The MAF Blog: Worldwide Pulse

Seasonal Delusional Disorder

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by Natalie Holsten  |  2 Comments

It’s September. At least, that’s what the calendar says. Outside, though, here in Papua, it’s screaming July. Hot, humid, tropical, ain’t-no-such-thing-as-fall July.

MAF missionary Natalie Holsten holding pumpkinThe end of September launches an annual time of seasonal delusional disorder (SDD) that affects ex-patriates hailing from temperate climates now finding themselves in perpetual summer.

The first stage of SDD is Realization. The sufferer notices an increase of Facebook posts like, “So excited to see Pumpkin Spice lattes again!” and “Enjoyed watching Ole Miss whoop up on Boise State!” and “Can’t believe this chilly weather! Brrr!” Pumpkin, football, autumn leaves—none of it is happening here in Indonesia. And that’s when realization dawns: it is autumn somewhere in the world.

The next stage is Denial. The sufferer denies that fall is not coming by setting out a fake pumpkin, hanging a fall-inspired wreath on the door, lighting a scented candle, and whipping up pumpkin spice creamer for her coffee. She thinks that if she creates enough autumn ambiance, it might actually magically become fall.

The Denial stage is quickly followed by the Frustration stage. The sufferer realizes that no matter how much she may wish it, the leaves of the mango tree will stay maddeningly green, all year round. Temps will stay in the mid-80s from now till eternity.

The final stage of SDD is Acceptance. This is where the sufferer finally admits: I live in the tropics. I get summer in perpetuity. There will be no fall, no winter, no spring. One month will melt into the next without any discernible change.

So what is one who suffers from SDD to do? I suggest therapy in the form of celebrating the seasons of the local climate. There is Rainy Season, which could perhaps be celebrated by buying everyone new umbrellas. We could decorate our homes with large, fake mosquitoes and watch “Singin’ in the Rain” together. Windy Season could be heralded with a kite-flying contest.

Now, I’m off to google SDD and see if it actually exists. And then I’ll head over to Pinterest and see if there’s a board on how to make a paper-mache mosquito.

Happy fall, y’all.

  • Angela

    While not living on the other side of the world, I too suffered from SDD when we moved from Idaho to Texas :-) I am actually guilty of cranking up the AC just so we can turn on the fireplace for a bit of ambiance.

  • Diana Morrison

    I might recommend pipe cleaners for the mosquito models. Here in Florida we identify with you, even though we do get January. That’s pretty much when “fall” happens. :-D

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The Gift of Facebook Overseas

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by Joy Neal  |  2 Comments

I’m going to tell you the least cool thing about me: I love Facebook, and I have very few thoughtful qualms about technology. Both have enhanced my life overseas so much, it’s hard for me to be anything but positive. Here’s the short list of reasons why I think of Facebook as a gift.

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On the Road Again

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Liz Schandorff  |  Leave a comment

I’m a road-tripping, homeschooling mama… and I love it!

I can tell you where to find the best playground in California, the best milkshake in Idaho, and the prettiest back roads in Colorado. I can entertain and educate my kids all over the country… for free (Let’s just go ahead and have a moment of silence… [Read full post.]

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It’s All About Context

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 by Jill Holmes  |  1 Comment

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” — 2 Corinthians 4:17

Did you know that the word for “jail” and the word for “chair” in Portuguese are very similar? Neither did I, until recently. I was involved in a car accident here in Mozambique that… [Read full post.]

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Collision Story

Posted on: September 3rd, 2014 by Jim Manley  |  Leave a comment

When opposites collide, fragments fly. Order degenerates to chaos. No wonder we fight to avoid crashes. Take, for instance, the contradiction between the two ways people process information—literate-style and oral-style. Neither intelligence nor education matters. Twenty percent of us in the world would rather read than listen, but 80% would rather listen than read. We spend years mastering literate-style, but acquire oral-style as babies…. [Read full post.]

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