Secrets For A Happier Life March 12, 2014

Secrets For A Happier Life: Ideas, Inspiration & Practices

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Walking in the rain for  happiness



Michael D Selzer DDS


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“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet..”  


Happiness comes in drops   
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for happiness
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From nothing to


Rethinking memories March 12, 2014

 Dear Michael,   


The first experience I recall with this energy was in Public School 133 in Bellerose Queens,  New York City in 1956.  We had a 49 Pontiac that we got second hand from Tommy (Sam) Siegel whose son Arthur and I were really close playmates and long time friends. 

Anyway in the third grade I was in a school play “Oklahoma.”  I and either 3 or 7 others had the role or part of being the “Sunshine When It Shines Bright ” and we were to wear those old rubber heavy yellow rain jackets and pants and we were to line the back of the small stage or area as if we were the shining sun.  I mean it didn’t take much other than standing there sweating underneath the yellow tent of a raincoat. 

I invite you to continue reading below.


Michael Selzer DDS  

Quick Changes
I remember walking home from school in the rain.  It was just under a mile.  I know that for sure because Dennis Fromkis who lived just two short blocks away from me and further from the school would be picked up at his corner by the school bus every day.  Two short blocks that means 400 feet.  The long side of the blocks were 600 feet.  Everything was arranged in these rectangular grids the whole city I think.  Well at least this part.  So I lived 5,280 feet less 200 from the school.  Well that just under a mile as I said.


Anyway in the rain when walking home you would have thought that this monster of a raincoat, which I really hated to have to wear would keep me dry.  Nope it kept some of my clothes dry but not me and not even all of my clothes.  You see if you did not wear the pants which I absolutely refused to wear; there was really no point in wearing the jacket.  Its not that they made me look fat they just made me look stupid, 10 times more than the jacket.  


The jacket stopped just below the knee and the rubber was so heavy and water proof that all of the wet soaking rain would just run down the front, sides and back of the jacket and land on both legs, soaking deep down into my clothes starting just below the knee. So I did remain somewhat dry from the knees up; stay with me here.  At the top end nobody ever wore the hat, which I forgot to tell you was even more hideous than the yellow pants.  If you wore the hat and the jacket and the pants then not even the principal of the school could look at you without laughing.  There was one kid who did wear the whole thing he made Kramer (from Seinfeld) seem like a funeral director.


So without the hat the rain would first soak your hair and head and then slowly starting out as a slow drip run down the back of your neck and start to wet your collar.  Imagine your inside this rubber tent and starting to sweat from carrying the monstrous weight of it on your back along with your books that you are trying to hold underneath your armpit so they won’t get wet and now the water is dripping down your back.


In some places it starts to itch but there is no way you could possibly scratch anything.  So what do you do you walk faster to try to get home before you are completely soaked.  The only thing that does is make you sweat more.  Your right, more moisture underneath this yellow torture.


Small Moments Of Happiness

I guess I put up enough of a battle so that my mom did not make me wear the hat or the pants.  But for the longest time I had one more item of protective rain wear, that must have been invented by some sadistic mad scientist. They were called galoshes.  They were thin thick rubber covers that slipped over your shoes to keep them dry when you would walk in the rain or snow.  Well in the snow they were just fine as long as the snow was not more that an inch thick.  If the snow were thicker then as soon as the edge of the galosh got beneath the snow it just poured in over the edge to get in between your shoe and sock and then just what you would expect, the heat from your body would melt the snow and ….. back to the rain.


It didn’t take the heat of your body or anything else for the rain to come right in.  Don’t get me wrong this galoshes did keep the outside edge of the front tip of my shoes dry but as for me, as soon as enough rain soaked down my pants leg from coming off the bottom edge of the rain jacket it dropped down my soaking socks and into the inside of my shoes.  At the same time, water had gotten in between the inside of the galosh and the outside of my shoes so that with every step there was this sloshing squishing sliding squish as I continued to try to run home and keep some part of me dry.  Well it didn’t work.  By the time I got home I was completely soaked. So much for protective rain gear.   I walked in soaking wet dropped my raincoat and books on the floor and go to kiss my mother hello.  When she sees how wet I am she incredulously asks, “Why didn’t you wear your raincoat?  400 feet!  I could have been born Dennis Fromkis’ brother and taken a nice dry bus ride home.


So what’s this  all about anyway?  I was writing about being on the stage area in my lovely yellow sunshine simulation raincoat hat and pants no galoshes, it was supposed to be sunny.  I was fine at the rehearsals it was just us kids. But for the performance, right in the middle of it, I was doing my smiling sunshine glowing face that we were taught and I got stage fright or something.  Maybe it was the lingering memory of getting soaked in the rain or the weight of the rubber suit or its odor (they didn’t smell too good either) or the thought of all those parents teachers and even the principal who must be bursting with laughter on the inside or just plain stage fright. Maybe they were all laughing and having a good time and not being as serious as me in trying to do it right.  I don’t know I was only 9 years old.  Maybe the kid next to me farted and it smelled bad.  Who can remember back that far?    

A puppy’s perspective

My first performance and its not even a talking part. I was simply to just stand there and keep my eyes wide open and smile – be the sunshine – be happy.  Well I was for the first half and then this anxiety attack.  


It was like a bee flew in the open window and was dive bombing at my head and I could not move it.  I had to stand still and smile.  It seems funny now and it really did move me along the path to growing up.  I was able to immediately cross acting right off the list of what I wanted to be.  Maybe in some crazy cosmic scheme it was meant to give me all this material to write about.  You know I have always thought the fright was ” me”.  Maybe it was just the echo of the yellow raincoat and getting soaked walking in the rain.


What echoes do you recall?  Which ones are still lingering?  How can the echoes in the corners of your mind bring happiness?


Read newsletter February 17, 2011  Finding the edge of happiness

Secrets For A Happier Life 2-17-11


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