Oh wait, it is politically incorrect to call it a snow day, even when it is snowing. The proper term in 2012 is calamity day.
It is a calamity day! For anyone living in climates that allow for calamity days, you know how auspicious of an occasion this can be. To get a phone call or to watch my school’s name scroll across the television is nothing less than sheer magic. We here in Northeast Ohio are getting the after effects of Tropical Storm Sandy. Winds have been gusting for the last twenty hours, reaching 70 miles per hour in places. The rain has been unrelenting, at times mixed with sleet, and the authorities have decided that with the power outages, the flooded roads, and the dangerous travel conditions, the setting is dangerous enough to keep the children from attending school. Well, let me tell you a little secret– when the kids are off, so are the teachers!
A calamity day is completely unexpected, and that’s why I love it. It is a gift. It is as if someone dropped a free day in the middle of everything. A tabula rasa: a day of no plans, no schedules, no appointments, no work. It is a day without direction, and it is important for the receiver not only to appreciate this gift, but to relish in the freedom that it has to offer.
As a gift of pleasure, it seems foolish to insult it by trying to get too much accomplished. Doing something worthwhile might hurt its feelings, like when you give someone a gift certificate to pamper themselves and they use it for something practical– practicality was never the point of the gift. Today is not about functionality and pragmatism. It is not about getting the laundry done, sweeping the floors, or changing the sheets. All of those chores can be accomplished tomorrow. Likewise, I do not intend to leave the house. If the powers-that-be think it is too dangerous for me to go to work, I feel I must take heed: grocery shopping and a trip to Target can wait. (By the way, I am fully aware that my husband and everyone who works corporate jobs went to work today. They drove in it, but that doesn’t make it right!)
Ten ways I plan on spending my free day
- Lie in bed and watch the news coverage of tropical storm Sandy and feel awe toward Mother Nature and what she can create.
- Sip a cup of Nantucket Blend and enjoy the flavor of the coffee.
- Lie in bed and watch DVR’d television shows: Revenge, 90210, Covert Affairs— here I come!
- Stay in pajamas or sweatpants all day.
- Play on the Internet.
- Read for pleasure.
- Help my children make a fort in the livingroom.
- Listen to the kids squeal with laughter while they play.
- Just about the time I would be going to teach Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,take a nap.
- Experience life for the sake of experiencing it, not because I have to get something accomplished.