My Synthetic Sun

I bought a HappyLight…also known as a Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp. The light simulates sunlight and according to my doctor it’s supposed to help combat S.A.D. (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder). Basically, it’s a synthetic sun. It’s this synthetic sun that has me thinking about what this Floridian has learned living in the Midwest.’s a list of 5 things.

1/Your skin will hate you

I’ve always had problems with my skin which led to dermatologist prescribed acne creams accompanied by dermatologist recommended sunscreens, but by this point I have a system. My skin may not be perfect, but it’s presentable without make-up (which is really all I can hope for as a graduate student). Moving here changed all of that. Winter dryness is real, and for the first time I’ve invested heavily in toners and night creams. One of my friends says her skin starts to peel in the cold. It’s misery for the aesthetics.

2/Wool socks are your best friend

Because there is going to be a day when you think that you can run out the house in Converse instead of taking up the time to lace up your boots. And there’s going to be a day when in-spite of your boots your toes still feel numb. Just trust me on this.

3/Snow photos are harder than they look

Trying to take a picture of snow while it’s falling out of the sky has been my mission since winter started. So far I’ve been unsuccessful. Fun fact: little white flurries don’t necessarily get captured well on an iPhone camera. I’m taking suggestions for this one. Really need a classic winter photo. You know: sweaters, snowfall, matching scarf and hat.

4/Yes, you need a coat

You don’t need to run outside to check. Yes, you need a coat. Just put it on even if the sun’s out. Here in the Midwest sun does not equal warm.

5/When someone asks you how you are “cold” is not an appropriate answer

Just say that you’re doing well. Everyone knows that you’re cold. They are too. Besides, you’re going to keep being cold. Winter never seems to end in the Midwest.



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