Relocation and Those Unepected Things

As is obvious from this blog, I am a big advocate of "effective relocation."  As much as I encourage people to put down roots, it's necessary to find the right place to put your roots down in.  You can't be happy if you're not in the right place, so I encourage people to find that right place first.

Many years ago when I had to do a job search, I decided relocation was in the cards, and aimed to get a job in a place that was right for me.  I was happy when I got to relocate to the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area because it's a major geek and progeek area.  Besides Silicon Valley, there are only a handful of places that are even close to being so heavily geektastic.

However, despite being in one of the geekiest places on Earth, I found one thing affected me that I wanted to share.  This is not a major issue, but is a good example of those little things you never expect when you relocate.  It is, after all, those little things that sneak up on you because they are, well, so little.

I want to talk about the weather.

Complaining about the weather may sound surprising coming from someone living in California.  I live in an area with a great deal of sunlight and a temperate climate.  I haven't seen snow in person in years.  I enjoy a great climate that lacks many of the things that I got used to in the midwest – snow, rain, overcast days, and bone-numbing cold.

What problem could come from a lack of snow and a great deal of sun – in an area so wondrously tech-fan-geek?  The fact that when it is cold, when it is overcast, when it is dreary, those days can be a disorienting shock.  Yes, I am now so used to good weather that weather that wouldn't affect me in the least now is shocking, unexpected, and in some cases, just a downer.

So now when there are overcast skies, it's actually depressing, as if I'm getting a minor, day-long case of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Whereas I could face weeks of snow and shrug or feel at worse a bit down down, I now look at a rainy day and may suddenly find that a few sprinkles and some clouds have me feeling sad.  Apparently, my tolerance for bad weather has all but vanished in the usually-sunny climate of California.

These experiences with "adapting" to the weather so well are a great reminder that even when you move to an ideal area, it's still a radical change.  The change is so radical that you'll doubtlessly miss some of the side effects, oddities, and issues you may face.  When you move, you can't guess at everything that may happen – you may even adapt to the weather too well.

I wouldn't let this odd experience discourage you from a well-needed recreation.  I do hope that this gives you a humorous reminder so, that when you do move and are surprised at minor things, be they the weather or odd cuisine, you remember you're not alone.  Knowing that and keeping a sense of humor can help you deal with the shock of finding yourself set off-kilter by those odd, minor things.

Still, I haven't had to shovel a sidewalk in four years . . .

– Steven Savage