Rainy days and Mondays, always get me... thinking. I know they are supposed to get you down, but maybe if we take a moment to reflect, they can make us grateful.

Mondays come after the weekend. Depending on your profession, the weekend is typically a time to relax. If not relax, at least provide an opportunity to accomplish the things you could not get to during the week. Work or other responsibilities got in the way of doing what you had intended. Weekends allow much needed time to catch up, reconnect with your family, get much needed rest, or  revisit a hobby you have neglected. (This sadly does not apply to my boyfriend, a chef, who works through his weekend, but I am speaking generally.) If you are successful in even tackling a small fraction of this long running list of to-do's, the Monday after just might give you a sense ofaccomplishment.

Beyond catch up, the weekend is comprised of social outings and recreation, typically. The assumption being that people work Monday through Friday, the weekend is when the social being in us seeks fulfillment and connection. My weekend was full of such encounters. To start, I attended a Wounded Warriors Amputee softball game. Now, that was lovely to behold. Our nation's wounded heroes not hardened by their fate, but rather rejoicing in their abilities. Surely a new way of doing things, batting with one arm, but no less an ability, and in my opinion a more refined ability than batting with two. It afforded me some valuable perspective and gave me hope in the human spirit.

Next came a benefit for Cancer Survivors, that my sister organized. It was a lovely celebration to commemorate fighting a severe disease and winning, or continuing to fight it with resolve. It was another showcase of courage, and provided me yet another opportunity to look at the important things in life more closely. Resilience against an aggressor, faith in the process, and appreciation for the moment. Give us this day...

Lastly, friends and I danced away at a Portuguese festival: Sangria in hand, sun overhead, and smoked barbecue in the air. A language I did not understand blaring through the speakers, as couples ranging from their teens to their seventies danced in unison, with zeal for life and love of one another. If you had a weekend anything like that, the Monday after just might give you a sense of contentment.

Now what if we move away from the Monday itself, and tackle the rain? What is so wrong with the rain anyway? We get so bothered and depressed but really, it's a life source. It fuels the growth of plant life and in an abstract way, hydrates the body. Rain represents something beautifully cyclical. It waxes and wanes as needed. (Ideally, it is not absent for too long or else we will have some issues!) Certainly, rain might interrupt your fun, cancel a ball game, or force you to rethink the beautiful attire you planned on wearing out to make your ex jealous. And yes, it may pale in comparison to a breathtaking sunny day. But more importantly, it forces you to focus, slow down perhaps. Drive slower. Stay inside to finish something important. Dabble in the kitchen before eating out. If said rain happens to coincide with a Monday, you might find yourself thinking. And this kind of rainy Monday, just might give you a sense of gratitude.