I wish you could see outside my window right now. Not all of the trees are bare yet. Orange and yellow leaves are hanging on for dear life as a light snow dances around them. Like maple leaf-shaped cookies dusted with powdered sugar. Something's not right: poor autumn couldn't figure out how to exit stage left so winter could make its grand entrance.
But wait, isn't the first day of winter like five weeks from now?
I never understood how profoundly the weather could affect me until we moved from California to Cleveland. When the human body has absorbed an overly-generous amount of sunshine over a period of years, even decades, and then moves to a part of the globe where snow and gray skies can linger for half the year, the results can be traumatizing. I never saw a doctor or got diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure last year's Polar Vortex gave me Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
I'm a California girl doing my best to thrive in Midwest conditions (well, I was born in Iowa and lived there for a decade so I should know how to survive a winter storm, right?). But even after almost two years here, some days are harder than others.
Today, I feel kind of blue.
Maybe it's because it's 31 degrees outside and the sun is nowhere to be seen. Maybe I'm just impatient and I want my dreams to materialize. Or maybe I just want a little bit of this right now:
Last summer, my cousin and I were talking about surviving bad weather. She mentioned her stepdad, who is from Norway (a country where its inhabitants endure long, dark winters and sometimes no sunshine for two months!). Norwegians arm themselves every year with a steady supply of cod liver oil, light boxes, exercise and fresh air, and plenty of positive attitude. When darkness falls, they embrace their cozy sweaters, hearty soups and lots of candlelight.
This year, I'm going to do the same.
How about you? Does the weather affect you, too? In what part of the world do you live and how do you cope? I would love to hear!
Illustration by Yours Truly.
How Norwegians survive dark winters. (My Little Norway)