November – The Most Depressing Month of The Year

A few reasons why November is the most depressing month of the year:

  • It is getting colder, not as much fun being outdoors. Bleugh.
  • The green of the trees has left.  The leaves have fallen.  All that’s left are bare sticks. Bleugh.
  • Grass and ground plants are turning brown.  Bleugh.
  • There is no white snow yet to brighten up the landscape. Bleugh.
  • Days are getting shorter, so there is less light. Bleugh.
  • Cloud cover makes the shorter days and the browner barren landscape, making it all even bleughier.

We are in the final stages of setting up a solar power generation system on our land (You can read about it at  Until we saw the month solar radiation stats, we did not realize just how cloudy November is.

See this graph:

Consider that December 21 is the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year.  That means that December should have the least hours of sunshine, weather excluded.  Because the 21st is closer to January than to November, January should have the second-fewest hours of sunlight, and November should have the third-fewest hours of sunlight.

November is the perfect time to do purposeful things to add some uplift to your days.  In our household, that has meant some games of air hockey, trips to the library and board games – family things we can do together that encourage laughter and smiles.

How do you plan to blow away the clouds of November?

Note: I have cross-posted this (sort of) over at November – Solar Power’s Doldrums.

Happiness and Sadness

Happiness and sadness are twins. They walk hand in hand. We must learn to embrace each of them for what they are, to harness our inner happiness and to shake off our sadness when it is time.

happy and sadWhen you spend a lot of time talking about happiness, one can forget that sadness has value, too.  One thing I have always told people is that it is OK to mourn a loss. It is not just “normal”, but it is necessary.

What is not necessary is to remain in a rut of sadness and self-pity.  One needs to mourn, then push the sadness aside and get on with making the most of this wonderful world we live in.  The object of our mourning needs to be transformed from a sadly-missed part of our present to a wonderfully-remembered part of our past.

There is an interesting article on happiness versus sadness in Newsweek right now.  Interestingly, the article makes a case for happiness, but not too much of it over the long run.  Here is a quick excerpt:

On a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is extremely happy, 8s were more successful than 9s and 10s, getting more education and earning more. That probably reflects the fact that people who are somewhat discontent, but not so depressed as to be paralyzed, are more motivated to improve both their own lot (thus driving themselves to acquire more education and seek ever-more-challenging jobs) and the lot of their community (causing them to participate more in civic and political life). In contrast, people at the top of the jolliness charts feel no such urgency.

Of course, “successful” is an interesting word. The happiest people might just consider themselves to be more successful, having reached the most happiness possible.