Today is a gray, rainy day in Northern New Mexico. I expect the sun to peek out later in the afternoon; it seems, she always makes an appearance once a day. Living here, the sun has taken a primary place in my life.
My Friend the Sun
The sun is my loyal friend. I rely on her to lift my mood, greet me early through my bedroom window, and tell me “time to get up; no more lazing around!” Today I have to motivate myself to do something with my day. Living the life of a retiree, it’s easy to slip into puttering around the house, ordering things that don’t need ordering, scrolling social media and news for a dopamine drip, streaming and listening to my favorite radio station 1800 miles away. Yes, there’s local culture, but technology has given me regular, reliable access to friends across the world, access to world renowned programming for entertainment and news. A high-tech shopping industry and UPS or FedEx delivery energy bunnies deliver products I can’t get in this remote part of New Mexico.It doesn’t matter anymore where you live, products you want are available.
What we can and can't control
Except the weather. The weather still has autonomy. Corporate greed doesn’t control it, the privileged can’t shun the weather. Yes, if you can afford it, you can move to a mild climate where housing is expensive and gated communities offer safety from the less privileged. But, the weather isn’t what it used to be. For the last 50 years, we’ve sent so many CFT’s and CO2 into the atmosphere that things are changing. Weather doesn’t care, it does what it must as temperatures rise in the oceans, causing winds to gather unparalleled strength as we just saw in Florida, bringing unexpected moisture even to this high desert land. We know that hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and flooding do not care if you’re rich and privileged, or poor and living marginally. Weather is the great equalizer.
The sunny side of the weather and I have become fast friends. In midlife, I discovered that my moods in winter had a name: Seasonal Affect Disorder or SAD syndrome. I learned that sun exposure made me a happier, more energetic person. I seek the sun and she gives me jolts of happiness as I walk in the outdoors and receive her gift.
Creating a day
Today I am in charge of my mood. My healthy body had to answer the call of nature and got me out of bed in the grey morning. My long-time daily meditation practice routine put me on my cushion; while I worked on focusing, my mood lifted while I emptied my mind. A cup of black tea followed; it gave me energy for puttering. I fixed the heater in my workout room (it just took new batteries to get things going!). Happy with my success I did a strength-workout while streaming news from afar. Social media check afterward sent me friendly comments from Facebook friends. While it was still raining, I grabbed a ripe avocado and made avocado toast for breakfast, feeling very California “hip” and satisfied. I want to write, was my next thought. The season is changing, my writing season is here.
My New Season
Writing makes me happy. Like hiking and climbing mountains, writing is type2 fun. You must effort, overcome frustration, admit mistakes, re-do, until you stand on top of the mountain, or the skyline view, a glittering lake, a splash of golden Aspen awe you. You rejoice and feel good in your body. Writing does the same thing for me. I reach deep inside instead of outside. I discover, I am renewed after spending time in a state of “flow”. Flow is a measurable dopamine experience in the brain.
So here is my morning blog for you, my reader. I hope you will take charge of your mood, find what gives you energy, makes you happy. I can see snow on top of Mt Wheeler where I climbed last weekend! The grey sky to the east is getting lighter, the rain has slowed to a drip. The sun is burning the clouds that hang over the Pecoris mountains. I bet she’ll show her face soon. An energizer FedEx angel just delivered and helped carry my new, heavy, adjustable craft/sewing/painting table in the box into my studio, so I can put it together. More creativity awaits! Autumn and winter can come. I’m ready to switch between sunny and grey days and keep my mood from plummeting.