Caught in the rain in northern California

Don’t listen to people when they say that people in California cannot drive in the rain. Don’t listen because they’re lying – it’s far worse than they let on.

Driving on the highway during a drizzle might as well be a death wish. Changing lanes on the 1o1? Don’t even think about it, pal. Merging onto 280? Not in a million years. Trying to park in the parking lot? Smash.

Say what you want about east coasters and the way we drive (and, by the same virtue, the way we actively interact with one another), but if you are driving the speed limit during a Nor’Easter in the right lane with your hazards on, YOU are the one in the way. And you should KNOW better.

The one thing that is good about the rain is that you are forced to focus on what is immediately in front of you. You can’t afford to look too far out into the distance. You need to pay attention to the present. Ya know, just in case Aunt Tilly tries to pass you on the right, smoking a Virginia Slim like Cruela de Vil with her window open and a labradoodle on her lap.

It rained for most of the first week and a half or so when I first got to California in mid-December. As I understand it, that was their “winter season” and was particularly “wintery” last year. Since turning the calendar to 2013, I can count the amount of times it’s rained here on one hand – with fingers to spare.

It started raining tonight while I was at the gym and it continued as I walked back down the Paseo, through downtown and into the parking garage underneath our company’s building. I didn’t mind the rain. I never have. I’ve actually enjoyed walking in the rain, granted it’s a cool/warm rain. With my iPod going and having just worked out for about an hour, the rain felt good. When your body is heated up like that, a cool rain helps bring it back to operating temperature.

The same thing happens with your mind. When your mind is racing, trying to process everything it possibly can out into the distant future, it heats up. What do I need to do at work tomorrow? How am I supposed to pay my rent next month? How long do I hold on and am I weak if its taken me this long? Will I get that promotion at work? Am I doing enough to make my friends and family proud? Should I take that risk? Where will I be in five  years?

Sometimes, when processing all these kinds of questions, your own mind can overheat. We all have these kinds of questions and thoughts and concerns and worries that take our mind away from the present, away from what’s right in front of us.

The raindrops cool your mind down and bring it back to an operating temperature. And, just like when you’re driving in it, the rain forces you to focus on what’s directly in front of you in life – not too far into the future.



  1. Randy Deane · · Reply

    Nice writing Alex. Check this out, reminded me of this in my youts:

  2. · · Reply

    loved it

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