It’s summer (officially, now) and you want to be outside. Maybe, like me, you have an assload of weeding to do, or compost bins in desperate need of repair. I just found a new place to take my morning power walk and I have been loving it – I’m up to 40 minutes a day from 24. But it’s outside, and so is all this freakin’ rain. So no weeding, no construction, no walkies. I’m going stir crazy in here.
I have heard of seriously hardcore gardeners who still plant, prune, and weed in the rain while wearing a poncho. I have even heard of folks who get home from work after dark and garden with a headlamp on so that they can enjoy their garden on the weekend instead of working in it.
These people make me feel like a loser.
I am a weather-dependent person: both my activities and my mood are affected by the weather. Sunny? I’m busy outside and cheerful. Rainy? I’m glowering and resentful of my home’s needs. Time to go Mary Poppins on this nonsense: let’s cheerfully kick this bad mood’s ass, shall we?
- Read. Go to the library or reread an old favorite. Maybe download the free e-reader software most libraries provide and download a book or two (this is especially nice for titles that you might not want to be seen toting around, like 50 Shades of Grey or The Field Guide to Skin Rashes).
- Paint (a wall, a room, the ceiling, some trim).
- Declare it Personal Spa Day. (Even if you’re a dude).
- Shine your shoes.
- Call an elderly relative or that long-winded friend.
- Watch YouTube tutorials on things you’ve always wanted to know how to do, like complicated hairdos, knitting, or tightening the chain on your bicycle.
- Clean the oven. Or the microwave. Or the fridge.
- Watch that movie your significant other can’t stand (provided they aren’t home).
- Is your significant other home? Then . . . well, you know.
- Try a new recipe.
- Balance the check book.
- Empty out your cupboards and toss all your expired food. Make an inventory while you’re at it.
- Empty out your closet or your dresser and remove all the clothes you don’t wear anymore. Alter them or take them to the thrift store.
- Learn to darn socks.
- Make a massive batch of something – like four loaves of bread or four dozen cookies or a mammoth lasagna – then parcel it out and freeze it. Your house could probably use the warmth on a cool, rainy day, and the smell will perk you up, too. Plus, when you want lasagna or cookies and it’s 97 degrees outside you can just nuke some and not have to fire up the oven.
- There is no reason you can’t put on your pajamas and plop down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and have a Red Dwarf or Scrubs marathon.
- While you’re doing whatever you’re doing – provided it’s not terribly loud, like running a floor sander or something – play upbeat music or listen to a book on tape or a language course (available for free download from your local library*).
Need to get the hell out of the house?
- Go to the movies. If you can steer clear of the snack bar a matinee can cost as little as $4.00 depending on the day of the week. Also, there’s not as many other people to deal with.
- Go to a local museum. (Check that it is an indoor facility first! Sculpture parks and arboretums are probably not what you want.) Most are cheap and on certain days of the month some are free.
- Call an old friend and ask them out to coffee.
- Go to the mall. No, really. You don’t have to buy anything. (Well, maybe a pretzel or a coffee.) Just wander around and window shop and people watch and pretend that you’re being social. If you’re really on a tight budget, lock your wallet in your glove box.
- Try that restaurant everyone is always raving about.
- Go for a drive – provided it’s not pouring so hard that you can’t see or it isn’t safe to drive – and take that turn you have driven by a thousand times and never tried. Even if it’s a dead end. Matt and I made a day of this when we were new to the town we live in and we discovered that these little side roads off our main road are littered with tiny County parks and walking trails.
- Go to your favorite bookstore. (CAUTION: Do not attempt this action too close to pay day. Take only money you can actually part with. All rules for attending a casino apply in full. You have been warned.)
* I swear I am in no way compensated by any library chain anywhere, public or private. Really.