Dear future me, here’s a lesson about the power of sunshine. (Outdoor Diary)

Jump To section

humans outside 375

You’d think after all of these days outside over years of keeping my outdoor habit, I’d have figured out that after feeling some kind of way in the winter, I am an entirely new person when the daylight comes back.

But no.

So this is a letter from current me to future me, based on the experience of past me. And I bet these me-s can you help you, too.

Listen now.


Some of the good stuff:

[:35] Dear all the Amys: listen up

[:48] This is a letter about the power of sunshine

[1:52] Remember back like two weeks ago when you thought you were done for?

[2:22] It’s all about powering through to the light

[3:27] Will I ever get the memo?

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

This is a letter from current Amy, based on the experience of past Amy in hopes that future Amy will benefit.

Maybe current you, past you and future you should get in on this too.

Here in Alaska and probably where you are too, we are experiencing the marvel that is spring sunshine. The time change, which in one fell swoop knocked sunset an hour later into the evening, combined with daylight increasing a dramatic fiveish minutes daily, means that suddenly the light is higher in the sky, everything is brighter and warmer, and the sun hits my front porch in the afternoon in this perfect, soul and bone warming way.

It is that time of year where your overall mood experiences a dramatic improvement and you may not be sure why. Work problems don’t feel so dire. Your personal life suddenly has problems that are figure out able instead of catastrophic. Everything simply seems sunnier — and then you realize that’s because it literally is simply sunnier. The light is back, and it’s illuminating your soul.

Maybe you didn’t realize just how dark things actually were before the light came back. Maybe you didn’t understand that you were feeling down until all of the sudden you weren’t anymore.

That’s how it goes for me. All seems so heavy in February. The wind claws at my last nerve. My family is full of challenges that I cannot find a way through. The projects I’ve created for work, or the new things I am starting, or the ideas I put into the world with such optimism in September seem simply impossible. Why would I be so foolish? How could I ever think that I could make this stuff work? Why would good things happen for me? What made me so delusional?

And then the light comes back, and all of the sudden I am gliding on hope. Of course my project will work out. Of course I can do this hard thing. Obviously my work will matter. There is no challenge I can’t find a way through. A brief reprieve from the wind paired with a few days of warm porch sunshine and I can’t believe I ever even considered the world to be heavy.

Everything is light. Literally.

It’s took me a few years to understand this is how things work – that this darkness waking to light experience is part of the rhythm of life. And even though I know its true, it’s so so so hard to remember when the heaviness of January and February seep in. It’s so hard to cling to the idea that the days move forward and better moods are coming with the brighter sky.

If you heard my recent episode on the struggle of dealing with weather we don’t like — in my case the wind — you heard how I discovered that at about the same week each years for the last three years I have recorded a podcast where the theme was heavily focused on how much I hate the wind. You’d think at some point I’d realize and predict that OK, it’s March now so at some point soon I will be very upset about the wind. You’d think I could figure out a way to see that coming like a freight train. But no. I am apparently not that smart.

… Or I’m not that smart yet. Because now that I’ve realized that’s thing I have the chance to help fututre Amy out. Just like I am going to help her out right now. And just like you are going to help future you out right. And it’s by reminding future selves that, hey, you’re gonna have a really hard time at some point in the winter. Life will seem very impossible.

But the light of March is coming. And you can hang on. I know you can because I’ve seen you do it before.

You can find photos of me looking absolutely positively elated while sitting or standing in beams of spring sunshine on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. Show me your outdoor photos or happy or struggle or anything in between by tagging #humansoutside365.

And until next time, we’ll see you out there.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Jump To section



Humans Outside Instagram

How does spending at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every single day since Sept. 1, 2017 change your life? 

We’re on a mission to find out.

[instagram-feed feed=1]

JOIN Us Today


Keep up with the latest podcast episodes, resources and announcements