I love snow days. I hate snow, but I love snow days. They’re one of the only socially sanctioned times to step back, slow down, savor silence and solitude. I spent the long weekend of Blizzard Jonas holed up in my Virginia apartment and loved every second of it. The time was like a good body butter to my chafed and parched soul.
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It was also productive. I ran on the treadmill each morning, planned two writing projects, revised an essay, took pictures, read, washed epic laundry, cleaned the master bathroom, cleared out half a closet, made chicken stock and a casserole, and still had time in the evenings to binge watch Frasier and take a hot bubble bath. In short, I accomplished more than when I’m busy. I’d gone into the weekend hopeful but not really sure how much I’d really get done. I had a loose list of things I wanted to do but also gave myself permission to do mostly whatever I felt like without a schedule. The funny thing is that, without the pressure to do what I thought I should, I found myself doing it anyway, with a lot more joy. I love it when a lack of plan comes together.
Of course, all this productivity required some preparation. I wasn’t planning on making chicken stock, but I’d bought a small rotisserie chicken in case the power went out and so I was left with a carcass and the time to take advantage of it. I was planning on making a casserole, so I’d bought all the ingredients along with the requisite milk, bread, and eggs, because snowstorms always cause a desperate need for French toast. And of course as a writer, I’m always well stocked with books and notebooks, pens, pencils, and Post-Its, and a mental list of inchoate ideas.
Unfortunately, not every day can be a snow day. We do need social interaction and simply time out in the sun. We also need to make preparation, both for what we plan to do and to be ready for opportunities that pop up. But that’s exactly why we need breaks, breaks from demands, breaks from routine, breaks from all our shoulds. We need more snow days. Without the snow.