Everybody knew today would be a snow day. The weather report was dismal. Half the emails coming into my inbox signed off with, “Enjoy your snow day tomorrow!” Usually, when my kids’ school closes I get a very early morning phone call, 5-something o’clock, always interrupting my REM sleep, and startling me awake with a heart pounding “WTF?! Who died?!” feeling as I grab the phone and listen to the automated message. But not this morning. No phone call. No snow day.
My alarm went off at 6:30, as always, and I peeked out the window. Just a bit of snow. A couple inches maybe. No biggie. So I go ahead and wake my kids. My son was annoyed, as he stayed up binge watching WALKING DEAD with my husband (don’t even go there with me) figuring for sure there’d be no school today. My daughter was annoyed, as I inform her she can’t drive to school today, but must take the bus, giving her 15 minutes less time to get ready. I went down and made the coffee, fed the dogs, started to make sandwiches, and then the phone call comes in. Are you kidding?! So my kids are awake and getting ready for school, I’m already drinking my coffee, and now you tell us Snow Day!?
Now my kids have gone back to sleep but I’m caffeinated. And besides, I work from home so I never have a snow day, really. I was going to go on Twitter and ask someone to please give me permission to have a snow day, when I realized that’s just stupid. I’m 50 years old. There’s very little in my life that I’m willing to ask permission for any more. I’m in the “give permission” phase of my life. So, today I’d like to declare a snow day for all who work at home. Even if you live in Florida.
This is what I’m going to do today: Stay in my pajamas. Read my copy of Lucky Peach, from cover to cover. Instruct my children to make a fire in the fireplace. Start The Goldfinch, which I recently gifted to myself. Pop popcorn on the stove, in my “crank it by hand” popcorn popper thingy, which makes the best popcorn. Finish reading an enjoyable middle grade manuscript by a prospective client. Not feel guilty about not doing all those other things that I could/should be doing for work.
Here’s the guide part: even people who work from home, even people who are stay-at-home parents, even retired people, even highly motivated, cut-throat, success driven shark-like people, need a snow day. A snow day is a day off from whatever you usually do. But you stay home. And it’s relatively unplanned/unscheduled time. It can be expected or unexpected, but what you want to go for is not your usual work. For writers who have a day job, this might look like a day of uninterrupted writing time. For stay-at-home parents, this might look like a day you don’t monitor how much television your kid watches, so you can do something fun for yourself. For someone like me, who reads a ridiculous amount for work, it’s a day of reading for pleasure.
What are you going to do with your snow day?