Sunday, December 6, 2009

More on "Normal."

One of the biggest reasons we are moving, is the climate here - too much rain, not enough sun. I find it depressing.

Some folks who've lived here all their lives, don't think this town gets any less sun than anyplace else - this is staggering, as the federal website for weather states this place is the second rainiest of 100 cities studied over a period of 30 years!

When discussing this with my spouse, they made the point that if you haven't lived anywhere else, this is normal weather.

That got me thinking about the ways in which we learn to tolerate conditions, and "normalise" them. Since we decided to move, we've had people ask us in all seriousness what exactly is it that we dislike about the climate? (After being asked that for the twentieth time, my souse replied pleasantly, "Oh, you know: the spring, the summer, the fall, the winter.") We've seen people take offense at the suggestion that this climate leaves something to be desired: the same people who, on another day, will bend one's ear with their own weather complaints.

I've been seeing a lot of parallels with my own thinking in times past - refusal to accept reality, in favour of turning my face away, and telling myself it isn't that bad, this is just the way life is.

The weather here is that bad. The town sits in a valley, and gets socked in with cloud cover, year round. One can drive up and over the pass, and it will be sunny on the other side of the mountain. I've been entertaining myself looking at the highway cameras for the city we're moving to, and it will be beaming sunshine over there, while we sit under a cloud of grey. I can't wait to move.

Before we'd made the decision to relocate, I had pretty much resigned myself to not complaining, trying to be positive. Now that the decision is made, and I can see an end to living here, I'm no longer repressing my feelings about the climate in this town. I'm realising just how negatively it has affected me.

This has been a pattern for me all my life - tolerate the intolerable while stuffing my true feelings about it, until such time as I decide to stop - then the reality of it pours over me, and I wonder how on earth I stood it for so long? One way, was to substitute other people's judgment for my own. I permitted others to tell me that it wasn't so bad, and tried to force myself to believe it. After all, we'd bought a house here, we had to stay, right?

I'd just learn to live with it, that's all, other people did. Until a night about two months ago, when we were having a really intimate discussion, and the truth of my feelings about living here burst out, and surprised us both. We discussed it over a week or so, and then decided to call the realtor, put the house on the market, sell up, and move.

Yesterday, we accepted an offer on the house, subject to a home inspection. Today, the sun is shining, like a promise. My little dogs were lying in patches of sun on the kitchen floor, while I stood gazing out the window, overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude.


  1. Cheryl, that takes a lot of courage. But it sounds as if you are both in favor of this which is good. Good luck!

  2. Following the sun, I like that, sounds full of promise. I really enjoyed your post.