Mini-SAD and maxi-peace

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 4:50 PM | comments: 0

One of the biggest reasons I felt I had to move out of Cleveland was the seasonal affective disorder that I had living there. That last winter, 2012-2013, I just remember feeling like nothing about my mood was right. It took moving from Seattle, which has drizzly weather through much of the winter, but reasonably frequent peeks of sun and rich greenery, to make me see it. Cleveland can go for weeks where there is a flat gray sky and everything looks dead.

Central Florida doesn't have that problem, obviously, but it still has short days starting late in November, and the time change makes it completely worse. By the end of January, sunset is after 6 again and I notice it less. The difference is that I don't go into full on want-to-hibernate mode here, but I definitely don't feel as "up" as I do other parts of the year. I've learned that it's important to make sure I get out for lunch at least twice a week, and work on the patio if possible.

There's a glorious peace this time of year when I'm on the patio. Most of the year, there's a steady sound of air conditioners running. If it gets cold, you hear them then too, since in most cases they're heat pump systems (they pull energy out of the outside air and put it in your house). But when you get into that perfect place in the middle, it's quiet during the day. Kids are at school, the sky is blue, the wind gently taps the chimes and you can hear the Liberty Belle's whistle in the distance (and hopefully the trains again, soon). It's a pretty great feeling to just sit there and take in that feeling.

Environment matters so much to the way we exist. I'm still not really tied to the idea of home as a specific place, especially after all that moving, but being able to be in a place that gives you peace definitely improves your quality of life.


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