Today, Portland woke up to a thick coating of ice covering every surface. This is maybe the third or fourth ice storm we’ve had this winter. They’ve impacted school schedules and air traffic and commerce, but, as someone who works from home, they haven’t really impacted me.
For the first time in years, I’m having a snow day.
I had a Sunday full of commitments – all with people and causes I feel strongly about, but that would take me out of my home from 7:30 am to about 8 pm tonight. Maybe it’s the cold virus that is stuffing up my head, but I wasn’t looking forward to these things as much as I normally would. The thought of getting up and getting dressed and getting out seemed… exhausting.
Instead, I’m home, cozied up with a hot cup of tea in front of a warm fire. I’m watching the icy rain fall and feeling grateful. In a life full of to-dos and accomplishments, these days feel like a scandalous luxury.
Ironically, it also is creating a flurry of productivity of a different sort. I made myself a wonderful breakfast. I found time for meditation. And I dug into some writing projects of my own that have been languishing for weeks.
When I gave myself permission to not do the things I think I should do, the things I really wanted to do rushed happily to fill the space.
Everything from showering to cooking to looking out the window became an experience to savor, not a thing to be gotten through on the way to somewhere else.
The still world outside is a silvery backdrop to the warm colors and creative energy swirling around inside my home and my head.
Maybe we need these spaces in our lives to let what wants to be become, rather than filling our days with shoulds and musts. Maybe when we can slow down, we can see what is right and enough in our lives, rather than always focusing on where we’re falling short.
Maybe these snow days, vacation days or simple “time off” aren’t a luxury at all, but rather a natural resetting of our expectations and sense of urgency. They are a gentle reminder that our priorities are mutable things, and that the world won’t stop if we’re not on top of everything.
I don’t know where you are as you read this, but I wish you a day out of time of your own. A day to rest, reflect and recharge, however that looks for you. A day to simply look at the snow fall and revel in the fact that there is absolutely nothing you need to do about it.
Picture taken by me, with an iPhone,
while dodging globs of icy sleet.