Don’t Just Sit There!

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field in Chicago is not, I repeat NOT waterproof. Not even close.

Last night I attended my first Chicago Cubs baseball game at the legendary Wrigley Field. It’s everything I imagined a classic old American ball park to be. I can say with no exaggeration they don’t make ’em like that anymore. For the first three innings I was in baseball heaven, not because I’m a sports fan (I’m not…just ask my wife), but because I love classic Americana. I’m a sucker for Airstream campers, roadside attractions like giant dinosaurs, and now Wrigley field.

But, like I have recently mentioned, it ain’t no rain shelter. I know this first hand because during the third inning it rained. It was more than rain, actually. In some circles it might have been called a hurricane or typhoon. It rained sideways. Needless to say, no matter where you were sitting you were going to get wet.

As the rains came tumbling down, my buddy, Bart, and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and silently accepted the inevitable. Since this was my first time in Wrigley Field, I was willing to wait out a little rain delay. Bart is a lot more manly than I am so I don’t believe the rain even phased him. Plus, he had a hat.

15 minutes passed. I was damp. 20 minutes. I was getting wet, but mostly on one side. 25 minutes. Even my underwear was soaked. 30 minutes. I began to wonder how long till hypothermia would set in and I’d be so delirious that I would murder my friend and use him as a human blanket until the storm passed. For Bart’s safety I suggested that we take our leave.

We sloshed down the steps from our seats, I took one last long look at the tarp-covered field, then we turned the corner and made our way down the final few steps to the concession concourse.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” was my involuntary response to what I saw: thousands of mostly dry people.

You see, the concession area IS water proof, or as close to waterproof as that old stadium can be. It was dry, rain-free, and full of people who were smiling, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying their dryness. I may or may not have intentionally bumped into a few of the happiest looking ones to share some of my water with them.

We paused in the middle of the crowd to absorb some of their heat before dashing out into the rain again in search of a cab. Even if the game continued, they were going to have to do it with two empty seats in section 224. I’ve never enjoyed a hot, stuffy cab ride more, although I do feel a little bad for the innocent people who had to sit in that wet cab seat after us.

The point of sharing my cold, wet misery with you is to encourage you to not just sit there. When you’re uncomfortable, unhappy, or feeling like a victim (i.e., caught in a circumstance seemly beyond your control), MOVE. Get up and move, change where you’re sitting, pick a direction and go. Just sitting there waiting for the storm to pass is a great way to drown. I’d rather die trying, wouldn’t you?

We often don’t move because we’re afraid we’ll actually end up in a worse place. If this is your fear, I’ll just ask you, “How many times has that actually happened in your life, and how many times has it NOT?” I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that the NOT answer wins.

Is it a guarantee that you’ll find shelter or comfort or a better situation? Nope. Could it be safer for you to stay right where you are? Maybe, but in my experience that is the exception, not the rule. When you feel stuck, or trapped, or cold and wet, or desperate, or frustrated, or alone, or even completely powerless, get up and move.

Of course, I wish I had thought of this last night.

 

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