The Downside of Seattle Summer

Summer in northerly US latitudes like Seattle means the sun is up almost 16 hours around the Solstice (June 21-ish). The days are long and usually sunny for a few months.  Our local mountains–especially the volcanoes–are spectacular this time of year.

Mt Rainier greets July (credit: Elizabeth Bourne)

Mt Rainier greets July (credit: Elizabeth Bourne)

The upside of this season for people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (like me): lots of sunlight to elevate my mood and energy. I’m like the Energizer Bunny on many summer days.  This is a good thing, considering I have a lot of looming deadlines for writing and speaking projects.

The downside: lots of sunlight to keep me awake.  Last night I couldn’t get to sleep before midnight, which is only a couple of hours after dark.  Today the sun rose at 5:15 AM, and I wasn’t far behind it, even though I’d prefer to sleep until 8:00 AM. I honestly do need more than six hours of sleep at night, especially on cancer drugs. Can’t wear an eye mask over my CPAP, and blackout curtains don’t make much sense here when it’s gray so much of the year.  I want to stay sharp, yet caffeine–available on nearly every urban block in Western Washington–is a double-edge sword.

So, I get up and tackle my projects every morning with gusto and grogginess, and hope to collapse for a nap in the afternoons.  Except it’s SUNNY outside, and our yard has fresh raspberries (my favorite!),  and the words in my head are fighting to be born, and look at the MOUNTAINS, and … and …

Apparently I suck at collapsing on cue.