Why is it that I feel like snacking all day during snow days? No doubt it’s a survival mechanism to keep the body’s metabolism stoked and warm. However, possessed of a furnace and central heating, I have no need to consume extra calories. The opposite in fact since there is not a great deal of exercise to do right now. It is useless to begin shoveling the sidewalks until the snow stops. Hot Earl Grey tea with a little sugar and cream will keep me from crunching on carbohydrates all day. I cannot say the same for my pretzel-loving children.
From my dining room window, I can watch the slow progress of traffic running north and south through the snow. The plow trucks have made several passes this morning, and the snowfall hasn’t let up once. I have watched three police cruisers provide help when a semi was unable to make it up the hill and slipping backward every time it tried to move forward. With traffic stopped both directions, the semi finally turned around and went back the way it came. On the neighborhood side, neighbors help one sedan with tires stuck in the snowy ruts left by four-wheel-drive trucks. Snow is encrusting the screens on the windows, building up until its own mass knocks it down.
I suffer from distraction and indecision on snow days. Should I read all day or watch a movie that I’ve been saving for a quiet afternoon? Housework projects catch my eye, and I end up spending more time than I would like talking myself out of assigning work for a snow day. I should get my kids to play games or bake with me. But they don’t want to and truthfully neither do I. We would only be playing or baking out of politeness to each other, an even more boring Gift of the Magi scenario.
Options flipbook through my mind. A nap, a hot bath, a blog post, researching a topic. I can’t make a decision. Whoops, a half hour disappears to Instagram. After I realize the danger of having my snow day absorbed by my phone, I turn it off for the morning and place it out of sight.
The snow day stretches horizon to horizon, a sandbox of possibilities. But snow days require their own discipline of intention. I have to settle on two or three things, shutting out all other possibilities or else I’ll be bogged down and buried by choice.
I choose a movie, a nap, and a novel to make my snow day worthwhile.