Reverse Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder? Well, first of all, I wasn't really joking, and second of all, it turns out there really is such a thing. I found that out when a stranger left a comment on that post a few months after I wrote it, telling me so.
I was simultaneously relieved and alarmed by this knowledge. It was all well and good to make light of the fact that I felt wilted and desiccated during the spring and summer months in Tucson. But it was unnerving to realize that not only is there a name for what I was experiencing, there are other people who have the same problem. I mean, enough people casually or emphatically agreed with me in the comments section of that post, but in the real world there is a website and a support group and a New York Times article and everything.
So if we accept that Summer SAD is a real thing, and that I have it, at least to some degree, how am I doing now that we live in Ithaca? I'm sure there are plenty of you sitting pretty in Tucson, biding your time, twiddling your fingers like Mr. Burns, just waiting for me to start wailing about the bleak weather here.
Well, you probably shouldn't hold your breath. In many ways, I feel like a whole new person, for reasons that cannot be attributed to other life changes like Jeremy's job or Miriam starting preschool. I started noticing it a few weeks after we moved here: I had more energy. I enjoyed having the windows and blinds open so I could see the outdoors, instead of closing them to block out the sun. I started running more, and running faster, and getting more enjoyment out of it. When I was outside, I often found myself pausing to soak up and appreciate the beauty and green and life-sustaining surroundings. This recharged me.
Another thing that has brought me some unexpected joy is the weather forecast. Yes, the weather forecast. I never had to use one in Tucson. Why would I have needed to? The little weather picture was always a huge blazing yellow sun ball with a way-too-high temperature listed below it. Now, on the rare occasion that Ithaca's forecast pictures a sun in a blue sky, I find I appreciate it more because it's not always around, shining in my eyes and sucking the energy from me. It's tempered and more distant, somehow, a kinder, gentler sun than the one I knew in Tucson.
I know I haven't been through an Ithaca winter yet, and yes, it was kind of a pain (and kind of expensive) to outfit our kids with all the necessary snow gear that they will need before too long, but I think it's safe to say that I am no longer suffering from Summer SAD.
Aaaaaaaaand I just realized that this post probably sounds a little crazy. Sorry about that, but I'm being completely honest. I know it is strange to not like the sun shining on you all the time. But perhaps this post will make a little sense to someone out there