Losing Sunlight

The sun is shining somewhere…

At this time of year in Seattle, the sun sets around 4:30 pm. I never thought I’d experience that. In Florida, there’s only two hours difference in the day length from summer to winter. So this radical change feels really, really weird to me.

I never realized how much sunlight affects me on so many levels. I seem to go into a low energy mode the minute darkness sets in. I’m less productive, less upbeat. The sky seems closer to the ground somehow. The air feels more dense and harder to pass through. Everything takes more strength.

I also feel as though I’m running late all the time. Usually I have my daily blog written each day before dark. Now… not so much. Even though I haven’t changed my routine, this feeling makes me anxious.

If I could figure out how the bills would get paid, I swear I’d hibernate like a bear from November through February. Burrow into a mound of blankets and just sleep. If it weren’t for my SAD light, I’d probably cease to function entirely.

But then I’d miss cuddling in front of the fire, and decorating the Christmas tree, and wearing fuzzy boots and diving into a nice hot bowl of Pho. So I guess I’ll just have to make the effort. Life does go on, and the sun is shining somewhere, after all.

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Hey! Look what I wrote! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5


Beauty in the Gray

It’s another rainy Seattle day. Just as it was yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. You don’t realize how much you thrive on sunlight until it’s taken from you.

I’ve only lived in the Pacific Northwest for a little over a year, but I’m already sensing a pattern. This time of the year, it would be quite easy to burrow beneath a heavy woolen blanket of gloom. Hibernate until Spring.

“How do you stand it, year after year?” I asked a friend.

“You have to find the beauty in the gray,” he said.

And it may take some effort, but there is beauty in it. For one thing, because it’s so gray, when you see other colors they seem unbelievably vivid. Even the red of a stop sign becomes beautiful.

You also get the feeling from all this rain that everything is cleaner, and greener, and thriving. Life, nature, is all around you. Even in this big city, you feel as though the air you are breathing is somehow better for you.

Also, the fact that it’s raw and wet outside gives you an excellent excuse to snuggle up with someone. (Yeah, right. As if I need an excuse.)

And just as other colors become vivid, other seasons become vivid as well. Summer here is glorious. You find it impossible to wipe the smile off your face. You appreciate everything so much more because you know that you’ll only have it for so long. You take nothing for granted.

Maybe we need to look at life, in general, this way. You only get so much of it. Savor it. If that’s the lesson in the gray, then it’s a true gift, indeed.

See what I mean about vivid colors? [Image credit: dazzlingplaces.com]
See what I mean about vivid colors?
[Image credit: dazzlingplaces.com]

Hold on to your Highest Point

I’m having a really, really bad few days. They come, they go. The older you get, the more you realize it’s not the end of the world. The pendulum always swings back the other direction eventually.

So, on days like this, when my boss shows his true a**hole colors, the man in my life has no concept of the term emotional support, the dogs are misbehaving, I’m sliding closer and closer to the abyss of homelessness and my landlord doesn’t seem to want me to live where I live anymore, I think of my highest point, and hold on to it as tightly as I can. That’s what I recommend for everyone.

I’m particularly lucky in that I happen to have one of my highest points on film.


That’s me, in San Marco Square in Venice, Italy, 2006. It took me years of sacrifice and determination to get there, and yet there I stand, about to be pooped on by pigeons, despite all financial odds. I made that happen. No one helped. And no one can take that from me.

When you are standing in a dark valley of despair, it’s nice to be able to look up at a high pinnacle, illuminated by sunlight, and see yourself standing there as well.