I am fortunate–well, some might say unlucky–to live in a place with sunshine about 286 days out of the year. Yes, it does get hot in the summer and we rarely get snow but the sunshine is abundant.
I wake up most mornings to a view like this. This was literally taken this morning as I started to write. Blue skies, sometimes a few wispy clouds, and the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains out my front window.
I grew up in Colorado where again, while there is snow, we rarely had a lot of dreary days. The only other places I lived were Germany when I was 8 and Flagstaff for college. Germany was dreary but I was a kid and it didn’t matter. It made my mom crazy and she hated it. Flagstaff is also very sunny even with the snowfall.
So, I had no way of really knowing that SAD affected me because I haven’t lived in places where it was an issue. One or two days of clouds and I’m tired of it here but it isn’t enough to affect my mental state.
And, then came Portland, Oregon. It really can be a beautiful place when the sun is out. Multnomah Falls are magnificent and there are so many fun things to do around the area. Family moved there in 2014 and the first trip was wonderful. Mid-September and lots of sun.
But, we had to go for an emergency trip in October of that year and then I met the other Portland. It rained for the entire four days we were there. It was cold and damp and I couldn’t drink enough tea to keep me warm. But, hey, it’s just one time, right?
Nope. We have been there probably ten times in the past few years. We have, to be fair, had a few trips where the weather was beautiful. Perfect temperatures and sun and ahhhh…
The others, though. Days of rain, drizzle and just clouds. Mount Hood wasn’t visible ever and there was not a bit of blue sky to be seen. To add insult to injury, Tucson keeps a relatively steady length of day between summer and winter. It doesn’t change more than a couple of hours.
Portland? Not so much. It’s dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. What is this foolishness? I am ready for bed at 7. And not ready to get up again until the sun is up around 8. I am moody and all I do is whine to Snake about how it is cloudy and grey and cold and dreary. About a year and a half ago we were there at Christmas for an intense ice storm. Our hotel windows were covered with two inches of ice for over two days. I couldn’t even see out.
So, yes, SAD is definitely a thing for me. I’m lucky to have minimal issues with it since I don’t live in that kind of climate–and believe me, Snake is so happy about it too. Because I guarantee that I would not be a pleasant person in an environment where the gas station attendant, no self serve pumps there, told us that it was a nice day outside, straight-faced, while there was nothing but grey. Why? It wasn’t raining.