Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Coming in from the Rain

When I was growing up, my grandfather used his expression when a person did a really foolish or inappropriate thing or use poor judgment.  One time my cousin was earning extra money pulling weeds from the yard and unknowingly uprooted all of the flowers in my grandmother’s prized flower beds. I can’t count the number of times my grandfather told the story, always ending with “Your cousin is probably not smart enough to come in from the rain”, half-laughing and shaking his head.

Rainy Days

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This phrase jumped into my mind the other day and got stuck there.  It was raining and my umbrella had inverted, leaving me cold and wet. I ducked into a local coffee shop and overheard three women banter and work, family and their romantic partners. One complained that she wasn’t appreciated at work – she was overworked, under-appreciated and convinced that she was about to be passed over for a promotion.  She hoped her hard work would be rewarded, but acknowledged that she wasn’t well networked like other colleagues. Another lamented being stuck in a relationship that wasn’t very good, but she didn’t want to think about breaking it off after investing so much time.  I was taken aback by the response I overheard. “Well, at least he’s not a cheater like Larry. I can’t trust him one bit”. This slice of life discussion highlighted for me how easy it can be to sabotage ourselves by not having a strong sense of self, defining ourselves in context of a partner and being more of a pleaser instead of taking care of ourselves. As women, how much more do we need to do to be smart enough to come in from the rain?  Rain can be an unsatisfying relationship,  poor work situation or being bullied at school. Even when it’s storming, why do some women stay out in the rain?

Taylor Swift’s “Come in with the Rain” is a more current take on the saying, but retains much of the same meaning. “Come in with the Rain” describes how people can finally come to their senses when bad times occur, realizing that what they wanted was always in front of them the entire time. Swift writes about trying to get a guy to like her, but has decided to stop pursuing him and let him ‘come in with the rain’  – waiting until he realizes that he actually likes her, too. She is convinced sooner or later he will come to his senses and understand they belong together.

Umbrella’s Up

Every time is rains, I’m reminded to show common sense in every aspect of my life, to be smart enough to seek shelter from the storm. There are times when each of us needs to come in from the rain, just make sure you’re umbrella is working.

Janet Walkow is the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Drug Dynamics Institute at The University of Texas and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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