But even in my favorite time of year, sometimes, it can still feel gloomy. The sun may be shining its brilliant rays, but that doesn't mean I always feel its warmth. I had a few moments like this last week. Grahm and I had just played tennis. When I say "play" tennis, I mean I would ferociously swing my racket only to whiff the neon green ball flying toward me. Or I would send Grahm running all over the court in attempts to return my "serve," which somehow never landed in the nicely outlined square. It was fun. Venus and Serena won't be calling me for pointers anytime soon, but we had a good laugh. After our tennis "match," we went for a run. Well, he ran. I huffed my way into a brisk walk. I was almost to the tennis courts, where Grahm stood waiting for my slow self to get there, when I saw a group of three women standing off to the side of the sidewalk. I politely nodded as I made eye contact with [what seemed to be] the leader of the pack. I thought I had been more than civil. After all, we don't know each other and I was running. Apparently, I was wrong because when I passed by this group of women, I heard the word, "whore." I kept running, but I was wildly confused. Surely she wasn't talking about me? Was my nod not good enough? Are my shorts too short? No, no. Whatever her reason, it soured my mood faster than my lips pucker whilst eating a pickle.
A few days later, Grahm and I went on a bike ride around wonderful, friendly Norman. Nearing the end of our trek, I had to momentarily be on the wrong side of the road in order to make a necessary turn onto Stinson. An oncoming biker, an elderly gentleman who was plenty far away, curtly said, "Get on the right side of the road!" I kept riding, but I was, again, wildly confused. I turned to Grahm, wondering if that actually happened. It did. We were both puzzled at this stranger's rudeness.
When I was young, my mother would always drive us to school. We listened to the same talk radio program every morning. The name of the woman escapes me now, but she had a signature phrase that my mother liked quite a bit. Even to this day, my mom will raise her voice and squeal, "Make your ooooooowwn sunshine!" This phrase came to mind when I heard the rude words of the mystery biker and onlooking woman.
Although summer is my favorite season and I have plenty of reasons to smile, sometimes people are just mean. I think there is real value in adopting the "Make Your Own Sunshine" philosophy. This way your moods aren't determined by the weather, the situations, or the people you have the misfortune of encountering. It's simply up to you. After all, you can always write a blog about the rude people you meet as your own poetic justice.
So, like my mother, I say...
"Make your own sunshine!"