Friday, May 07, 2010

Weather the Storm

     Back in my wild younger days, when I wasn't nearly as wise and certainly more headstrong about insignificant issues, I used to have hard and fast rules about life that has no real basis in reality.  I would do certain things at certain times, and one of my favorite personal policies was that once I made a certain change, I would not revert back to the old way regardless of the circumstances.
     I know that you are confused, but I am going to give you an example.  A lot of these strange rules and policies were tied to the season and the passage of time through them.  One is that I will wear sandals until it snows.  I can stomach shoes, but I hate socks.  I hate them a lot.  And I love the convenience of sandals, so I will wear them until the first flakes stick on the sidewalk.  That is an example of one of my senseless rules, because what if it is (three two-letter words that start with the letter "i" in a row!) a dry season but cold, and it's 14 below in the middle of November but hasn't snowed a flake.  Maybe I am the flake.
     I used to have a rule regarding hats too, and I totally violated it this morning.  Scratch that, I didn't really violate it but I relaxed it a little bit.  See, I always wear a hat as I go through life, usually a baseball hat in a backward position like those punks you see on television in the summertime, to cover my head.  In the winter, because I am bald (by choice I swear, at least on most of my head) I am almost always wearing a winter hat.  Usually it's a black, understated version, but sometimes it is a giant green version with a yellow tassel that says "What's your Twenty" on the side - that one is my favorite.  Anyway, I digress.  The point here, Company, is that when the spring rolls away, once I put my winter hat away and switch to the baseball cap I am committed, or at least I always have been in the past.  I would usually be pretty conservative in when put away the winter headgear, because one I put on that baseball cap it didn't matter if it was like 22 degrees in the morning when I left the house, the baseball was all I had for options.
     Same with the coat.  Once my coat went away that was all she wrote.  And I don't do that whole put-the-heavy-coat-away-and-break-out-the-spring-jacket nonsense.  My winter coats are always sort of just put away in the closet - broken out as needed.  I go about my business 95% of the time in the winter in a relatively light fleece that most people would consider just a spring fling.  Be that as it may, once that goes away for the season - usually about hat switch time - it was gone. G-O-N-E gone.
     Well, it's been warm for a while, and it IS early May, so last weekend, around May 1st, I put away the winter stuff.  Hat, coat, boots, shovel.  Put it all away and turned my face expectantly towards summer.  But when I woke up this morning and the guy on my TV spit the words "Winter Weather Advisory" out of his mouth, and through my blurry eyes I could see that he wasn't talking about the Dakotas or some remote place in the Rockies, I knew that wasn't good.
     I also knew that it was time to consider some changes when I woke up and felt the dampness in the air.  Damp and 40 degrees - how Seattle of my town.  It was that dampness that caused me to make a rash decision in the wee morning hours of the Seventh of May.  I walked into the spare bedroom, opened up the closet door, fished out my hat and light fleecy thing, and trundled off to start my day.  I relaxed the rule.  I wore a winter hat after I had committed to baseball cap happiness.  I brought the coat out of storage when it was supposedly safely tucked away until October.  I did all that stuff because, well, it made sense.  I was cold.
     I think that I might be growing up, Company.  I am losing some of retarded pigheadedness about things that don't really matter a whole lot, and I am apparently subscribing more to common sense.  That is downright frightening, and what is more frightening is that I seem to just be slipping into adulthood without so much as a fight.  I mean, yeah, as I sit here right now I am watching Saved by the Bell on early morning television, but all I can think about is how awful of a show it was.  I don't even get that excited about Kelly Kapowski anymore. 
     So I guess that I am just weathering the storm, not only of the season but of the life.  Somewhere along the way we all have to learn that a ship tied rigidly to the dock won't survive as one that is able to float on the waves.  That is the key to life, Company.  You have to be willing and able to roll with the punches and allow a certain amount of things to roll off you, but you have to be able to be rigid and stand up to the elements when the time calls for it.  That's the key.  If we were in a 1940s black-and-white film where they talk really fast and wear their suit pants jacked up to their belly buttons, we would say "Yeah, that's the ticket."  Roll with the punches when the punches need rolling, and stand against the elements when the time is right.  It is a tough line to tow, and there are going to be times when you screw it up a little but you've got to be willing to take out the jacket when it's cold outside.  Wear the winter hat in the spring.  It's all going to be okay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big Dave,

Love the new layout! I also had to give up some hard-fast rules of my youth as adulthood has set in. For example, I no longer swerve for every crow on the side of the road. I decided not to adhere to this rule after I managed to hit two of the them with my Cavalier. Crows are bigger, heavier birds than they look and, on occassion, they don't fly away fast enough so you actually hit them with your car. Try explaining that one to your insurance company. Oh, and it is kind of a dangerous way to drive. But I still argue that it actually keeps you more alert to the things on the road.