Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: The Fog Rolls In

For many of you, summer is still in full swing.  Here on the Left Coast, it is unofficially over.

 The temperatures have dropped into the 60s, the morning chill has returned, and the city is blanketed by fog.  In some ways it’s nice to see the seasons change, but I can feel my depression returning.

Like many people who struggle with mental health challenges, sunshine helps.  I struggle a bit more when the weather is moody, and I can already feel my mind falling into shadow.  Kyle and I actually considered moving south for the winter, but we’re a little young for that snow-bird life.

Still, there is something nice about fall — about sweaters, and soups, and fires, and decorative gourds. I certainly don’t miss having to shave my legs every two days.  So I’ll do my best to settle into the coming season and make the most of it until summer comes back again.

Last winter, several of you recommend light therapy lamps as a tool to combat seasonal depression.  I picked up this Verilux HappyLight on Amazon, and I can’t wait for it to arrive.  There are less expensive versions on Amazon, but I like the thinner, stand up design on this one so I can keep it on my desk without taking up too much space.

I also considered this one from Philips that functions as a light therapy device and natural alarm.  The light slowly grows brighter to gently wake you from sleep, which feels like a nice alternative to the din of my iPhone alarm.  But I spend most of the day in my office, so the Verilux made more sense.

We had an interesting discussion in the Thirtyish Facebook community this week about invisible labor, sometimes called The Second Shift.  One of the members shared this article — Women Aren’t Nags, We’re Just Fed Up, and it really resonated with the group.

The point the article raised for me is that, as women, we have been taught our entire lives to see mess, because we are the ones who are supposed to clean it.  We’re taught to notice the unfolded laundry, the dishes in the sink, the shoes on the floor, etc., and men just aren’t.  Sometimes it’s upsetting to see Kyle walk by the same mess 10x, but I forget that he probably wasn’t willfully ignoring it, he just wasn’t ever trained to see it.

When this cartoon first came out, it helped me start a conversation with my now-husband about invisible labor.  The idea that one person doles out work together isn’t really an equal distribution of work because the remembering itself is work.  And to Kyle’s credit, he takes on the daily cooking and most of the yard work without me having to ask.  It’s not quite an equal distribution of labor, but I can’t tell you what a joy it is to only cook when I want to as opposed to cooking every night.

Is your skin freaking out because the weather is changing?  Mine too.

After a summer nearly free of acne, I was just not ready for my skin to go into its regular September Meltdown.  I have seriously trimmed my skincare routine over the past few years (because who has the energy?), but when my skin starts to breakout, I switch out my It! Cosmetics cleanser for this Body Shop Tea Tree Face Wash.

The Tea Tree is clarifying without over-drying.  And when I pair it with my Foreo Luna facial cleansing brush, or even just a muslin cloth, I get a light exfoliation that helps clear things up and eliminate dryness.

I downloaded the Last Seen podcast from WBUR Boston this summer, and never made it past the first episode.  But when I picked it back up again, I could not stop listening.

Part art history lesson, part heist story, the podcast tells the tale of how a group of thieves robbed the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of some of its most prized treasures by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and others.  The episodes are roughly 30-minutes long, and when the 10th one ends, you’re still desperate for more.

This is our first fall in our house, so we (and our Nest thermostat) are learning how to keep it at temperature.  Kyle likes the house at a chilly 68-degrees, I would have the furnace turned up to Kilauea at high noon levels if he would allow it.  So I picked up this Barefoot Dreams circle hem cardigan to curl up in when the temperature in my office feels like I left a window open overnight.

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  1. Moosemom says:

    That gradual alarm clock changed my morning, no joke. I have the hardest time getting up if the sun isn’t also up, so arriving to work on time in the winter is rough. The gradual light really helps me fully wake up in a reasonably good mood – and actually get up instead of just turning the noise of my phone off.

    September 19, 2019/Reply
    • DIana says:

      Ditto. My husband likes it too even though the Oct – Apr Seattle winters don’t bother him.

      September 19, 2019/Reply
    • Neens says:

      Same for me! Total game changer.

      September 20, 2019/Reply
    • Elizabeth says:

      Which one do you all have?

      September 20, 2019/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    I have that same Verilux light! I found that I get much better results in mood if I use it regularly (about 10-15 minutes while I eat breakfast and drink my morning coffee) and start before the days get too short. In the past, I waited until December to pull it out and used it sporadically and didn’t see much of an effect. Also, don’t plan to use it all day – it can disrupt your sleep patterns if used late in the day, and is meant to be used within a short time of waking up.

    September 19, 2019/Reply
  3. Coco says:

    Uhhh, maybe in the top left coast fall has crept in! Here in sunny Southern California, it’s still sunny and in the high 70s/low 80s near the coast. I can’t even look at a sweater right now. This is a good place to live if you need sun year-round (which I do; I bought a Verilux desk lamp in 2014 for my window-less office and it does help).

    September 19, 2019/Reply
    • Kelly says:

      Southern California is the perfect escape for winter. I go, wear shorts, and get weird looks because of the shorts. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for whole life. Now that I”m old enough to make my own choices annually question my decision to live here. It’s. So. Cold.

      September 19, 2019/Reply
  4. Allison says:

    Emotional labor tip- my husband and I use Wunderlist, it’s a free list sharing app. We have a shared list just called, “to do” and we both add things that need to be done that pop into our heads. Yes I add more things, but on the weekends when I am being productive he will open the app and start doing something too. Yes, I know all husbands won’t do that, but just giving him that little crutch has made him much more engaged, and for us it’s been helpful because I don’t have to ask him to do things. It’s also helped me to have more visibility into what he does. He’ll add things like clean gutters, reinforce garage rafters, etc. things that I definitely don’t “see”, as it’s used in the article. It doesn’t help for day to day mess clean ups, but very helpful for weekend tasks.

    September 20, 2019/Reply
  5. maria says:

    Thanks for the Body Shop Tea Tree recommendation. My skin has so amazing all summer too, but has been freaking out this week and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the hell was going on. It must be having its own meltdown. I am going to pick up your recommended face wash and cross my fingers that some magic happens.

    September 20, 2019/Reply
  6. caitlin says:

    Ugh, honestly I’m jealous of your fall right now. We’re going to a VA “Oktoberfest” this weekend with an estimated high of 90F, which feels all kinds of wrong.

    September 20, 2019/Reply
  7. EG says:

    I loved Last Seen! I minored in art history, and this podcast was what got my dad to set foot in an art museum, because he wanted to visit the scene of the crime.

    September 20, 2019/Reply