Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life Without Summer is Just S.A.D.

I wonder why I have such difficulty enjoying fall and the changing of the seasons? I have several friends and some family who think that fall is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They tell me what they love about it--the beautiful tree colors, the cooler temperatures, Halloween and costume parties, apple and pumpkin picking--and I HEAR what they're saying. And yet, those good reasons still don't convince me to appreciate the fall season very much. I sometimes feel guilty about that.

In my mind, fall represents the end of everything I love about the outdoors--green leaves on the trees, boating, fishing, camping, swimming, gardening, being outside until 9:30 at night, having all the windows open in the house, etc. People are much more healthy and hardy in the summer months. Well, at least in Michigan they are. Colds and the flu are pretty much non-existent during the summer in our state. Life is just so much fuller and enjoyable during the summer months.

Tom always tells me he thinks I suffer terribly from S.A.D.--Seasonal Affective Disorder. And I know he's right. I truly do not appreciate, and have no use for, the weather during the months of October through April. I don't like the colder weather. I don't care for snow. I can't stand the thought of the upcoming cold/flu season. And I absolutely hate the constant darkness that is there both when I leave for work, and when I get off of work. There isn't a lot of sun in Michigan during fall and winter, and I'm a person that NEEDS sunshine in my life in order to function normally and be my usual, happy self.

My response to the non-summer seasons isn't great. I get depressed and in a funk. I have no desire to leave the house or really do much of anything. I don't enjoy life much during these months. I just grit my teeth and force myself to go through them. Even worse, I find myself actually getting pissed off and angry at the cold temperatures, snow and darkness, as if they're a person or something! LOL

The older I get, I feel compelled, almost determined at times, to find some way to be a snowbird, to live in Michigan during May - September, and then move to a warmer, sunny state during the rest of the year. So far, I haven't figured out a way to make this happen since Tom and I aren't of retirement age yet, and snowbirds require a consistent source of income. Our income comes from our jobs, and I don't know of too many jobs where you can live in Michigan during the warmer months, and then head to, say...sunny Arizona during the winter months. However, it is a really nice dream that is always in the back of my mind. Who knows? Some day, we might find a way to make this work!  :-)

In the meantime, let me apologize up front to my friends and family who enjoy fall, winter and spring. If I don't respond favorably or joyfully to your Facebook posts of "I just LOVE this cooler weather," please forgive me. It's not my fault. It's a psychological thing. It's the S.A.D. thing. But one day, I hope to be able to turn that into a G.L.A.D. thing!  :-)


  1. If I lived in Michigan, I would probably feel much the same! Your winters are brutal. Our summers down here in Tennessee can be quite oppressive, so that's why we celebrate when the oven is finally turned off. Once you reach retirement age, perhaps you can move to a warmer climate!

  2. I most definitely prefer summer over any other season but like you, we got to live here for now and deal with the changing seasons. I just try to make the best of it and enjoy snuggling under the covers at night (something I actually miss in the summer!) and enjoying hot chocolate and warm comfort food! The dark definitely gets to me though. Leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark! Gah! At least you have a window to look out of during the daylight hours! And this year you have Dante to enjoy! Oh and for the record, you do a good job of faking happiness in the winter because any time I see you you're your usual sunny self!

  3. I like fall sometimes, but it needs to last a very long time. If we move into winter right away and fall is short. I say that fall just announces the worse is about to come. I can enjoy one or two quite snowfalls in the winter but not the entire season of snow and more snow.

  4. I've only lived in the snowy weather when we were in Washington state, back in the stone age. I remember it fondly since I was a kid who didn't have to do much except enjoy the sledding. Real quick I'll tell you this: Our backyard had a "little slope". We laughed and laughed when we saw our mom trying to ski back there!! She kept falling on her butt, however when she came in the house we pretended we didn't see her. :)

    Can't imagine what ya'll go through, but I do hope that maybe this fall and winter won't be as bad as previous years.


  5. It is refreshing to read your post, as I know so many people who say this is their favorite time of year. It makes no sense to me at all. Yes, the colors can be beautiful - for perhaps two to four weeks - but eventually everything becomes brown and dies. This is not a happy thing. Winters in Iowa are probably much like those of Michigan and S.A.D. describes my response, both figuratively and literally. I begin counting the days til spring a little earlier each year.

  6. Hahahaaa....gads, I hate cold and nasty Winter weather...too!

  7. It helps if you can use one of those natural light bulbs--I have one in my Ott lamp that shines on me while I cross stitch, read or crochet. I have had S.A.D. for years--until I got that light--it seems to really help. Oh BTW--glad to see you back writing here!!