Seasonal Angst

After 40 years in Florida, I must admit that I’m not really accustomed to the changing seasons. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, the days get a lot shorter in the winter. I mean, a WHOLE lot shorter, as in 7 hours less daylight (as opposed to a 3 hour difference in the Sunshine State). And the weather turns to crap along with the drop in temperature. I had no idea how much these seasonal changes would impact me.

I’m much more aware of the passage of time here. In Florida, it felt like I was living the same day, over and over and over and over, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. But here there’s a distinct difference from one month to the next. This has its pros and cons.

As I watch the flowers bloom, then grow, then die, and the leaves change, I’m painfully aware of my own life cycle, and I feel like I’m wasting precious time alone. But I only say that because winter is coming, the days are shorter and wetter, and I feel like I am holding my breath beneath a thick grey blanket, with only my S.A.D light and my vitamin D to keep me company. I wonder if I’ll be able to hold my breath until spring. I have this irrational fear of what will happen if I don’t.

People seem to hibernate here when the weather turns cold. They seem to spend more time at home, socially isolated. That’s bad news for those of us who are already socially isolated. It just makes finding friends that much more difficult.

But oh, the joy when spring comes! It’s like a drug. Spring fever. I didn’t get that in Florida. It’s almost as though your bank of happiness here is more flush in spring and summer, and in the winter you are destitute. You get the same amount of emotional currency in Florida, but it is spread out evenly throughout the year.

In Florida the weather doesn’t make you feel poor, but you also don’t feel rich. I happen to like feeling rich, and I do seem to appreciate it all the more because I know it is cyclical. It’s a completely different kind of emotional roller coaster here, much more exciting and with a lot more variety, but it’s one I’ll have to get used to riding.

[Image credit:]
[Image credit:]

5 thoughts on “Seasonal Angst

  1. You’ve done a very good description of our regional psyche, with the extreme cycles of sunshine and rain! I was born here in Seattle and I do think it is part of who we are: the happy-dance of the summer months and the cocooning of winter. All the better to read books, brood, and write, until the next manic cycle of spring. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee-drinking! Ahhhhh….I am going back for another cup now.

  2. lyn sutton

    I actually know of someone in the Southern most part of California that needs a S,A.D. light by October each year. Can’t imagine what they’d be like in Washington.

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