A Second Look
Perhaps I was too tough on Colorado. Having other stresses in my life and not having a winter coat probably clouded my judgement a bit. I'm also a water person, so anytime I'm not in sight of a big bay or ocean I feel closed in. Being in Miami, then Barcelona, then LA has made me totally susceptible to cold-weather shock. It was freezing when I arrived and the heat in the office didn't work.
I realized my sickness was part the lack of sleep and traveling, but also stress. I relistened to a RadioLab about stress. A scientist describes an experiment they did with mice. They threw them into cold water, showed them food, then took it away, and other nasty things I don't condone doing to animals. The mice's reaction was the same--to get flu like symptoms. When my mindset got back in working order, my health came back.
Now things are better. I finally have a winter coat and hat, some thick tights and working heat. My housing is wonderful. A generous retired activist has given us her house for two weeks while she's snorkeling in Bali. (Not bad, huh?) My coworkers are generally pretty darn cool too.
I've seen some beautiful sights--deer grazing in yards, sunsets over the mountains, snow far away on the top of pikes peak. The place as a whole still seems like a suburban trap, but it's just until the election, so for now I'll look above the ground situation to the gorgeous mountains and keep my eye on the prize--election day.
It also helps that many things remind me of my only other Colorado experience--Aspen. Every year I go on a vacation to Aspen with about a hundred other folks from the non-profit world. Many of the apartment buildings echo the architecture from Aspen. The smell and feel of the air--crispness and firewood burning--is just like Aspen. The mountains that circle the town bring back similar memories.
More on Colorado when I catch up on work and sleep.