How do you beat the heat on a day like today? Well, considering it is after midnight and I am writing this, the answer is that I probably did not do a very good job at it. It is not as if I am entirely unfamiliar with this sort of day . That said, these sorts of days disrupt all kinds of plans. I tend to feel best in life when I am able to do things. Action distracts me from much in the way of thinking, and burning calories through at least some motion tends to make me feel as if I am doing something productive, either through physical action or, more commonly, intellectual labor. Days like this make it hard to do anything, especially when air conditioners and even fans are at a premium. This is by no means a mere first world problem, as I have witnessed this problem from Florida to Ghana to Thailand, all of which offered their own solutions to the difficulty.
In Florida, for several months of the year, no sane person wants to be outside for months of the year during the daylight hours without going from one air-conditioned place to another. At night one was a feast for mosquitoes, which discouraged a great deal of nighttime outdoors activity as well. In Ghana, we had fans running constantly, although there were long hours during the day where the fans didn’t work, and so it was necessary to drink water to stay hydrated. Although the power worked better in Thailand than it did in Ghana, we adopted much the same strategy in Thailand to keep the worst effects of the heat under control. In all of those places, though, the high degree of heat tended to create a certain amount of repose for many of us, myself included, although there were occasions that drove us to engage in some activity, although it took a lot out of us. So it was too today, in that I had expectations of what I wanted to do only to find myself without the energy to do very much of it not from a loss of blood as is sometimes the case but simply because it was too hot.
The only remotely productive times of the day were early in the morning, when I wrote two blog entries, the several hours I spent drinking iced tea camped out at Panera after doing my grocery shopping, where I wrote two book reviews and read a book, and now, after midnight, where I type away at this entry and may read the book sitting beneath my right leg. It is the sort of day I would have swam had I enjoyed company and an accessible pool, and no doubt many other people felt the same way from those I encountered during the course of my day. Clearly, this was not the sort of day to wear layers, unless one had fabric that breathed particularly well and covered one from the harsh glare of the sunlight.
So, how does a day like this become more successful? Well, more sleep would help. More writing or reading would have been nice too. But one does not have the days that one would want–or else I would not have many of the days I do–but one has to make the best of the days that one has, behaving as honorably and decently as one can regardless of the circumstances, especially when they are less than ideal. Hopefully at some point I will be able to cool myself down enough to be able to enjoy a peaceful sleep, for however few hours that is, but in the meantime, I try to rest as best as I can this night. Perhaps it is the same for you also.
 See, for example: