Do you remember the unbridled excitement, the pure joy, maybe the feeling of being master of the universe, when mom or dad or Gran said, "No school today. it is a snow day." Suddenly, a huge chunk of unscheduled time opened up before you. The warm bed urged you to curl up and sleep just a bit longer.
I grew up in a cold part of the country. Maybe because snow-clogged streets were the norm after a big storm, days off were not very common, but highly prized. I don't remember we ever did anything special, like sledding down a hill or ice skating on the nearby pond. We just relished the lack of pressure to do much of anything. Dad had to go to work; mom was a teacher so she got the day off, too.
That is the challenge of this post: for today, I'd like you to pick a day in the next week or two, and declare it a snow day, a day when your obligations have been canceled. Even if you grew up in a part of the country where snow was a non-factor, use your imagination. Pretend your school just called your parents and told them you didn't need to come to class today.
Even better, imagine that day was supposed to be a biology test, or math exam, or whatever your least favorite subject was. No more. Your moment of reckoning has been delayed. The anxiety has been replaced with joy.
How will you fill this "bonus" day? One rule: chores and house cleaning cannot be the only answer. Yes, there are things that must be done, snow or no snow day.
But, for this experiment, I'd like you to try to envision you are six or nine years old, or maybe a teenager (scary thought!). What would you have done at that age with a full 6 or 8 hours away from school?
Played games, read books, watched a silly or scary movie on TV? Maybe you loved to put together a jigsaw puzzle, use finger paints or watercolors, or take your dog for a long walk, snow or no snow.
I have a granddaughter who loves to write Haiku poems. Give her a picture as inspiration and off she goes. The other two love to create something, anything even dashing off some coding. They would have no trouble filling their day.
If being a kid again for your "off" day is a bit too restrictive, you are free to choose a more adult version of play: cook something you've always wanted to try. Finally, get started on serious genealogical research. Watch an old, funny Cary Grant movie. Pull out your canvas and paints and create a masterpiece or something so abstract even you don't know what it represents. Who cares? The goal is to forget your cares for a few hours.
There is something very liberating about grabbing, just for yourself, a block of time without responsibility and schedules. Who knows. You may discover that your mental, physical, and emotional self needs a "snow" day on a regular basis, even in the summer!
Note: with a massive storm hitting parts of the Northeast this weekend, this suggestion seems oddly predictive!