How I stopped being SAD – My personal cure for the winter blues (Part 2)

Well, it happened again. Yesterday, the government imposed a “snow shutdown” for the 4th day this year.  Is it any wonder that I spent part of my winter working in sunny Florida? 

If you are anywhere north of Florida, you have likely been through one of the worst winters in several years.  In my “neck of the woods”, the Washington, DC metro area, this year’s polar vortex has still created an unusually cold and snowy winter.  Due to snow, there were isolated days of government closures from November through March.  I feel cold just thinking about all that snow!  

If you read my previous blog about My Personal Cure for the Winter Blues, you may have noticed that it was entitled “Part 1″.  That portion of my grand experiment was spending two weeks in January working in Florida.  After returning to DC for two weeks in early February, I came back to Florida for Part 2 of my experiment.  The latter visit lasted an additional two and a half weeks.

The last thing I would want to do is brag about my ability to “work from home” when I made my winter home warm and sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.  It seems almost cruel, and perhaps even stupid to tell this to friends, clients and co-workers who have been freezing their tushes off this winter.  My sincere apology if it seems like I am bragging.  I’m just fortunate (and thankful!). For starters, I’m single with no family ties, so it was easy for me just leave winter behind and take my work to a warmer climate.  Knowing how much I abhor winter, my business partner graciously cooperated with me and allowed me to work this plan without complaint. Thank you, Mark Roush!

I understand that most people are not in a position to emulate my plan.  However, if you have the type of job that lets you work remotely, and you crave sunshine and warmth as much as I do, I urge you to form a similar plan for next winter.  Until then, sit back and relax.  Spring is almost here!

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Ft. Lauderdale 2014 (the yacht is definitely not mine.  I am not part of the “new rich”)

At this point, I would like to thank Tim Ferris, author of the best-selling 4 Hour Work Week (The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich) for providing me with the idea and motivation to work this plan. Don’t let the book’s title fool you.  I am certainly not part of the “New Rich”. I am just a “regular Joe”, and my workday was always full day, similar to an office day back home.  However, as noted in Part 1 of my story, my ability to enjoy the warmth of South Florida (in my spare time), made this nearly 5 wonderful weeks of winter.   

*As of this writing,  I’m back in Washington, DC, working hard and patiently waiting for Spring to arrive.

Stop being SAD – My personal cure for the winter blues (Part 1)

Hello 2014. It seems that I’ve been lax with my blog for a few months, but I will try to do better this year.

My company (4Staff, LLC) is in Washington, DC. It’s a beautiful city! To me, it offers some of the best of what big cities have to offer…a good transportation system (albeit a crowded one), plenty of parks and recreation, the culture of the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Museums, several sports teams (professional and college) and a large assortment of restaurants that ranges from dives to fine dining. It has quaint areas for shopping and some of the finest monuments in the world. Yes, I love Washington, DC and all it has to offer.

The one thing I do not love about Washington is the cold winter. I don’t mean to whine. I know it’s not as cold as Green Bay or Boston, but DC winter, for my taste, is still far too cold. Although I have never been diagnosed by a doctor, I feel that I suffer from SAD – Seasonal Affected Disorder. This year’s polar vortex is certainly not helping either, with temperatures, often in the teens and rising no higher than the mid twenties. And, don’t get me started on the wind chill!

This year, I proclaimed to have a warmer and happier winter, so I hatched a grand experiment. My plan was to work remotely and trade-in my Mid-Atlantic winter in exchange for palm trees and delightful tropical weather. I’ve been working as an adult for over a quarter century and, aside for a few days here and there, I have rarely ever worked from home. Understandably, cell phones and laptops have made working remotely very possible, so I decided to give life to my dream of “no more winter”. Staying a few weeks with a very generous relative in Ft. Lauderdale, I knew that all I needed were a desk and a bed (I provided the laptop and cell phone). The end result is being in South Florida in January has made me as happy as a kid on Christmas Day. I’m able to start every day fresh and eager, instead of frozen-numb and worn out. For me, personally, I have eliminated all signs of “SADness”. And, because I’m working every day rather than goofing off and going to the beach, I can qualify my experiment as a definite success.

To be continued…