“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Everyone wants happiness, Nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.” Unknown
It’s raining again. We’ve had a lot of rain this year…and more cloudy days than I remember since we moved here. And the forecast is for two more rainy days after today with cool temperatures! It makes me want to sing, “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,” like I did when I was a child. I like a little rain. I even love a thunder and lightning storm while tucked in my bed with a book. But, too many cloudy days in a row, and I start to crave sunshine.
When we lived in Syracuse, which ranks right behind Seattle for least amount of sun 46% of days, to Seattle with 43%. I used to say, “We’re behind, but we try harder. Syracuse specializes in gray and cloudy…and we should get extra credit for all the snow.” Seattle only averages 5 inches of snow. Syracuse 123 inches, the snowiest major city in New York. Plus, we got precipitation (rain and snow combined) on 174 days…Seattle, a mere 149! ” I sneeze at their precipitation!
But despite my bravado, the unrelenting grey would weigh me down. I Neeeed sunlight! I HAVE to get outside…or I’m miserable, as I told you last week. So, though the rain and snow tried to keep me inside, a little light being better than none, I would force myself to walk, slogging through the snow even in below freezing weather.
Our last New York winter my dog and I walked at the Erie Canal when there was a – 40 degree windchill. Even the snowmobilers and cross country skiers had given up. That’s how much I need outside and light!
So moving to North Carolina, known for its blue skies, four seasons but mild winter, long spring and fall, and plenty of sunshine, was just what I needed. We do get an inch or two of snow sometimes and yes, we get rain here, but almost twice as much sunshine as Syracuse. I love it!
But I probably should tell you my husband does not enjoy this weather. In fact, he misses the snow, craves the rain. He rejoices in grey and cloudy. I tell him it’s in his Scotch English DNA. But in looking up the weather data for this post, (yep, research junkie still at work) I found out why we see weather differently. Current Results Science and Weather Data reports on a study of more than 800 people and how weather impacted their happiness, anxiety, and anger. They ended up discovering that there are four basic types of people:
Fair Weather Fan (Summer Lovers) 23% of population — Warm, sunny weather brings out the best in you. Clear skies put you in good spirits. You feel happier, less fearful and less angry on days with more sunshine and higher temperatures. While sun and temperature affect you most, you also respond to rain. Ongoing rainstorms will dampen your spirits a little.
Cool Cloudy Collected (Summer Haters) 19% of population — Cool, cloudy weather is when you thrive. Once it turns warm and sunny, you get grouchy; you become more unhappy, fearful and angry. It’s not just a dull day that has you feeling upbeat. Even a little rain gives your mood a boost. You and Fair Weather Fans are complete opposites.
Dry Day Delighted (Rain Haters) 10% of population — Rain really bothers you. Wet weather disturbs you far more than it influences other weather personality types. Drizzly days have you feeling unhappy, anxious and most of all, angry. Besides being dry, warmth and sun also cheer you up and put you at ease, as for a Fair Weather Fan. But unlike Fair Fans, the main good mood driver for you is lack of rain.
Unfazed Whatever (Unaffected) 48% of population — You generally don’t let the weather trouble you. Rain or shine, hot or cold – you calmly sail through it all, compared with everyone else. Still, you might feel a little more anxious than normal on the cooler, cloudier days.
You guessed it. I am pretty much a fair weather fan (though I don’t love hot) and Doug is absolutely a cool, cloudy collected person. Pretty much exact opposites, who would have figured that? Maybe what works is that we balance each other out and cheer the other up when our different favorite weather occurs.
So, how about you? Are you unfazed by weather…or does it impact your mood? Love clouds? Need sun? Hate the rain? Or can you tolerate a day or two of “bad weather” whatever that is for you, but then too many in a row will start to erode your outlook and well-being?
For me, I’ve decided it is time to rewrite the children’s song:
“Rain, rain, you can stay, water plants, create some grey. Then, it’s time to go away and let the sun come back to play!”