New England is in the crosshairs of a rare, October snowstorm that could dump 3-6 inches on parts of my state. People on Facebook are freaking out. But let’s look at the bright side. Yes, there is one.
I’m not typically given to positive attitudes in the face of bad weather. In fact, I’ve written at length about the crummy impact too much cloudiness, rain and snow can have on me.
My moods almost always hit the depths when there’s too much rain, snow, cold and darkness. It throws me into a prolonged period of discouragement and depression. All I want to do is fall asleep in my chair, but that’s not possible most of the time. It becomes a lot harder NOT to binge on the things my addiction craves.
I’m not a special case. In the book “Lincoln’s Melancholy” by Joshua Wolf Shenk, we see how long periods of gloomy weather drove Abraham Lincoln to suicidal thoughts in the 1840s, two decades before he was president. It’s a common problem.
All that said, Saturday’s weather forecast should be freaking me out. A few years ago, it would have. I have plans for the day, and a storm like this will probably ruin them. There are warnings of power outages, which make me particularly uneasy.
It’s not freaking me out though, and it shouldn’t freak you out, either.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not particularly happy about the forecast. I just want to have the Halloween weekend I’ve been expecting. But as sucky as it may seem to many of you, there’s a positive perspective to be had. Simply put, it could be much worse. Consider the following:
–On Halloween 20 years ago, we were hit with a devastating storm that left coastal communities deep under sea water. I was living in the Point of Pines, Revere, at the time and mine was one of three houses in the neighborhood that escaped the flood waters. The neighborhood as a whole resembled a war zone after that storm. This storm is nothing like that.
–The arrival of snow means we’ve seen the killing frost, which means the outdoor allergens are dead until spring. That’s something to celebrate in my house, where allergies hit all of us hard.
–Snow in October is unsettling, but it also shakes up normal patterns and habits we need to be jolted from once in awhile.
–Whatever happens, the sun ALWAYS comes out again. In fact, the forecast calls for a warming trend next week. Not a bad way to start November.
So don’t get mad at the weather forecasters. They are merely delivering the picture as it looks to them now. And the only reason that picture drives us to depression and distraction is because we let it.