Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunshine & Positive Emotion

My mood has been much improved lately. Spring has finally decided to arrive for real, so it has been sunny, warmer and my windows have been open during the day! We haven't really had to run the furnace for several weeks, with the exception of a few mornings.

People seem to think I'm just overly dramatic when I say I can't stand the long dreary winter. They seem to think that I choose to feel awful, that somehow I could just choose to accept it and get over my issues. These comments usually always hurt. Do they really think I want to feel that way?

And every year, I remember that it is a really quick switch between feeling good and feeling bad. If the weather is good, I feel good. If it is bad, I feel bad. Some people might enjoy the darkness of winter, the dreariness, the lack of color. I can find a short period of this weather can be pretty and interesting, photographically at least. But personally, I feel like all the life and energy has been sufficiently sucked right out of me when the colors out the window are all of one shade/palette. I'm sorry, gray white and black is not good enough for me.

I've always been the kind of person who thought families should be close, both in distance and in relationship. However, I'm starting to think that, if given the opportunity, I would move farther away, if only for the sake of my mental health. No, I don't think moving would make my whole world perfect, but I'm starting to see the benefit in living somewhere that winter isn't holding me captive for 6+ months out of the year. SAD is a real disorder, a real set of feelings, a real state of being. I survive it, but it severely affects my feelings starting near the end of summer through snow flying. I get anxious, restless, and nervous because I know what's coming. The worst part is not knowing when it will end. While the general feeling nation wide is that spring begins in March, some years spring doesn't even begin to touch our area until mid-May. We still had frozen solid lakes on fishing opener (typically the same weekend as Mother's Day). Though that doesn't happen every year, it isn't unusual or rare. Think about it: No shorts, tshirts, open windows, warm sunlight or breezes until nearly Memorial Day. 

Sunshine makes me feel good. I don't even have to actually be out IN the sunshine (I don't like sunburn, and I don't like applying sunscreen either). It just has to be sunny. That's all it takes. 

If you watch movies and tv, you'll notice they take advantage of this kind of thing in their production. Happy movies are colorful, bright and sunny. Suspenseful or scary movies are darker, more shades of gray and black, and take place at night, in the rain, or whatever. Even the happy movies usually have sad moments, and what do they do? They make it rain. Certain animated characters come in certain colors for a reason. Usually the good guys are light blues, calm browns, greens and whatnot. The enemies are dark reds, blacks, and that kind of thing. Look at Alladin. Jasmine in her pretty blue outfit, Jafar in his red and black. The Little Mermaid: Ariel has her purple and blue and happy red, Ursula has dark red and black.

It is so totally obvious. You watch movies now with that kind of viewpoint.

Then you tell me that somehow I'm supposed to choose to feel positive in a completely negative environment. Maybe you're better at reading those environments than I am, maybe you're better at ignoring the obvious connections. I seem to be more distinctly aware of them, and it directly affects me. I am not alone in this, I've talked to others who have the same feeling. Winter kills us, and through no choice of our own.

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