As you may have heard, California is currently in the grips of a series of massive storm systems, or in other words, “the storm of the century.” (Not too hard to do, considering the century is only eight years old and most of those winters have been pretty dry.)

Really though, it’s not all that huge. We have storms like this every winter, or at least when we’re not in the grips of an equally drastic drought. But every year people forget, and we all have to make loud exclamations about how we’ve never seen a wind this strong, etc.

When I woke up this morning to our third straight day of rain, I was looking forward to having a nice quiet day sitting on the couch and doing nothing. This plan was successful for about three hours, until I got too antsy to sit around any more. It’s a vicious cycle. After a walk didn’t do it, I finally gave up and went for a run — how many weirdos do you know who spend an hour and a half trying (and failing) to convince themselves not to exercise?

Anyway, as I was out running my usual route along the cliffs, I realized that today it wasn’t just the lack of activity that was making me antsy. That is often the case, but this time it went deeper than that. I also started the day determined to ignore what has become a time of ongoing emotional turmoil, which for me is somewhat akin to ignoring a large hippopotamus as it charges straight towards you. I am completely incapable of ignoring my emotions, and any attempt to do so usually only results in painful, teary disaster.

Today was no exception. In fact, I found that I empathized strongly with the turbulent ocean and huge choppy waves. The water, normally so calm when left to its own devices, had been seized by a much larger force, turned upside down and roiled up until our beloved coastline was all but unrecognizable for the gigantic crests of whitewater crashing over it.

Slightly unfair, if you ask me.

In the end, it was not the physical activity itself that gave me peace, but rather the violent chaos of the storm. As I was running against the gusty headwind, it occurred to me more than once that it would be far easier just to turn around and run with it. And sure enough, when I did turn around, I had a much better run.

So I learned my lesson. And instead of trying to ignore the gale force wind that is currently blowing its way through my life, I gave way to it for just a short while and let it buffet me as much as it wanted. When I turned back to home, I still didn’t have any answers, but at least I felt better for having run with it for a short while. Perhaps now I can spend the rest of this rainy weekend on the couch as planned, with no further thought for either external or internal weather systems.

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