Monday, October 18, 2010

Rainy Sunday

A most unusual October Sunday, here in Southern California. More like England, really. Overcast for the entire day--not a glimpse of the sun; and something between mist and drizzle all day long. I did not even get out to the balcony to enjoy my Sunday cigar...

I had anticipated a restful day but it worked out, for the most part, otherwise. Ellie has been busy scouting for new luggage for our trip back east, more suited to today's airline restrictions: to avoid paying the check-in fees, we are in need of carry-on bags more appropriate to the times, and she had found some to bring home on approval. The morning's task, then, was to do a test-run on the packing, to see which of the bags would work best for us. Which involved, of course, making decisions as to what to take and hence some thought as to what weather conditions to expect. We are not used to weather in this part of the world, even though we did get some yesterday, as noted.

So we packed, unpacked, re-packed... and came to some decisions. We were left with several items that would need to be returned to Macy's and, with busy weeks ahead for both of us, decided that this would be a good day to get that done. I imagined, in my innocence, that on a cold, wet Sunday afternoon most people of good sense would be staying home to watch a football game or read the Sunday paper, and that the Glendale Galleria would be virtually deserted...

Boy, was I proved wrong! It was like Christmas. The access streets were jammed solid for blocks around the parking structures. The approach was bad enough. Once in the maze of ramps, the incessantly busy pedestrian cross walks and and the crowded parking lanes, movement could be measured only in jolting feet and inches. Equanimity? Out the window! Mercifully good parking karma, though: a space opened up for us miraculously just yards from the Macy's entrance.

My mood, which had brightened momentarily on finding such a good parking spot, returned immediately to testy on entering the department store. Speaking of Christmas... could you believe that the place was already adorned with Christmas decorations? In mid-October? Great hanging stars and golden balls and fake green wreaths, you'd think it was already... well, November--which is when the benighted shopping season seems to start. We found the luggage department and my heart sank anew when I saw the crush of people waiting in line around the cashier's counter. Then, amazingly, a woman came to us and asked if we'd like help, and our need was attended to immediately, no waiting.

I'm reading this book about living in the flow of change (more about it in a later post.) Our Sunday shopping expedition seemed like an excellent lesson in the futility of expectations and resistance in the face of change. Watching my mood swings in the context of the unanticipated blockages and sudden, equally unanticipated moments of flow, I could have spared myself the reactive body-mind responses that caused me nothing but grief. This Buddhism thing is easier said than done.

3 comments:

Houston Personal Injury Lawyer said...

I know how you feel with the slight craziness of Christmas decorations in October. My mother started asking my brother, sister and I what we wanted to do for Christmas the last week of September. I was astonished that her mind had already drifted that far ahead when I still didn't at what time in that day I would eventually put a shirt on or eat a meal. I guess some people, or the case of your mall, institutions, just work differently.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the comment, Houston... For myself, I try to keep things in the present--which is not always easy. I plan and plan, and things never work out quite the way I thought they would!

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the comment, Houston... For myself, I try to keep things in the present--which is not always easy. I plan and plan, and things never work out quite the way I thought they would!