long time no see, SAD? not even a little, energymaxxing
This is the first February of my life where I’ve spent hours outside basking in the warm sunshine. While Austin may be overrated—do not move here without reaching out to me first, its sunny winter is not. I have never had this much energy in February.
On February 19th, 2021 (one year and two days ago), I wrote and published Coping with the Moderately Dystopian Time Machine. The piece gives a taste of my western New York seasonal woes, as I reflected on the ‘Moderately Dystopian Time Machine’ that was 2020’s hard quarantine:
Unfortunately, I feel like the time warp effect has more or less returned as SAD has beaten me down, particularly the last few weeks. For me, this just means that I’m generally much lower energy. I feel grateful that I have good habits to help me persevere (exercise, diet, writing, and too-few long walks). In this way, many of us in Rochester are viscerally aware of the impact of our physical environment on our experience.
When I said that SAD had beaten me down, I was not kidding. The temporary excitement of a new year with new goals faded away quickly. Last February I spent 7 days out of 28 days of February playing World of Warcraft Classic with friends from twitter. 168 hours of gameplay at my standing desk. Yup. And this was only after 5pm and on weekends—my nights were long and my weekends a blur.
This anecdote underscores the difference between having time and having energy. I had plenty of time but between SAD and far too little socialization to meet my hyper-extroverted needs, I had no energy.
I still have problems. The sunshine hasn’t fixed everything. But I am progressing towards the goals that I’ve outlined for myself this year. I have a couple leads on full-time jobs that I’d be eager to commit myself too. And this past month has been my most lucrative as a freelancer since I arrived in Austin…and ever. My energy is great.
Texas, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina,…It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the fastest growing states are in the south, or particularly sunny. While some of this is likely due to polarization around COVID measures, a good chunk of it is simply the result of remote work, retirement, and pattern disruption. People have been migrating south since air conditioning made many of these states more habitable. The recent shocks simply gave people an opportunity to take the leap.
Austin is brutal in July and August, there’s no way around it. It will be 104 degrees at 2 pm and 87 degrees at 11 pm. I’m going to start walking early in the morning.
These migrations have the potential to cause some severe problems for states moving forward. Certain cities growing too quickly without sufficient infrastructure investment and inflexible zoning regulations. Others collapsing under the weight of their debts and future liabilities, incurred with the belief that their economic and cultural supremacy would reign for centuries to come. That being said, I won’t be surprised if people from New York and California end up returning in the next year or two. They should think about it. Don’t you miss it?
It’s going to be 80 degrees today. I’m wearing shorts and a loose fitting button-down. The patio outside this coffee shop I’m at is heating up and I’m going to work out there for several hours today. Later, I’m going to meet friends for happy hour and dinner. I love February sunshine.
Favorite Recent Read
My friend, Emmet Penney, recently launched a newsletter, Grid Brief, that aggregates the most important news related to energy. As I’ve been diving deeper into energy policy, these emails have been incredibly helpful to broaden my perspective of the sector and its complexity. I cannot recommend it enough—even if you just skim it.
New From Me
Community, Cults, and Crypto on the Ideamarket Podcast
Grant is a Big Breakfast Guy on Tweeter's Digest
Community, Bitcoin, and Nuclear Energy on Narratives Podcast
(yeah, you can invite me on your podcast and I’ll probably say yes—for now)
Nuclear Energy is Infrastructure (for FREOPP)
How regional electricity transmission organizations like Texas’ became fragile (for FREOPP)
What is your biggest priority for the next three months?
I’d love to hear from all of you. It has been far too long!
Thanks for reading. If you haven’t, I’d appreciate it if you would subscribe!
If you have already subscribed and want me to write more, please shoot me an email. I want to get back to publishing once a week. I have been working hard to rebuild my savings after the past few months but starting to feel a bit more secure.
I am available for freelance writing ($0.25-0.50/word depending on project) and community, social media, and crypto consultations.
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