It’s October 28th, three days from Halloween. The leaves are turning. The days are growing short. There is a chill in the air. I’ve put away the shorts and t-shirts. It’s long sleeves and jeans for a few months.

This is the time of year when I struggled in the past. I hate the cold. I live for the sun. So, I would fight the inevitable progression of autumn going into winter. I bought a SAD lamp, a lamp that I put on my desktop to trick my body into thinking there was more light than there was. I stayed up until my “normal” bedtime even though in the winter, my body was telling me to go to bed right after dinner.  I maintained my schedule and pace regardless of how I was feeling. I pushed my morning walks back to meet the later sunrise. When you fight what is, you suffer. I fought this time of year and the time of year always won.

A few years ago, I tried something different. I leaned into this time of year. I gave my SAD lamp away. I started going to bed earlier since the sun was going down so early. If I felt like sleeping in, I’d sleep in. I bought a headlamp so I could walk well before sunrise, instead of at sunrise. If I don’t get as much work done this time of year, I don’t feel guilty about it. This is the time of year when nature is slowing down. I can too. In fact, I think I’m supposed to.

Here’s what I’ve found. I enjoy the solitude of the early morning walks. I hardly see anyone on the road at 6:00 AM when sunrise isn’t for another two hours. I walk in dark silence for the first half hour or so, just me and my thoughts. I bundle up and the cold doesn’t bother me. I am back home before sunrise. The time changes next weekend. I’m going to miss the morning darkness.

Everything is a matter of perspective. The seasons haven’t changed. I still live in Ohio where the cold and dark days are just beginning. What’s changed is how I react to the seasons. By going with the flow, I find the winters are not as long or as miserable. In fact, there are some things about it I enjoy.

 

4 replies
  1. Galen Call
    Galen Call says:

    Brian this blog resonates! Your last paragraph written for me..Although where I live in central coastal California is not the cold experience, light and darkness ring in the same. Everything indeed is a matter of perspective and reading your discovery of enjoyment and flowing is music to my ears. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Brian Smith
      Brian Smith says:

      I think everything is a matter of how we choose to look at it, because everything contains “good” and “bad”. We tend to focus on the bad. It’s human nature and it’s evolutionary. But, it causes us unnecessary pain.

      Reply
  2. Irene Weinberg
    Irene Weinberg says:

    Hi Brian — Love your blog and interesting how perceptions can be so different. I had a very unhappy childhood in Miami. I lived in Miami (where I detested the heat and humidity) for 21 years till I “escaped” via marriage with my first husband. We moved North to the DC area and then to NJ. I LOVE the North and I adore fall. I love the colors, the cool air, the bugs disappearing, the approaching holidays and more. My husband Saul and I were skiers so fall always signaled that fun football season was here and ski season was on its way. And winter was a good reason to snuggle in front of an inviting fireplace! This exchange is the epitome of “Different strokes for different folks!” PS — Looking forward to seeing you in Arizona in August!!

    Reply
  3. Brian Smith
    Brian Smith says:

    I’ve always lived in the midwest and always dreamed of living someplace where it’s warm year-round and there is lots of sunshine.

    Reply

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