Archive for November, 2017

Early in 2016, I decided to leave Los Angeles, my home of 13 years, for my hometown of Boston.  As mentioned elsewhere (and often) on this site, I had always hated winter. I was miserable in the cold and would spend the dark winter months drudging around with a chip on my shoulder dreaming of beaches and palm trees and sunshine.
So I escaped winter for a really long time.  There was not a single winter that went by when I thought, “Gee, I miss it at home right now.” It was more like “WOOOHOOOO” from November until March when it was freezing and icky in New England, but still temperate and sunny in Southern California.  Although, I think being a native New Englander, there is a part of me that enjoys the change of seasons. I never really noticed it until I lived away.  For example (and I’ll get back to this in a bit), we recently changed the clock back an hour, as we all do in the winter, thus making those cold winter days even shorter than they would be on their own. I never used to love that hour change, but in California, it started to genuinely not bother me. It was one of the only things that gave me a sense of seasonality, a sense that time was moving in any direction at all. Most of the time, one day is the same as the next and it feels like Groundhog Day.  Also, having always loved fall, it was a bummer to go to a pumpkin patch in early October and have it not be a fun, cozy fall experience because it was typically over 100 degrees outside.  So for this reason, I would almost look forward to it being darker earlier, because at least it felt different.  Also, I love Fall and the holidays, and having grown up in New England, I just didn’t get that holiday feeling in California.  Most years I would come home for the holidays, but there were a few years in there where I didn’t.  And it never felt right to me there.
Having been back in Boston for over a year now, I have noticed a few things that I’ve become a bit sensitive to.  Most of all is the fact that people here complain about pretty much everything, but especially the weather.  This is confusing to me, because we are living in New England.  The only thing predictable about New England weather is that it’s unpredictable. And it generally sucks.  The summers can be hot and humid (gross), and winters are long, cold, and dark. And guess what, you guys? It snows!!! Yes. It’s true. It is New England and it snows here. You should see the local news when a storm is coming. Everyone acts like it’s the apocalypse. People start complaining days ahead of time. And then bitch and moan when it snows.  I just don’t get it. If you hate it that much – MOVE!  I mean, I thought I hated it more than anyone, and I literally didn’t complain once. Well, there was one later winter/early spring storm last year, and that was the one that almost broke me. But before that, I bundled up myself and my dog and headed outside. Because this is New England, and that’s just what you do. Or should do.
When I was leaving LA, a consultant from the moving company was at my house to give me a quote. We were chatting and he said, “Boston, huh? What a great city! Why would you ever leave?” And I told him how I hated winter, and he said, “My wife is from Sweden. She and her family have a philosophy: There is no such thing as bad weather. There is just the wrong kind of clothing for a particular type of weather.”  I generally think the Swedes have it all over the rest of the world in many areas, including this advice.  Cold weather is much more bearable when you are dressed warmly.  Wet weather is not as hard to handle if you have waterproof clothes and shoes.  It is a philosophy that is brilliant in its obvious simplicity.  So I decided to adopt that philosophy as well, not least of all because it gave me a solid excuse to go shopping. I invested in warm boots and a coat from LL Bean that allegedly will keep me warm up to -35 degrees (God help me if we ever get to that, then the new philosophy will go straight out the window).  I realized my hooded rain coat was merely a shell and not sufficient for New England’s fall or spring rains, which go right through you (“raw” as my mother likes to say).  So I bought a lined version of the same rain jacket and it’s great. I also got lucky in that I have a job at a company that is in the suburbs WHICH most days I don’t love – I’d rather be commuting to the city – BUT has its benefits. The biggest benefit being that I am shielded from the elements when in my car, whether it’s humidity, rain, or extreme cold and snow.  Also, this company is pretty with it and we all have laptops, so if there is an impending storm, everyone just brings their computers home and works from home on the snow day.  So it’s pretty easy. I have a friend who is a nurse in the city – “essential personnel”. She has to go in no matter what. So I get that she doesn’t enjoy a big snow storm in the middle of the week. But she also lived in California for a long time and moved back of her own volition, so I feel like she’s old enough to know what she was getting herself into?
Anyway, she is hardly alone in complaining every time it snows, or is about to snow. Last year it was all becoming really, really annoying to me, and I’m not over it yet. So I’m going to have to really psych myself up to listen to it again.
The other thing I cannot stand is people complaining about setting the clocks back and that it gets dark earlier.  It happens EVERY year!!! It’s winter! Get over it!!
I think I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I have little patience for complaining about things that are inevitable and unavoidable.  Maybe instead of whinging and complaining about something that is almost 100% certain to happen, focus your energy on something where you can actually impact change. Yourself? Your own health? Local politics?  Volunteering?
I’m hardly the happiest person in America, and far be it from me to tell other people how to live their lives. But if something is SO miserable that you just can’t think of anything else except how much you hate it, perhaps you should be doing something different.  Life’s too short to be that miserable, and it’s certainly too short to subject other people to your whinging. Please, for the love of all things holy, stop complaining.

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