, something I have done myself, something I remain capable of, is probably much more valuable than knowing why, exactly. I already know enough to be able to choose change. 🙂

Search all the books that matter most to you, there are still verbs involved. :-)

Search all the books that matter most to you, there are still verbs involved. 🙂

I look around this morning with new eyes, more easily able to see the emotional “wear and tear” of the recent break-in. Resilient? Yes. Able to bounce-back? More so than ever before. Unaffected? Hardly; I see the signs of how the break-in affected my sense of safety and security all around me. Small details let go that are usually well-managed: a pile of odds and ends paperwork things has accumulated on the dining table, quite out of the ordinary for me these days, and I have been avoiding the studio entirely in a less-than-ideally-mentally-healthy way. Small signs that I took the violation of my space pretty hard. Reminders exist, too, in the sudden cessation of socializing with my neighbors; I come home, and lock the door. TV gone, which isn’t that big a deal frankly, but the result rather strangely is that I have spent the evenings and mornings quietly – utter quiet, no stereo, no music, no conversation. I feel safer in the quiet stillness, less likely to overlook an intrusion, or be caught by surprise.

Last night, I filled the apartment with music for a while, as I did over the weekend. This morning I am more awake, more aware of things needing to be done that have been let go for a few days. It has been a week. I’m okay now, save for the remaining indignity of being told what my possessions are “worth” by a faceless corporate entity that very much just wants to profit from my fear of disaster without having to pay out for actual disasters that actually happen. I’ll get through that, too. I am capable of great endurance.

A basic morning.

A basic morning.

I’m also capable of great change. Today is a good day to choose change. Today is a good day to treat myself well, wrapped in a warm coat and a smile, walking in the rain like it just doesn’t matter – because it doesn’t have to be endured, naked and alone. I have choices. 🙂