Random Thoughts

Sun Guilt

Rare rainy day

We’ve had torrential rain for the last four days. It was utterly awesome. And not just because the rain was desperately needed in our drought, but because it gave me an excuse to make a fire every day and drink hot cider, the kind of wintery things I adore but don’t get to do that often (especially this year, with our bizarre 75°F winter).

Living in a place with year-round balmy weather sometimes gives me sun guilt. It might sound like an oh, boo-hoo type of thing to say, but it’s a real thing… like a reverse cabin fever. It happens when the days are so calm and clear, you’re guilted into spending all of your time outside instead of inside, vegging on the couch, when that’s all you actually feel like doing.

Do you ever have those days? You know, the days when you’re feeling lazy, the emails can wait, the DVR is bursting with shows you need to catch up on, and Chinese food (delivered, of course) is sounding really good. Instead, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, and you feel the need to make use of such a beautiful day… even though nearly every day is beautiful here.

So when the first day of our first storm arrived, I was giddy with excitement. I slept in (waaaay in), left the bed unmade, stayed in my pajamas, and ignored all my texts. Even though I didn’t do nothing, the something I did do was mindless and trivial… stuff that usually gets moved down my to-do list week after week.

I set up my new phone and spent a good hour deciding which picture to use for the home screen wallpaper. I went through long-forgotten DVDs that were gathering dust in our media console and set them all aside in the donation pile. (But not before watching them all back-to-back.) I finally got around to shelling the seeds from a bag full of Blue Lake beans my mother-in-law had given us.

Shelling seeds out of beans

I managed to pick up a book and read actual, tangible pages, something I wish I did more often. I sat in the sunroom (which was not so sunny) and idly watched the raindrops on the windows. I browser-shopped on Amazon and spent hours reading reviews (hours… damn, those reviews are addictive). All wonderfully guilt-free for the entire four days it was rainy, blustery, and blowing sideways outside.





But I have to admit I cheated a little. We had a window of calm before the second storm passed through and I felt the itch to go outside after hunkering down for two days. I donned my rain boots (which get worn exactly once a year), walked down to the beach, and watched the waves in the twilight. It was the perfect interlude for the perfect week/end.

A window of calm in the storm

Watching the waves

Storm clouds

Palm trees

Coastal twilight

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Sarah Kim
    March 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Is it weird that I live in Canada with roughly about 7 months of cold weather and I still get that sun guilt feeling in the summer? It happens and I don’t get it, which on those days makes me semi-depressed lol. VERY glad you posted this 🙂 Perhaps it’s our bodies telling us we need to rest from the go-go-go of summer sun.

  • Kaitlyn@cypressandmyrtlefoods
    March 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    First off, I just want to say that I love your blog! I have chickens myself and now I can’t imagine life without them.

    As for the sun guilt, I totally get that. I took some time off last week and all I really wanted to do for one day was stay inside, curl up on the couch, and relax, even though it was beautiful outside. Which I definitely did on one of those days.

    • Linda Ly
      March 18, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      On those kinds of days, I’ll compromise by curling up in a hammock. 🙂

  • Jenny
    March 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    This was a really nice post, and I love all the pictures. I’m in California too and it’s been so nice having this rainy break.

    • Linda Ly
      March 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I find it hilarious that we call the rain a “break.” 😉

  • summer
    March 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I totally get that sun guilt feeling too. I struggle with it all winter. Seeing snow in other parts of the world and wanting to snuggle up in blankets and eat soup for weeks on end. But its just too hot to eat soup, so you are stuck with salads in 75 degree weather in the middle of winter. It’s weird to say the least. But, it is glorious visiting the beach bundled up. I guess that’s us Californians way of celebrating winter weather. 🙂 Happy week to you!! http://www.summerplayshouse.com

  • cheri
    March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I love rainy days too. Sounds like you had a wonderful week end.


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