One thing I noticed over in Hawaii is how the people who live there are pretty much happy all the time. Sure, every once in a while you see somebody mad about something, usually financially related, but for the most part, people in the islands walk around with a general feeling of contentment and happiness. You can see it and feel it as you go about the daily life there.
I have no doubt one of the main factors of said contentment and happiness is the weather. It is neither too hot, nor too cold. The sun shines somewhere on the islands every day. Long days of rain are rare. There is no need for winter clothing unless one is traversing up the volcanos. The weather is so pleasant and reliable one can easily plan out one’s day without having to account for said weather. When you don’t have to plan for the weather, when you know it’s going to be a nice day, almost every day, life seems just a bit more better. Then, there is Pennsylvania.
To no surprise, since I arrived at this shithole the weather has sucked big time. Endless days of cloudy, rainy, cold, windy, depressing weather. Rare has the day been where there has been blue skies and mild temperatures. In other words, the same craptastic weather as always around here. And it shows in the faces and lives of the people who live here.
Unlike Hawaii, people in Pennsylvania are not happy. You don’t get the cheerful attitude when you go out and about. Everyone walks around grumpy, depressed, and generally pissed off at the world. There are no genuine smiling faces to greet you at the check out counters. Drivers are constantly cussing and swearing at each other. (I know cause I have ever since I started driving again.) You cannot have a pleasant conversation with anyone because the first time you start talking about nice things, they get all derogatory, demeaning, and condescending. Life here is humorless and without fantasy nor adventure. For these people, life is just to be gotten on with. Work. Pay bills. Die. No dreams. No taking chances. Just existence without meaning.
There is no doubt in my mind the weather has a lot to with the mindset here. Look at the picture on the right compared to the one above. It’s been like this almost everyday since I have been here. Just a depressing, cold, mass of fog, rain, and wind. No wonder nobody is happy here. I know. I lived in this shit growing up and hated every fucking day of it, just as much as I hate it now.
When the weather is bad like this, it has a definite effect on your mind. You get depressed, you lose ambition to do anything. To go outside and do anything requires planning for the weather, extra clothes, and expenditure of more energy. By the time you have accomplished what you wanted to do, you are exhausted, cold, and more miserable than when you started.
There is a resignation amongst the people of this place. A realization it’s not going to get any more better so just take it out on everyone else by adopting a bad attitude about everything. Shout down anyone who is cheery, happy, or dares to want to break out of the hive. Deride anyone who suggests life is better anywhere else. They are stuck here by their own mindset so why should anyone else get to leave, see the world, have adventures, realize dreams, and enjoy life.
This is how life is here. And why I hate it so much.
Again, the reason I am here is twofold. One, I can put some serious cash away for a few months, which I am doing. And B, I have a small group of relatives, in their 80’s and 90’s, some of whom are beginning to fade fast. Old age, dementia, the occasional bout of cancer. Some can no longer drive and could use an extra hand now and then. Some are just simply getting old. I do what I can, and help when I can, but I still hate it here.
But wait! What is this???
Today the sun came out!
The skies are blue!
The temperatures are warm!
It almost feels like summer!
So what does everyone do around here?
Complain about the heat. The sun is too bright. It’s hot. Close the windows and turn the ac on. They burn because their pasty white skin has never been exposed to direct sunlight before. Now it’s too hot to go outside and get stuff done. They can’t wait for autumn to come.
Sigh. Nobody here is ever happy.