Deceptively Sunny Days: The good, the bad, and a little perspective

Sun shinning through trees on to snow

Today (Monday) was Rememberance Day in Canada (Veteran’s Day in the U.S.) so the university and my daughter’s school was closed. Normally on a Monday, the alarm goes off at 5:30 so I can get in a workout before work. Since I had the day off, and my wife was out of town, I slept in, which was wonderful.

When I opened my eyes the sun was streaming in. It was wonderful, but sunny days aren’t always nice days. When, after my morning routine, I checked the temperature outside, I was deflated. It was -20 Celsius degrees (-6 Fahrenheit degrees), with a windchill of -31 Celsius degrees (-24 Fahrenheit degrees). That’s not typical for this time of year, but it is what my wife refers to as “deceptively sunny”.

Deceptively sunny days are awful when you have to go outside, but wonderful when you get to stay in. The cold is biting outside, but inside, the sunlight makes everything brighter. 

Last winter I was having a particularly hard day with my depression on a deceptively sunny day. My wife opened the blinds in our bedroom and suggested that I try to take a nap. That afternoon I came to completely understand why my dog likes to sleep in the sun spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold outside, napping in the sunspot on a warm bed was wonderful. 

We usually don’t have days like these until at least December, but usually January or February, which means snow on the ground, with the bright sunlight reflecting off of the snow is almost blinding. We already have a fair bit of snow, which makes it even brighter out. Again, nice when you get to stay in, less so when you need to venture out. 

The thing is, there are days when life will throw you a deceptively sunny day, or something like that. Everything seems fine until you step outside and feel your snot starts to freeze. If you’re lucky, you have two choices, put on a warm coat and wind pants over your pants and sweater, which are over your long underwear (Toto, I’m no longer in Southern California), grab a hat, some mittens, and a pair of sunglasses, and venture outside, or find a warm sun spot and take a nap until you feel like you can brave the outdoors. 

My daughter is sitting next to me while I write this. She’s checking the weather in a variety of places in the world. When she got to Sydney, Australia she said, “It’s currently 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), but they have giant spiders so all is well.” She’d apparently rather have the occasionally deceptively sunny day, although I think she’s considering Dublin, Ireland.


  1. Wendy James says:

    A deceptively sunny day, and the venturing out in snow pants it requires, is fine with me. However, it is not so good for my husband, who is genuinely solar powered. He can go out, but has to be so covered up that he gets no actual sun. It is one of reasons seasonal depression is so common here despite all the sunshine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *