Thursday, April 7, 2011

Keeping One's Spirits Up

Over at Serena Rides, we read that, "It is April in Bend. Spring in my beloved Central Oregon is finicky, fabulous, and requires constant positive self-talk."

Jack is not bothered by the weather. The weather is fine, as far as I am concerned.

I had a few errands to take care of this morning. Had to visit Paul the Computer Guy's shop to drop off an external hard drive that wants a new case and controller, then to Bend Mountain Coffee downtown for a light breakfast, and a drop-in at Dudley's to trade in a few books that I've read.

It was cold, snowflakes were flurrying.

I wondered why this weather is so troubling to some, but not to others. It doesn't bother me, I enjoy it. It is, in a word, bracing.

I like to think that it is something in my Caledonian heritage, but in truth I have no idea why I don't find the weather insulting. It can be inconveniencing, but there isn't an emotional component attached to it.

However, I am troubled that others are troubled. Bruce Miller dislikes the weather and will complain about it dependably, and Mrs Elliott seems to feel put-upon.

That those around me are bothered by the weather bothers me more than the weather does.

16 comments:

  1. "Spring in my beloved Central Oregon is finicky, fabulous, and requires constant positive self-talk."

    If it's so "fabulous," why is "constant positive self-talk" required?

    Which is another way of saying: "If Central Oregon is so frickin' wonderful, why do Central Oregonians have to keep reassuring themselves that it is, over and over and over, ad nauseam?"

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  2. I, too, can enjoy crisp winter weather and find it "bracing." But by the time April gets here I have been "braced" enough. Five or six months of "bracing" is more than ample.

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  3. All about Seasonal Affective Disorder, from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195

    As much as 20% of the US population may be affected by SAD. People who are depressed often self-medicate with alcohol. Maybe that's why the Caledonians (Scots) and Irish love the uisqe baugh so much.

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  4. "If it's so `fabulous,' why is `constant positive self-talk' required? ... why do Central Oregonians have to keep reassuring themselves that it is, over and over and over, ad nauseam?"

    All right Miller -- take this over to the Bend Sux blog. The climate, for me, is not nearly so wearying as hearing you and Mrs Elliott kvetch about it. Ad nauseum.

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  5. Sorry, I didn't mean to piss on anybody's cornflakes. I fully understand how my relentless kvetching is irritating to you. I would merely like to note that the relentlessly cheery comments of people like Serena are just as irritating to me. I interpret them as an implicit reproach and rebuke for not failing to see and appreciate Central Oregon's fabulosity.

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  6. What you need is a little bowling to raise your spirits.

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  7. "Spring in my beloved Central Oregon is finicky, fabulous, and requires constant positive self-talk."

    If it's so "fabulous," why is "constant positive self-talk" required?

    The things requiring the most spirit and determination, the toughest things, are those bringing the most joy, the most satisfaction, the most brilliant memories.

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  8. Couldn't have said it better m'self, Serena!

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  9. So I should love Central Oregon because it's so hard to love? Not sure I can buy into that "logic."

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  10. I should clarify: I agree with Selena's statement as it applies to efforts that result in some achievement, whether those efforts are intellectual, artistic or athletic. But enduring Central Oregon's miserable weather does not result in any achievement; it's just endurance for the sake of endurance. And I don't see any reason to do it if I have a choice not do do it, or to feel good about it if I have no choice.

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  11. "But enduring Central Oregon's miserable weather does not result in any achievement..."

    Seems to me that being happy about it instead of miserable is reward in itself. Why would anyone choose unhappiness? Also, there is the impact one has on others that can be considered as a reasonably good reason to find beauty instead of ugly.

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  12. It's been established by several scientific studies that depressed people perceive things more accurately than people who are not depressed. That could be our whole problem.

    Central Oregon is what it is, Jack, and when it sucks I don't have the knack of talking myself into believing it doesn't, and trying to pretend it doesn't just makes matters worse. So the best I can do is to hunker down and endure it and wait for better days.

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  13. Hey there Bruce, when you write, "I would merely like to note that ... I interpret [cheery comments] as an implicit reproach and rebuke for not failing to see and appreciate Central Oregon's fabulosity."

    I hope this isn't meant that you would have others watch how ebullient they are around you!

    Otherwise, it puts a burden on everyone else. For example, if I find a certain musical group really pleasing, should I hesitate to say so out of fear that it might be taken as a reproach or rebuke if you didn't feel the same way?

    Expressions of cheerfullness are seldom demands that others feel the same way, in my experience.

    Now on the flip side, Jack requested that Bruce please take his kvetching about the climate to Bend Sux and off Jack's blog because it was getting Jack down. Rules are different in one's house. Neither Serena nor Jack wandered over to Bend Sux to crow about how delighted they are with the weather, they stuck to their own turf.

    I'd like to close with a little story that I heard from a fellow I meet on the trail.

    A man in a small town spies a new face, and says, "Howdy, stranger! New in town?"

    "Sure am. I'm looking for nice place to move to."

    "Well, what was it like where you came from?"

    "Oh, the people there were terrible -- they were mean and unfriendly."

    "Well, that's probably what you'll find here, too."

    Next day, another new face showed up in town. "Can I help you, stranger"

    "Maybe -- I'm looking for a new town to move to."

    "What was it like in your last town?"

    "It was great. The folk there were friendly and nice."

    "I think you might find that true here, too."

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  14. "For example, if I find a certain musical group really pleasing, should I hesitate to say so out of fear that it might be taken as a reproach or rebuke if you didn't feel the same way?"

    Conversely, if I don't like a musical group, should I hesitate to express my opinion out of fear that you might take it as a reproach or rebuke if you happen to like the group?

    The weather/climate of Bend (positive or negative) seems to be a particular point of irritation for both of us, so I suggest we agree not to mention it except on our own blogs.

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  15. Well, if you don't like a group I do like, I would not take it personally. Not unless you said I was a pimplehead for liking them. I might bridle at that.

    Yeah, we've been wrangling over our personal takes on the weather for a couple years now. I've taken it upon myself to chide you when you've expressed your dissatisfaction, you've responded similarly when I've expressed my approval.

    I'm willing to accept your viewpoint as a personal quirk if you are willing to do the same for me. Agree to disagree, I believe is the phrase.

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