Mental Health Monday, What I Mean When I Say

“I Love Summer”

Wait, wait. Didn’t I make a post about how I love winter? How can I love winter and also love summer?

It’s not that big of a surprise, but I don’t really have a favorite season as I mentioned in the other article. But my love of summer is a little different than my love of winter.

I love winter. I love the snow, the cold. I love how quiet and empty everything is. I really do love winter. But for a small amount of time. A few weeks, a month of that is a thrill. It’s absolutely amazing when all you have to do is play in it, run in it, or sit inside and have some cocoa.

But sitting through seven months of cold and ice is awful.

I resisted thinking that I loved summer for a very long time because I didn’t want to fit in and I knew I already loved winter. So how could I love both?

But like I said, sitting through seven months of cloudy days, having snow into April and May, dealing with freezing rain more than just once a season (more like twenty times), and experiencing -50 windchill and -20 something air temp really changed my mind.

I love summer and I still love winter.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My main deal is that I love the sun. I don’t like sitting out and baking in it. I don’t like tanning or getting burned. But I love the sun. I love being in a place where I know that I will see the sun 4/7 days of the week. At least.

And I’m not just talking about perfectly clear, blue skies. I’m talking about knowing the sun even exists.

How many days of sunshine with less than 30% of cloud cover does Chicago see, you ask? 84.

Ouch.

That’s an awfully low number. A lot of that comes from our winters and springs, and falls. But it takes a huge toll. I love winter but I also love sun and if I were to travel to a place, let’s say I’m going to the winter, I’d be able to pick a place that had some sun after a snowstorm and not seven months of darkness. Seeing sunlight shouldn’t feel like a treat. It shouldn’t feel like a breath of fresh air and also like it’s going to vanish later in the day.

Which brings me to my recent realization.

Wow, I love summer.

I love not being freezing or fearing that if my car breaks down I’ll die. I love seeing the sun. I love seeing the sun. I love rain and wind, and post-thunderstorm sunshine. And, I like being warm. I used to think I liked being cold, and I do but to a degree.

When I say I love summer, I’m not saying that I hate fall, winter, and spring. I’m not saying that I hate cold weather. I’m not saying that I love humidity and wish I could live in a desert or in a place that experiences no real temperature change. This is important to consider not just in the scope of a little thing like what I like from a climate. Just because some asserts they like one thing doesn’t mean they hate another thing.

We are complex animals with complex thoughts, likes and dislikes, and habits. Just something to keep in mind.

So, back to the topic. I like summer.

As much as the starkness of winter appeals to me, the life of summer is what keeps me going. I can enjoy that starkness for awhile but at the end of the day, I need to be somewhere in the world where there is always life around me.

Living in Chicago doesn’t offer that.

It offers a stark landscape most of the time. It’s May now and half of the trees are just starting to get their leaves. Which are going to go away in four months. More than half of the time here the world around me isn’t full of life.

And that’s what I’m really looking for.

Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

I like to be surrounded by life. I love the sun. And more importantly, my body does too. To stave off depression, to be relaxed and happy, and honestly to have happier joints, my body practically demands a drier, warmer climate.

I love that summer can offer that. And I love what summer means. But more moderate climate doesn’t mean I hate cold like I’ve already said a million times in this post. I still love what winter is and I love it very passionately for a few weeks. But the cons of living in harsh winters outweigh its beauty to me.

But I still need seasons. I need a time where the weather cools off. I need a time when I throw on a cardigan. Maybe not ten layers and two hats, but something extra because it’s chilly.

The final thing I love about summer is the challenge it brings me.

Working out and running outside in the winter is certainly a challenge, but more of a mental one than a physical one. Because there is still a huge danger to running on ice and in snow, you have to slow down and no matter what you do or how you prepare, your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons all tighten up over the course of your run.

And that can lead to big time injury.

Running in the summer, morning or night or day means eliminating that risk. Things stay warmer. Everything moves better. And on warm days things loosen up pre-run. How’s that for great?

Of course there are challenges. But I love working out in the summer just like I love working out in winter. The difference? My body loves summer too.

The point of this article isn’t to explain to everyone that I can love both summer and winter. It’s to encourage you all to give yourself space to love whatever you want even if they are polar opposites. Listen to your body, listen to your brain, and don’t put so much thought into the enjoyment of something.

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