Five of the Week #5

Well, it’s Wednesday again and time is still advancing quickly. But today it is not about how time is running away. However, this entry will still be about time – about passing time.
There are a lot of things one can do to pass the time. Some are more efficient than others and of course the activities differ from person to person. Or do they? It often seems to me that there is only a bunch of activities left to do, you know, something like ‘standard activities’. I consider them to be things that everyone does like partying, playing PC, surfing on one’s mobile phone or wasting one’s day in facebook. Ok, I have to admit I like playing PC myself but honestly, there is nothing special about it. Anyone can do it at any time. What really is something special, at least to me and I hope to anyone who may read this entry, are the things you don’t or can’t do every day. This can already be lying on the couch, drinking a cup of coffee and reading a book. When did you do that for the last time?

When the weather is fine people are, of course, outside, going for a walk, eating ice cream, having a barbecue you name it. Outside is where the action takes place and this is good. Fresh air is one of the best means to clear your thoughts. And when you ask people what they would do on a warm and sunny day they can list a hundred things. However, when you ask them what they do on a rainy day you will either name one of the standard activities or simply say “I don’t know”. If you want to say neither of those things then here is what you can do to pass the time on a rainy day.

Today I sat there for a long time and I had no idea of what to write about until it finally dawned on me. Yeah, it was to obvious to see it. It was raining and I thought “What would you do if you were sitting at home?”. Of course I came up with some standard ideas like listening to music, playing a game on my computer, you know the rest. But then I thought “Stop that’s nothing special” and I started to compile a list of things I thought, and think, special. Things you didn’t or couldn’t do for a long time and that maybe you need to do again.

1. Listen to old Records
We listen to music each and every day because music is always there (on the radio, the mp3-player etc.). Everyone of has a big playlist with enough music for days on his computer but that’s what you listen to everyday. What I mean is take a really old record and put it in your cassette player, CD player or even on your record player, have a cookie and a coffee and listen to it. Be it your first rebellious Nirvana CD, your Phil Collins MC or even your Led Zeppelin vinyl record with that typical crackling. Take your time, listen to it and take a long trip down memory lane. Do it once or twice in a month when it’s raining hard and you’ll feel the warmth of a good memory can be as warm as the sun you’re missing that day.

2. Write/compose a feel-good Song
At first, take a sheet of paper, a pen and a rubber. Sit down with a cup of coffee and some cookies (yeah, coffee and cookies, they are wonderful 😉 ) and write down a title. The title can just state what the song is, namely, The Feel-Good-Anti-Rain-Song and then add some anti-rain thoughts like:

If today the sun was shining
I would go outside
If today the sun was shining
I would ride my bike

Or something like that. I know, it’s not the most creative verse but hey, it should be an easy song. Let’s say you write three or four verses this way and then you add the chorus:

This is my feel-good-anti-rain song

Simple as that. Now you put the chorus between the verses and here you have your lyrics.
Now sit down at your computer if you don’t play an instrument but have a music software. Compose an easy drum beat for the verse. Now comes the bassline which can simply play whenever the kick drum plays. Then add a pad to it playing when the snare plays and last but not least comes the melody. The melody can, just like the song, be really simply. You all know the melodies to children’s songs. They are simple and easy to remember. Now you copy your verses and alter them slighty to have music for the chorus. Copy and paste verse and chorus according to how often they occur in your song and that’s it. Finally, you can record your sing. Don’t be embarrassed, it’s just for you. When you’re done you will have forgotten about the rain.

3. Start writing a Book
I know, this sound like a lifetime task but actually it isn’t. I have never written a book although I always wanted to but that another story. Anyway, you don’t have to write much or invent a story with a complicated and always twisting plot. Whenever it rains heavily and you don’t know what to do you can take a pen and a notebook (or your laptop) and start writing. Write down whatever comes to your mind. Remember, you’re not intending to write a bestseller. You might start with the most obvious first sentence there is in your situation:

Today it is raining.

This sentence will evolve into a story when you keep at it. When focussing on and enjoying your task for a while you will see how fast you can fill some pages. The best thing about this “project” is that you have to keep at it regularly as not to forget what you wrote before and repeat yourself. I think I don’t have to mention the coffee and cookies anymore, do I? 🙂

4. Take a Walk in the Rain
Yes, I mean it. Put on some rain clothes and gumboots and go outside. And if you want to just do what you did when you were a child – jump into the puddles. That’s what parents don’t want their children to do but actually they’d like to do it themselves. You know, just be as carefree as a child, jump into a puddle, be soggy and have dirt all over their rain coats. This is life. Don’t think you’re too old for this because this is our biggest problem. We’re overthinking things. Of course you shouldn’t act without thinking about the consequences but you can’t always act with only thinking about the consequences. If you have the chance to go back to some wonderful childhood memories and activities, do it. You will be angry with yourself if you don’t. A good friend of mine wants to fly a kite and I think that’s a good idea. He liked it when he was younger, why shouldn’t he like it now? Just because he’s “too old”? I mean, are you really “too old” to be happy again – to feel as carefree as a child again?

5. Make yourself comfortable
When you took a walk in the rain and your all drenched and cold take a long, hot shower. It’ll work wonders. Then put on your favorite leisure suit. What you do next is you take a good book and snuggle up in a blanket and sit or lie down on your couch. Of course enough coffee and cookies (here we go again) should be at hand so you don’t have to leave your cozy place too often. Turn off your mobile phone and just enjoy a good read. When you’re done you can watch some TV. I know, you could do that anytime you want but it’s not about watching TV. It’s about enjoying the coziness of the day and to really appreciate its value.

P.S.: You can replace the coffee and cookies by whatever you like best ;-).