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Thursday, August 29

Hot + Cold

This summer has been so kind to us--not too much of anything really.  We've had short stints of hot and humid, but nothing like some of the recent summers that heated up to 90 degrees in May and cooled down to the fall temps overnight in mid or late September.  Instead, we've had fluctuations of seasonal temps, rain, sun, etc.  And yet, I have caught myself in this latest stretch of humidity, wishing and pining for the cooler air.  I'm convinced some days that I was really made for Alaska...or Antarctica or something because it doesn't take much heat to completely spoil my fun.

I wake up early each morning to leave myself plenty of time to take a stroll with Tucker through the quiet streets of the neighborhood and also have the sacred cup of coffee to ease into the day.  Given how early I rise, I've been repeatedly shocked this week when I step outside and literally feel like I must swim through the air, or peel it back, in order to walk.  Morning is meant to be fresh and crisp and invigorating.  This week, there will be no such nonsense.  It's been disgustingly humid.

So, given my aversion to the heat and humidity, you would be led to believe air conditioning is a close friend of mine.  Not so.  While I don't mind the cold in general, the extreme humidity outside and heat make the cold air inside feel a hundred times more cold.  This aversion grew just a bit deeper this week when I read in the Wall Street Journal that going from the heat outside and into the air conditioning has been proven to be bad for our immunity.  So, all of that lore about how awful sicknesses reign in the winter?  Guess again.    

As I sat on the stairs at the back of my house, watching Tucker wander the yard at lunch, feeling like a raisin in the sun, it occurred to me just how miserable the hot weather really is for me.  Some people talk about how they slow down in the winter, due to the cold, but if you ever need me to slow down, just plop me down in the heat.  The misery increases when you add work clothes to the equation.  The natural solution would be to dress in summer/light attire, right?  Sounds reasonable.  However, I had spent my entire morning (and then my afternoon) freezing in the relentless air conditioning at the office.  The chuckle came when I pondered my personal space heater under my desk.  As I sat there, hating the heat, I realized that my entire perspective would be shifting drastically in about a half hour when I returned to the frigid reaches of my workspace.  As predicted, I huddled round the space heater all afternoon.

Tonight, as I walked through the thick, sticky air, I realized this fickleness is more common than not for us.  When you're young, you want to be older; then, you're older and wish you had enjoyed being young.  When you're busy, you want to have some downtime only to then get bored when the downtime comes.  When you wish you had taken the time to finish reading that book, you're of course the busiest you've been all year.  I could go on, but I'm sure the point is clear.  I've worked really hard all summer not to wish for winter or fall, but I guess today showed me that obsessing over the heat's misery is just about the same, without the words being spoken.

And so I say to you, Mother Nature, keep that humidity coming...I'm so grateful?  (I'm counting on you, reverse psychology.)

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