Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Save it for a Rainy Day

Here in Northeast Ohio we have had mostly cool rainy days for the past month. My husband set up our rain barrels this past weekend.  This morning he said "The rain barrels are full.  You need to go water your garden."  I think not.
I have been thinking about the expression "Save it for a rainy day."  Where does it come from and what does it mean?  I did a quick search online, and found no consensus.  Here is my favorite, from 1580 in a book called 'The Bugbears": 'Wold he haue me kepe nothing against a raynye day?'" [From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985)]. It generally is used to mean saving money when you have it for times when you have less and really need it. It makes sense in a farming community, where no money is earned on a rainy day. 
So what does it have to do with this blog?  Alot of people with chronic illnesses and pain are affected by the weather. In 1995, Professor Robert Jamison at Brigham and Women's Hospital's Pain Management Center noticed that the waiting room was fuller on damp, humid days than on warm sunny days.  They  handed out hundreds of questionnaires in a variety of cities, and found that most people felt changes in their body before the weather actually changed.  He concluded that it was the barometric pressure that was causing the effect, with low pressure associated with cold, wet weather and an increase in pain, and high pressure associated with clear, dry conditions and decreased pain.  I have not noticed weather affecting how I feel, but it is true that I have had increased pain lately.  I think I should pay attention to this.
So if people tend to have increase pain on rainy days, then maybe 'save it for a rainy day' takes on a new meaning.   You get a new magazine in the mail?  Save it for a rainy day,when you hurt and want to be less active.  A new flavor of tea catches your interest? Save it for a rainy day when you feel the need to treat yourself kindly.  Have a new (or old) movie you have been wanting to see?  Save it or a rainy day when the room is just as dark with the shades open as it is with the shades drawn.  In other words, be nice to yourself.  If pushing yourself when you hurt makes you hurt more, don't do it.  
On the other hand, if pushing yourself when you hurt does not make you hurt worse, a rainy day is a great time to take care of things that have been piling up.  Sort through clothes and get rid of ones that don't fit.  Rearrange the pantry, or clean out the junk drawer.   Make a big pot of soup and invite friends over to watch that movie with you, or to do a craft or jigsaw puzzle together.  Get help if needed for any task.  
The list of ideas for a rainy day can go on and on.  Many people feel a bit down on rainy days.  Do something to get yourself (or keep yourself) out of the dungeon.  Doing something special, or fun, or different or indulgent or interesting or creative or... or... or....

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