Jack, Molly, and I have gone south for a few weeks to escape the cold weather in our New England home. The weather where we are now is glorious, sunny, and 75 to 85 degrees every day.
Because we travel with Molly, our dog, and we don’t want to put her in with the baggage if we fly, we always drive to our destination. One of the things I noticed was that the further South we got, the better my mood.Mile by mile. As the weather improved, my whole outlook improved. It wasn’t a small change, either. It was practically exponential.
Not that the weather at home was awful. A little chilly. A little rain every few days. Nothing like a normal New England winter. And it’s not even like I leave the house all that much when we are home. As I’ve written before, I’m at my desk between eight and eight-thirty every morning. I take a break to walk Molly mid-morning, and I take a break for lunch. Both are short breaks. I work straight through to around 4:30. Every day, including weekends. A little less on holidays, but I still get in a couple of hours of desk time.
The point is, I don’t have time to let the weather affect me. And I’m not out in it enough for the cold to get its icy fingers on me anyway.
Now here I am in this warm, sunny climate, and I keep to almost the same schedule as I do at home. Maybe I’m a little later to my desk. Maybe I take a little longer walk with Molly, and maybe I knock off a little earlier. But essentially, I am inside, working, for the bulk of the day.
So why does the change in weather affect my mood so drastically?
Do you find that your mood changes with the seasons, or with the weather day to today? And do you have a favorite type of weather? Some people like cold, and some people like heat. Which do you prefer?
Sharon Ward is the author of the traditional mysteries In Deep, Sunken Death, Dark Tide, and Killer Storm, all part of the Fin Fleming Scuba Diving series. Hidden Depths, the next book in the series, will be out in spring, 2023.
Like you Sharon, I rarely go out these days. I don’t even have a dog to force me out so other than occasionally running (I exaggerate) across the street to the market, I’m inside at my desk.
And like you, I feel energized, more alert, on sunny days, even cold sunny days, than I do on rainy or cloudy days. Enjoy Florida.
I had heat strike twice before I was 21 years old when living in California. Heat will kill me so I live in Alaska.
Dark and cold is oppressive so I endeavor to learn something new every winter. If I can’t have sunlight, I can get bursts from all those synapses sparking.
I do find I feel better if I go outside for a walk when it is light when it’s not too icy. I have Icebugs and walking sticks but still not as intrepid as I once was. And there you have it.
We live in NC after moving from Long Island 27 yrs ago. I appreciate the long spring, even though it’s rainy, and especially the long fall. I confess I THINK I miss a bit of snow, which we rarely get here in the east. And yet I see photos from my northern friends, and hear reports of arctic chill temps, that wistfulness gives way to reality. The last time we visited our MN in winter, my arthritic joints ached horribly , I coughed every time I went outside with my lungs protesting the cold air, and my eyelashes stuck together while my nose hairs froze! Now we visit them in the spring…
Glad you made it south!
I’m with Keenan. Heat will kill me. But enjoy your happy place, Sharon!
Everybody knows that January – April lasts about eight months in the Northeast. I’m hunkering down and grateful for being able to work from my office wearing my fleece and padded booties. I like Florida a lot too, though I think I’d get overwhelmed by the heat in the summer. I’m not sure when I write more. In the summer I write outdoors, but in the winter I have mood lighting and candles. Snow makes me happy, though a big part of it is that I do work from home and I don’t have to drive in it. I like looking at it and trudging through it. And I like coming to a home with heat and electricity :-).
Enjoy your bit of summer Sharon!
I definitely find weather affects my writing. I am most productive and creative in overcast murky weather. The more precipitation the better. I am distracted and tempted by sunlight. Good thing I live on outer Cape Cod where I get lots of temperamental weather.
I like to take walks before I write, or after, and if the weather’s bad and I can’t walk, it definitely affects me. Beyond that, I’m okay with whatever the weather’s doing. Though it was startling the other night when I saw things go flying by. A little too windy.