Discomfort

Monadnock

Mount Monadnock seen from North Pack Monadnock

“I’m burning up.  Can you turn on the A/C?”

I actually had the A/C on.

We were in my car and I was driving in all-electric mode.  A/C uses a lot of electricity, so when I’m alone I only use it when it is really needed.  With another person in the car…

“It’s on, set at 74.”

Just being on the A/C takes most of the humidity out of the air.  At 74, it was almost 20 degrees cooler than outside.  I was cool and my fingers were frozen.

“74?  I usually keep mine on 67 when it’s this hot.”

In the winter this same person had their heat set at 75.

Truthfully, I don’t get it.  People seem to have such a limited operating temperature.  Yes, I like to be comfortable, but I think people push it too far.

I’ll admit that I don’t do well in the heat.  I like the cold weather.  That’s why I live in New Hampshire, not Texas.  When irt’s really hot I don’t feel as sharp in my thinking, my reflexes aren’t as good and my physical performance goes down.  I get it.

But as I acclimate to the summer, I improve.  I went running the other day when it was 89 and humid.  It actually felt good until I stopped and the heat caught up to me.  Even then, it felt better than when it was 75 felt back in early spring when I was used to 30-degree weather.  I was soaked, but that’s because my body knows how to react to the heat and I drink a lot of fluids if I know i am going to be active.

I’ll admit that I like to touch the extremes a bit.  I don’t like to stay in that comfort zone all of the time.  And i think going to the extremes helps me in other parts of life.  When I am out in the heat a lot, moving around and such, it makes it easier when there is a heat wave later in the summer and the house gets above 83.  I can stand it.  It doesn’t feel bad.

I understand that there is a danger in going out in the extremes.  Yes, I am careful.  Even when I was running in the 89 degree heat, I didn’t really put myself in danger.  I take it easy when it gets much over 90.  No matter how much you sweat, the body can’t cool off when it is warmer outside of the body than inside.

It is the same with winter.  First, I do not understand why people keep their house at temperatures in the winter that they complain about in the summer.  The closer you acclimate to the outside temperature, the easier it is to go out.  And I love being out in the extreme cold.  I’m sure I’m channeling my Ice Age ancestors.

It isn’t just temperature.  Most people I know snack all day and so never really feel hungry.  It is good to fast on occasion.  It is healthy.  We need to have times when we feel hungry.  In fact, it is unhealthy to always be filling up and avoiding hunger.

And it goes into other parts of our lives.  Most of us do everything in our power to stay in that comfort zone.

As with the temperature, I find that the more I go outside of my comfort zone, the more the boundaries of that zone expand.  I may feel nervous, even queasy, doing something the first time, but it is easier the next.  It is even easier the time after that.  And then I might even push farther yet.  And farther.

This is what live is about, isn’t it?  If we stay at the same level all of the time, with no ups or downs, no extremes, wouldn’t it be boring?  If you are never in danger, can you know what it truly means to be safe?  If you don’t know real hunger, can you ever appreciate being satiated?

It is hot here, but I’m not letting it slow me down.   I’m pushing past that comfort zone, increasing my operating temperature.

And I’m trying to do the same thing in other parts of my life.

Anyway, the term “Random Ramblings” is still the tag line of my blog, so I thought I’d offer a random ramble ;)

26 thoughts on “Discomfort

  1. Corina

    I keep the temperature at 68. When it heats up, I don’t have a lot of choices. Right now it’s 87 inside my house. No AC here. My daughter got me a portable unit for free on Buy Nothing but, because the house has an open floor plan, it takes running it in high round the clock and electricity is expensive so I end up turning it on and sitting in front of it just for the two hours that is the hottest.

    We are on day 26 of 90+ temperature here in Portland, which is very unusual. No rain. Hopefully we’ll get some relief soon but every time the Weather Guy promised relief, he’s wrong. I won’t complain because sooner than later it will be the opposite and I don’t want to be a whiner!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      That sounds nasty! I hope you can get some relief soon! Are there any rooms that you can close the door, such as your bedroom? The good thing about AC is that it takes most of the humidity out of the air. It hasn’t been that hot here, but it’s been super humid.

      Winter, I keep the house 65 in the day and 62 at night.

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      1. Corina

        I actually have been staying in my bedroom during the day then in the late afternoon I move to the living room where it is a tad cooler at that time. My fan is actually very helpful. I just am tired of not being able to do anything in other parts of the house, like clean the kitchen or cook. It looks like at least another week of this heat.

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  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    I’m pretty much with you on this. First of all, I can’t afford to keep my house hot in winter (and why would i want to do that anyway?) or freezing in the summer. We keep the temperature of the house around 67 in winter and 75 in the summer, the sometimes, even higher when it’s really super hot and I’m trying to not use that much electricity. I grew up in a chilly house. My mother’s reaction to “I’m cold” was “put on another sweater.” Garry and I have a lot of sweaters, sweatpants, sweatshirts. We could both do without deep winter, but I love the seasons.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I wear a turtleneck almost every day from October until the end of April. I wear a heavy wool sweater from November through most of March. I do not understand people I work with who wear short sleeve shirts all year and then complain about the cold! If you want to wear a short sleeve shirt all year, move to southern Florida or Texas. I have a huge house and keep it at 65 in the day and 62 at night. I don’t have AC, so… I do have AC on the Cape and use it mostly for humidity. I keep it at 75 in the day and 73 at night.

      I do love the seasons and think New England is a great place to see all four, though Spring is sometimes super short!

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  3. Miriam Hurdle

    It has been 92C and higher for three weeks, today was 99C and my husband worked on painting the eaves outside. I just said ‘drink lots of water.’ For days he said he didn’t go to the bathroom as often, I said it all went out through his sweat.
    Yes, drink plenty of water in this heat. The reason I said that is that when I worked with parents as a district admin. One parent’s husband died of heat stroke.
    I’m being practical. I could push myself some other ways… haha :-) xo

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The heat can be very dangerous, as you said. In ways it is best to acclimate as slowly as possible – it is often the first shock of the heat that kills people, or a long time at too high of a temperature (i.e., above body temperature) or with too little fluids. A lot of fluids is the best way to deal with it.
      When it is 99, go ahead and find a different way to push the boundaries ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yep, people work outside, hard labor, in hot places, so there has to be a way to deal with it. Once it gets above body temperature, though, it is harder for the body to lose heat. And it is worse when it is humid. I just do’t want to be the one who has to deal with 114 degree heat all of the time ;)

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  4. NorCal Zen

    You know, you got a lot of good points there. I find it a lot easier to handle or extreme heat later in the summer. In the spring it is really difficult. Pushing the boundaries a little is healthy. In all areas of life i believe. How can one improve if we never push any boundaries? It would be so boring! I enjoyed your ramblings. Write more posts like this :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, I should write more ramblings :) I don’t know if I would ever acclimate to 114! Not for me. But then, who knows? We do need to push our boundaries in all aspects of our lives. That’s what living, as opposed to surviving, is about isn’t it?

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      1. NorCal Zen

        Yes! You have many great thoughts :) I don’t particularly like 114, and I don’t think that is good for your body..but pushing boundaries within reason is very good :) Cheers to living!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      i have a niece who recently moved to Texas and she loves the heat. I lived there six months, and did not love the heat, even though I was there through Fall and Winter. I can acclimate, but not that much ;)

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Yes, and I know it is HOT there this summer! I think hotter for you than for us in New Hampshire, so I can see why you think I’m odd that I am enjoying some hot weather… Sort of – I won’t be able to sleep tonight because it is over 80 in the house, but it is cooler outside than in….

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