Stacey Mollus

Stacey Mollus

I love me some September! As far back as I can remember, this is the time of year that my soul comes alive. The time when I awaken, giddy with excitement, glad that the mornings are cooler because summer is packing its bags in preparation for heading to Florida for the winter.

If you want to pin me down and have me give you a specific reason why I feel so passionately about this time of year, I wouldn’t say the obvious pumpkin-spiced candles, fluffy sweaters and bonfires. I wouldn’t even say it’s because I was born in September so I get the privilege of celebrating every single day of this ninth month of the year with parties and “I’m-taking-the-day-off-because-it-is-my-birthday” passes. I think my lifetime infatuation with fall has more to do with my love for cooler temperatures.

Fall is perfect for my taste because I prefer the weather to be warm enough that I can get outside and get some natural vitamin D so I don’t get rickets, but not so much warmth that I have to camp out over an air-conditioner vent to be comfortable.

I know this is when all of my summer-loving friends will start to yell, but hear me out. You see, I am a girl who “ugly sweats.” This means while you “I just tan, I never burn” types have basked in the sun the last few months, I have been looking like a rabid water buffalo whenever I step out of the shade.

But just when it seems I’m about to melt into lumpy puddle, fall comes to me and says, “Girl, wipe your sweaty brow, fluff up your flat, “wet kitten” hairstyle and ditch the industrial-strength deodorant made for construction workers. I am here to give you a break.”

Along with those cooler temps come open windows. (Just typing those words made my butt wiggle in excitement.) Let me start by saying the first thing I do when I step out of bed every morning — winter, spring, summer or fall — is open my blinds. I know people who have cobwebs growing on their shades because they never open them, but not this “orchid.” I need my blinds open to let in those happy sunbeams and also to let the outside world know that I am alive.

Don’t laugh until you think about it. How many people have they found dead for months, half eaten by their cat because no one noticed anything different at their house? Opening and shutting your blinds daily can prevent that.

We had an elderly lady who lived across the street from us and she opened her blinds precisely at 10 a.m. every day. One morning she didn’t, and I found it odd. I began stalking her. Within a couple hours, my anxiety rose to a level where I began calling her. I imagined her dead and bloated on her kitchen floor. I even saw in my mind’s eye her broken in pieces after a fall from a ladder. Right before I called the FBI to see if she was on a “kidnapped list,” she answered my 13th call and informed me that she had been up all night with a sick friend and had slept in. I told her not to do that anymore because I thought she was dead and she wasn’t going be eaten by her cat on my watch!

But daily open blinds aside, fall lets me go even further in letting the sunshine in because now I get to open my windows as well. I always knew my heart recognized there was a link between open windows and my level of bliss, but I just thought that feeling was attached to some subliminal memory from my past. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was so much deeper than that. It’s got a real-life, scientific reason called, “negative ions.”

You see, the breeze that comes through an open window produces negative ions, and those happy little boogers are filled with joy-producing power. They are molecules that we inhale in certain environments like the mountains, waterfalls, beaches and your simple morning shower. Once they reach your bloodstream, they produce “biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, help to alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost energy.”

We all could use a little more negative ions in our lives, so as fall brings cooler temperatures, open your windows and let the breeze blow through. It’ll make you happier, healthier and also alert your neighbors to the fact that you’re still alive and kicking. Double bonus. Happy fall, my friends!

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