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Sunshine In My Pocket On A Rainy Day

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Write Your Story Series

Have you ever heard that song by Karen Carpenter titled “Rainy Days On Mondays Always Get Me Down?". Isn’t that how we are prone to view a rainy day? Depressing? Just like the way Karen Carpenter sang it, right?

“Depressing Always getting me down Nothing to do but frown

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down”

Last week I got some pretty good news of which I will share in a bit. I received the news on the 1st day of rain of the season last week. All day long, I kept hearing the tune of a different song instead:

“I’ve got that sunshine in my pocket Got that good soul in my feet I’ve got this feeling in my bones It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on …”

~ "Can't Stop The Feeling" By: Justin Timberlake ~

Why can’t we have sunshine on a cloudy, rainy day?

I mean, even the stars in the sky shine in darkness providing a glimpse of light to the lost seeker of the unknown.

In fact, as I sit here writing in the dark in the wee hours of the morning, I am inspired by the glimpse of light on my laptop as it provides the gateway to my thoughts and words. My mind is more creative in the dark.

Rainy days, how beautiful they are, the smell of fresh air can be exhilarating.

Last night I was at a benefit for 10,000 Degrees and it was pouring down rain. After months of drought, I didn’t hear one complaint about the rain as I worked the crowd. Instead I heard “Rain is a blessing! Let it rain! Let it pour!”

During the time of drought, we saw the effects of no rain and if you were like me, you yearned for the days when it poured because rain also gives life.

Rain Is A Lifegiver

How many of you ever thought of that before? Rain as a lifegiver? It is an essential element to our survival. Without it we have no crops to grow, no food to eat, no water to drink.

Without it we can’t exist.

Any being that has life cannot exist without those “Rainy Days On Mondays”

Rain nurtures. It allows seeds to grow into beautiful blossoms. Kind of like me and you. We need water to nurture our bodies, allowing us to breath life, therefore we need the rain.

During this fall season, rain can give us a new start, a fresh perspective, comfort, getting cozy, hot chocolate, fireplace, Pho! (Vietnamese Soup), mmm… and my favorite- Pumpkin Spice Latte plus many more things. How about running in the rain? or Dancing?

Gene Kelly captured the essence of rain as he sang and danced in the streets in the movie “Singing In The Rain”. I love that movie, he looked so free and happy!

Me on the right striking my Gene Kelly pose while singing and dancing in the Vancouver rain.
Me on the right striking my Gene Kelly pose while singing and dancing in the Vancouver rain.

"I'm singin' in the rain, just singin' in the rain

What a glorious feeling I'm happy again

I’m laughing at clouds so dark above

The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.

Let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place

Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face

I'll walk down the lane with a happy refrain

And singin' just singin' in the rain...” he sang gleefully.

Wow. You mean, I don’t have to look at rainy days as a depressing prohibitor that forces me to be kept indoors and be in a state of glum?

I love the words to those lyrics. This movie always stood out to me when I was a little girl, it was one of my grandmother’s favorites as she would sing this song to me when I pouted that I couldn’t go and play outside because of the rain. When I was in Vancouver a few years back, it was raining, I saw a light pole and just had to bust out with a Gene Kelly move – how fun that was!

Pockets – Holders Of Sacred Mementos

We usually place things in our pockets that we value in some sort way. Something that we want to save for later because we just might need to pull it out when needed.

For me, I always try to keep a pocket full of sunshine so I can pull it out on a rainy day and chase the storms away.

What many of you don’t know is that I have been sick for a little over a year. I was in the hospital for 7 days a few months back. No need to worry. I’m fine, but now that I am better, I feel that it’s time to talk about my battle with that sunshine in my pocket that I’ve held onto for so long.

I didn’t share my illness with hardly anyone. No FB posts, etc. “Why didn’t you tell me Jenny?” The plain truth, I was sick. My energy levels only allowed my eyes to open in spurts as my spirit longed to jump out and do something spontaneous instead of being refrained by my illness.

As my Facebook popped up this week with memories of last year, I was reminded on what my intentions were a year ago as I started a weekly blog. You know FB has a funny way of reminding you of ventures you once started. In my last blog, I talked a lot about inspiration, I actually had written more material for future blogs that I intended to do a series on. I had all this inspiration inside (i.e. that sunshine in my pocket) that was so hard to contain that I couldn’t help but to pull it out and share it with the world.

Funny, that I left off writing about inspiration because as time went on and I got sicker, that inspiration/sunshine slowly started to battle with my illness and it went back deep into my pocket burning so feverishly inside.

Looking back now, it’s been over a year when it all began. I knew that something was wrong, but I was in denial half the time thinking that it was something minor, even dubbing myself as “lazy”. The other half of the time, I spent quite a bit of money on doctors, homeopathic physicians, tests, etc., trying to figure out what was going on with me and doing my best with the phony weapon of denial fighting the fear that was creeping up inside.

Sometimes you just feel exhausted from it all. Tired of all the doctor visits. Tired of literally having no energy. Tired of sleeping your weekend away. Tired of the fear of the unknown – Am I going to die? Tired of being tired. Tired of sleeping because no matter how hard you fight, your body just shuts down without permission. The battle gets lost when your vigorous mind decides to give in an join “nap time” and all your left with is appreciating how much rest your getting when you get to sleep all day and night

No need for sympathy. I got that sunshine in my pocket.

I know I’m lucky. I’m alive. That’s what several of my doctors told me. They said that I went to the Emergency Room just in time. It took a few of them to tell me that during week and thereafter of how serious my situation was. After a few MRI’s, tests, poking and prodding, that the message slowly got drilled into my stubborn head. To those who never gave up on me, I am forever grateful.

My almost fatal incident happened while I was on a cruise to Ensenada. Deep down I knew I probably shouldn’t have gone on that trip, but I was determined because somewhere inside of me, I thought it could be my last one. Everything that let up to this event provided distinctive signs that something was seriously wrong.

"I was fine on the cruise, maybe I had too much fun and that’s why I don’t feel good?" I cleverly thought to myself. Again, I allowed denial to kick in, there were times on the cruise that I wasn’t fine. In fact, my massage therapist noticed a few things too. I coughed it up as really nothing, because I didn’t want anything to get in the way of me living my life, I had that sunshine in my pocket and didn’t want it to go away ….

Little did I know that life was slipping away before me and that my desire for life was preventing me from living it.

My friends noticed something was wrong when I suddenly broke out in a sweat the day we arrived back in the U.S. into the Port Of Long Beach. I can look back and laugh now seeing how much I frustrated them with my stubbornness saying “Oh, I’m just fine. I need to lay down for a bit and drink my coconut milk and have some ginger, that will make me feel better. Seriously, all I need is my coconut milk.” I said with a ring of irritation in my voice as I realized that I was unable to convince them.

My friends were patient, yet concerned as I began sweating feverishly walking out of customs. I eventually found a spot on a cement bench at the Port of Long Beach to lay down on and rub my stomach because I believed I ate something bad that resulted in minor a muscle spasm.

I sounded like the father in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” who believed that Windex can cure anything.

For me, my Windex was coconut milk. Ha! I even drove my car to our hotel from the port! Better yet, I was so determined to drive back home the next day from Long Beach, but the 2 to 1 vote didn’t allow me to have my way. Gotta be thankful for friends who tell you how it is and who don’t let you stray away from reality for too long.

Why did I respond that way? Because I had that sunshine in my pocket and I didn’t believe sunshine and rain should co-exist.

The honest truth is that it took me a few days after arriving back home from vacation being in extreme pain and not eating that I actually went to the emergency room. “Ahhh, it’s just something I ate on the cruise” I told myself in utter denial. In fact, I went to Urgent Care first thinking I just needed a prescription and within a few seconds, I was told they were going to call the ambulance to take me in. Even then, I insisted that my mother drive me. Yes, I know, I know.

When my Urgent Care doctor came in and barely touched me, that’s when I finally cried without stopping, letting all my fear out that I suppressed for so long. I couldn’t gain peace during my time of uncertainty if I didn’t cry. The rain had come down pouring and I needed to deal with it like it or not.

My tears allowed me to grab hold of that sunshine buried deep in my pocket. I held onto it so tight well into the night.

It was almost midnight and my family had left the hospital when I was told that I needed to take a second MRI. I knew that something was quite serious, yet I laid in the hospital bed in disbelief as a slow measure of peace surrounded me to accept whatever was to come. I honestly didn’t think that I was going to leave that place being ok. I thought that I was going to receive bad news as I laid awake in pain, alone in my room crying and doing my best to be strong, I was ready to say good-bye. My rain had turned into a blazing storm, but the sunshine in my pocket was burning with peace knowing that whatever the outcome was going to be, I was determined that the smile on my face would not leave. Ever. Even through my tears, even in my rain, most of all through MY storm.

Nurses are great. That’s all I have to say. The nurses in ER made sure I laughed seeing through my broken spirit, bypassing any walls I built to cope. Yet, through it all I had peace.

The next day, they moved me to acute services. It was summer, so the sun was shining bright and I had a wonderful view of the Sonoma County mountains. Maybe it was the sunshine outside and my pain killers that made me think I was back to normal again. That within a day I could resume my normal activities especially those ones that have been missing from my life for months.

“Ya, ya, ya, ya … when can I get out of the hospital so I can go back to doing all the things I use to do before this happened? I miss my trail runs!” my stubborn self would ask pretending that I was ok. Was this little Busy Bee wrong on every level, much to my dismay, leaving the next day was not an option they gave me.

“Ms. Chamberlain” my nurse walked in catching me curled up in a ball of pain about to voice her concern.


“What’s your pain level?”

“ahhh… um… I could handle it.. maybe a 7” I said straightening up my body in bed telling myself that I shouldn’t really complain “It feels like a 10”, I thought “but I know others have more pain than I, so I am not going to complain” – Who the heck was I really trying to convince that this train of thought was ok? Me?

“Ms. Chamberlain, if you are in pain, you need to let me know so that I can take care of you. If you continue to stay on a high level of pain and not let me know, it will make your recovery a lot slower. You need to let us take care of you.” my nurse answered with compassion recognizing that I needed to be truthful to myself before I was able to be truthful to her.

Take care of you. Take care of me. High level of pain = slow recovery. Eye opening words.

Then I heard this inner voice tell me:

“Acknowledge your pain. Feel your pain. Own your pain”.

But, but, I’ve got that sunshine in my pocket!!! It doesn’t allow pain! Rainy days are not allowed!!!

I then realized that it was the sunshine that I was holding onto so tight that represented my hope, my peace, my comfort, that it was that same sunshine that begged me to hold onto my truth.

I had to acknowledge my pain in order to let go of it. That was my truth. I had to acknowledge the fact that my unknown was my “known”. I was sick, I had been sick for a while. I was in the hospital and I needed to rest. They found the problem, but my diagnosis as to what caused the problem was the only unknown. And yes, that was scary.

My truth set me free.

Last night I danced. The rain was pouring down outside and I loved it. It was the first time in over a year that I danced without forcing it. Without me going onto the dance floor pretending to myself and my friends that I was okay. I actually smiled and didn’t have to think of an excuse why I would rather sit and watch than dance. The excuse of “I’m not in the mood” was becoming a downer that I didn’t want to know and now, here I was urging my friends onto the dance floor. I wore a dress with pockets.

Last night was for real. I felt alive and vibrant again. As soon as I heard the music I couldn’t contain myself. The sunshine wasn’t just in my pocket, it overflowed into my heart and my soul as I became one with the music that allowed me to be free. It felt so good to have part of me back again.

"Hello Jenny, I’ve missed you. How have you been?

It’s good to see you back. Hey, what’s that burning feeling in my pocket? Is that Justin Timberlake singing my fav song “Can't Stop The Feeling"? They’re playing my jam! Man, it’s totally over, I’m down. Done deal."

Shoosh, don’t tell anyone, I was one of the last people to leave the dance floor. I was out there with the 10,000 degrees students who remained dancing along my friend Ariana, we made plans to go salsa dancing in the city after the elections. Hoorah!

Oh, ya, thank God for the rain. Thank God for the storms.

Let it rain, let it pour.

I wanna be a rainmaker whose pockets are full of sunshine.

I wanna run in the rain.

I wanna be like Gene Kelly and

dance in the rain. ..

sing in the rain…

and love in the rain…

I want to be free in the rain and embrace it without inhibition…

Most of all, I will no longer argue with the sunshine when it insists that it needs the rain, that I need the rain. They make a beautiful pair, the sunshine and rain. I guess opposites really do attract and can co-exist in harmony.

The reality is that one can’t live without the other. If it was only the sun that showed itself to the earth what a desolate place this would be. If it is only the rain that was present in our lives then the commodity that we depend on would wipe us out in one huge wave.

The sun and the rain need each other to bring balance to the world. Flowers need both sun and the rain to grow. The same with our lives. I can’t imagine my life without the rain and of course, I am always holding that sunshine in my pocket ….

What is your truth?

What “known’s” do you have in your unknown?

Is that sunshine in your pocket burning to come out?

Is that rainy day waiting for you?

BTW, I am doing better now – I am choosing not to share my diagnosis, just my experience. But, if I were to see you in person, I’d probably tell but do know I am okay. My pockets are actually heavier now, because I carry both the sunshine and the rain and they have been good to me.


My girlfriends and I on our 2015 Ensenada Cruise – Yes, I did have fun!!

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