Okay, sure, some people will argue against the statement that beer is humanity’s favorite beverage. Maybe there are more wine drinkers throughout history, but who truly knows? Maybe somebody, and even though I’m not that guy, I can firmly claim that beer is among the finest creations man has ever had a part in. Do you feel like I do about that tastiest of brews? Do you ever travel to try new beers? I sure have...
The bipolar winds of a warming Ohio winter have been swirling, bringing rain and flooding to the central woods near my home, where only weeks before the snow had swallowed up my tiny country town in a blanket of pearlescent white. The days have been cut short by the near-forgotten sun, which has forced me to remain indoors most days while I dream of a greener spring and a warmer summer. And while many of my family and friends are consumed with the work and busyness that comes with modern times, I surround myself with my writing, reading, and contemplation, as well as things that make me happy.
Because what else can one do?
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real disorder that I’ve come to understand well this winter, not because of its troubling affects but because I’ve worked to manage them unlike years past. Third shifters and a lot of people who live in northern countries deal with SAD since the sun dims in the winter months. To manage daily, I sit in front of a light therapy lamp and surround myself in things I love: music, books, painting, craft projects, and redecorating rooms in my house. And while the bottom line for my mood has improved compared to some more depressing experiences in years past, I still crave the beach and the sun, and I miss spending time with loved ones.
You might be wondering, ‘What the heck is Light Therapy?’ For a lot of the world, specifically those further away from the equator must deal with seasonal changes, which can affect the amount of sunlight we receive. We are creatures of a natural world, who evolved to fit our conditions, and so when our exposure to sunlight diminishes, things start to feel out of whack. Light Therapy is a way to combat the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where spending as little as 20-minutes a day through the winter months can improve your mood, happiness level and your brain’s ability to function at its highest level.
Music has always been my crutch, my healer, and my support system. No matter the mood, a sound exists that can soothe you, or simply continue to stoke the fire, and when all hope seems lost or if it feels as though your heart can’t take more pain, the music is there to be your friend and your muse. I remember lonely days riding the bus to school, while the music pumping through my headphones kept me company and gave me an outlet, and a way to find solace when I rarely felt I belonged.
A great game can bring together a family, a group of friends and complete strangers like nothing else can. Sure, one might argue that music or food is a stronger attractor, but from my experience of traveling across the US, and camping, a good outdoor game can create more relationships than just about anything else. Hanging out in a busy campground can be an ultra fun experience, especially when you tie all three of those elements together; I guarantee you’ll have the time of your life if you setup in an open and inviting space, and start a fire, stick some hot dogs on the blaze or steaks on the grill, while others play some tunes and play a game like ladderball or cornhole.
New York is one of the most photographed cities in the world. With a vast array of popular landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the yellow cabs, the city that never sleeps is definitely a bucket list worthy city. It is a photographers dream to spend time in New York City, with so many stunning locations, tall buildings and beautiful architecture; there is opportunity for great photographs on every street corner in the Big Apple.
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