It doesn't matter from San Diego to Buffalo.
The first line is my thought, the second is from researchers. My happiness doesn't depend on living in sunny San Diego or blistery Buffalo. My daughter reminded me of this the other day when we were walking through our snow covered yard.
We were tromping around, making tracks, the white snow a canvas for our adventure. We recreated scenes from Frozen, we pretended to be mountain climbers, we were little version of Thoreau in our own Walden Woods.
This moment warmed my soul more than any hot chocolate we would drink afterwards, and it was only possible because we live in Northwest Ohio. The skeptic in me suggests that maybe we would have more great moments somewhere warmer, somewhere we spent more time outside. Researchers question this, people living in the colder Scandinavian countries are just as happy as those on the beach in Australia. The idea idea that we overemphasize things we think will make us happier in the future is called the focusing illusion. It's a case of the grass being greener in my neighbors yard, except I don't want greener grass, just some that's free of snow.
Then again, maybe not. I wrote everything above last week, then I watched this TEDTalk and found out that things are more complicated. One quote that stuck out, about whether or not moving to a warmer climate might make you happier:
it's sort of interesting to trace what is going to happen to people who move to California in the hope of getting happier. Well, their experiencing self is not going to get happier. We know that. But one thing will happen: They will think they are happier, because, when they think about it, they'll be reminded of how horrible the weather was in Ohio, and they will feel they made the right decision.
I reviewed Frozen earlier this year, it was quite good.