We had a snow day yesterday; school buses were cancelled and schools were closed. We spend most part of the day in our PJs, enjoying the luxury of not having to be anywhere.
I am self-employed and when I don’t work, I don’t earn any money. So I could regard a snow day, when everything shuts down and people stay home, as a day of lost income. Yet, I found myself as excited as my 13 year old, chanting “It’s a snow day; I love snow days!”
There is a certain magic inherent in a snow day. It is a guilt-free unexpected extra holiday; like getting another unexpected gift when your birthday is already over. A higher power has decided we will get another day off, a day where we cannot work and where everybody understands that we cannot possibly go out onto the roads. Meanwhile, we feel perfectly healthy and can actually enjoy the day fully.
The snow is part of the magic of the day. Something seems to call us outside into the perfect whiteness and hopefully sunshine to play, to frolic around without care. Before the snowplough comes, the world has a beautiful stillness to it. Do we perhaps long for that stillness in our everyday life?
Another part of the magic is that we do not need an excuse to be unproductive in the regular sense. In our society, being “lazy” is one of the worst things you can be called. We are chronically overtired and depleted because “laziness” is a collective shadow.
Western society as a whole has disowned “not doing” as “being lazy”. We push ourselves daily, weekdays and weekends, to do more, to work harder, and to have end results to prove our productivity. With limited time to recharge our body and our soul, we end up feeling chronically tired. The long line-ups every morning at the Tim Hortons drive-thru certainly seem to speak to that depletion. I would claim that we long for that state of being which allows us to recharge without artificial stimulants.
The popularity of yoga also speaks to that longing. At the same time, some of the forms of Western yoga emphasise the exercise part of the yoga over the meditative aspects. Our Western belief system of “doing is better than being” even influences and limits what could bring us the needed balance for our over-busy lives.
A snow day is perfect for play, for relaxation, for allowing some joy and spontaneity into our life which is usually planned through from the first moment of the day to the last.
How can we have more snow days in our life? Do we really need to wait for Mother Nature to give us a snow day? Or can we plan our own little “snow day” once in a while; can we give ourselves the gift to let go of all our “have to’s” and “should’s” for a few hours, or even a whole day?