One of my current guests asked me today about the dim lighting in our house, and I realized just how acclimated to Sweden I have become.
Here in Sweden, natural light is king. Which is great for me, because typically I love natural light. I love candles and big windows and sunshine. What can be wrong with that? Well, where we live, especially this time of year, the sun shines for maybe one day a week. That makes for an awful lot of really really gray days.
With big open windows and a lot of natural light, I sometimes feel the grayness is seeping through and chipping away at my soul. Some days, I shut the blinds, turn up my fake lights, and dance around the house to some Grateful Dead to create an image of summer and green and blue skies.
If I don't have to look at the gray skies, maybe they just aren't there.
Last year at around this time, I was working out of a new office with a new set of colleagues. I walked into the kitchen for my coffeebreak (or fika). Three colleagues sat around a tiny table with one tea light in the center. The windows were letting in light, but it was gray gray gray, and it was December.
Without thinking, I switched on the light and went to get myself a glass of water.
Loud coughing from the table.
And then “Can you turn off the light, these fluorescent bulbs are terrible.”
Thus, I sat in the dark for that entire winter. Or I sat in my office, with the light on.
Because they might be terrible, but if I sat in the gray for too long, I would just doze off.
I mean, as I said before, if I lived in California, say, I'd be all about natural light all the time. But living in Sweden, I'll take my fluorescent sun lamp imitator any February day.