Even though summer doesn’t technically end until the autumnal equinox on September 23, summer is typically declared legally dead at the end of August, which, if the back-to-school commercials and general malaise at the very prospect of the season change hasn’t already alerted you, is upon us.
We say this in a humorous manner but we always retain a slight bit of legitimate cynicism, only because of how winter is almost universally dreaded by everyone north of Virginia. Not only does the cold quickly become a nuisance and the snow – which has been light these last few years – become the final straw for New York residency, many of us find it difficult to enjoy the same aspects of our lives during the winter months.
And this isn’t without reason. While seasonal depression is a real problem many people encounter, it’s logical as to why so many despise the colder half of the year.
For starters, the shorter days not only hinder productivity and the ability to weather the weather, but what’s so encouraging about leaving home at 7:30 in the morning when it’s still dark and arriving home at 5:30 when it’s already dark.
Autumn is such a beautiful season with many exciting changes that are revered by many, with the vast array of new eye-popping colors being the focal point of many clothing pallets and advertisement campaigns.
It’s too bad this picturesque season only lasts about three to four weeks until everything is brown and gray until April. Who wouldn’t find it difficult to be motivated when this is the world you’re forced to look at until when you open the curtains every morning? (Not to let the natural light in, again, it’s still dark outside).
Furthermore, when the summer months breed excitement and anticipation, it’s almost contagious. Warm, sunny days with flowers in bloom and the general buzz of heading to the beach or going on an exotic trip sets the mood among almost anyone you talk to.
What are contagious emotions in autumn? Complaints of the impending cold and snow, anger at the shorter days and longer nights, longings for the blooming trees and flowers, subtly ironic editorial messages from your local newspaper. It’s difficult to maintain a positive personal beat when the mood is almost universally killed by the mile-long list addressed to the complaint department. It’s not that these critiques aren’t valid, but as iron sharpens iron, we’re not exactly sharpening each other when it’s most required of us.
That’s why we here at The Messenger like to make the most of a bad situation – or at least as much as we can. Enjoy those autumn colorful autumn days before they evaporate like Trader Joe’s signature pumpkin pancake mix. Take a weekend trip up to Vermont to see quintessential autumn beauty in its natural habitat.
Go out east and enjoy pumpkin and apple picking. Even if it is a little cheesy, you live just west of some of the best places to partake in those activities. Make the most of the situation.
Make the most out of the time spent indoors. Start a new show or get to that stack of movies your relatives have been haranguing you for not getting the references. Take up a new hobby or just enjoy each other’s company by making the most of being forced inside by the cold.
Enjoy the pumpkin-flavored gimmicks every retailer in the country needs to sell. Again, the pumpkin pancake mix exclusive to Trader Joe’s is to die for.
The point is: make the season more than just what we dread. Autumn would be our favorite season if winter didn’t immediately follow it. The change of season is inevitable, so why waste time being unhappy during the enjoyable bits over something you already can’t change?
This isn’t to downplay seasonal depression and other related mood changes. We strongly recommend counseling or therapy if you feel it’s necessary. But taking the above steps to enjoy the ride instead of dreading the wait until next spring can certainly get you ahead of the wintry curve.
As fall unofficially begins, not only will we see you on the campaign trail, but we will see you at the fall festivals, the pumpkin picking, the Halloween-themed events, and of course…Trader Joe’s.