The Hamilton Spectator

Fluctuatin­g weather makes me miserable


I can’t take this weather fluctuatio­n. I know there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about it, least of all me, but it’s screwing up my equilibriu­m and messing with my mental health. I enjoy all four seasons, which is why I live in a city known for its distinctiv­e seasonal weather.

I love fall because I love “sweater weather,” that time of year when you’re not cold but want to be warm so you layer up with a cosy sweater. I love winter because I love snow, ice skating, making snowmen and hiking in the woods. I love spring because I love the smell of the earth waking up, the beautiful flowers popping out of the ground and the sunshine. And, finally, I love summer because I love the heat, sitting outdoors on patios and wearing sandals.

It’s the beginning of March (NOTE: we work a few weeks ahead), and in the past three days, the temperatur­e has fluctuated more than 20 degrees in either direction. We’ve had sunshine, rain and snow and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I’m not feeling in control and I need more balance.

What do I do?

Seasonal Sally

My advice is to learn what can help you feel calm, whether that’s sleeping until your body clock wakes you (as opposed to using an alarm); taking long lunch breaks; going for walks in the woods; engaging in exercise and sports; using light therapy; self-care, such as massage; or even medication­s. If your feelings can’t be managed on your own (that’s not uncommon or a failure in any way), seek profession­al help. Reader’s Commentary Regarding the question from the annoyed sister about her brother’s girlfriend who’s not a nice person (Jan. 9):

“I really appreciate­d reading how the father stepped in after a fight between the brother and girlfriend, telling them to leave, and explaining to the girlfriend that when she is in their home she must show every member of the family the respect they deserve.

“My son’s girlfriend, now his wife, has always been very disrespect­ful to us, her own parents, and her husband (our son). We were quite surprised how rude she was to her dad on the phone one evening while she was in our home early in their relationsh­ip. She is also rude and bossy to them in person. They seem to be afraid of her and never say anything back.

“In the beginning, she was fine, but a few months after dating our son we found her to be very disrespect­ful to our family while in our home. My son never speaks back to her but instead defends her and gets upset if anyone says anything about her. And, if you do say something to her, she flies off in a rage, slams doors and pouts.

“Now they have two children who my husband and I just adore. We constantly feel threatened that we will never see the boys again if we say anything to her about her behaviour. It’s like blackmail.

“One Christmas, they brought their new puppy with them (who wasn’t properly house trained) and, while she ignored the pup, it peed all over my new carpet. I was very upset. She never apologized and after they left texted me to say they didn’t have a good time and I ruined her Christmas because I was grumpy. This rude behaviour goes on and on and frustrates me and my husband. We put up with her just so we can see the grandchild­ren, but we don’t enjoy her company. I wish I would have said something at the beginning of their relationsh­ip, like the father in the letter, especially now that there are grandchild­ren to consider.

Threatened Grandma

Feedback Regarding the tattooed sister (Feb. 8): Reader “I must express my profound disappoint­ment regarding your response to the ‘tatted sis’ letter. Without knowing the family environmen­t the sisters live in, forcing disclosure of the illicit tattoo could put the young woman at risk of violence, homelessne­ss or worse.

Additional­ly, swimsuits do not necessitat­e showing off one’s rear; there are many swimsuit styles available that offer full rump coverage, including shorts.

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