There’s something to be said for unpredictable weather cancellations.
Remember snow days as a kid? Let me jog your memory: It’s 7 a.m. and you’re all suited up to go out into the frigid cold when you hear your parents say the magic words: “Looks like you’re staying home today.” You celebrate, throw your bookbag to the floor, and kick it for good measure. Well, that’s what I did, anyway.
As a parent of two kids with a full time job, demanding pets, a new house, and a freelance writing business on the side, I find myself overextended. There never seems to be a break. When summer activities end, the frenzy of school activities begins.
There’s never time for us — the parents — to simply stop and breathe. Most days I barely have time to take a shower, much less invest my time in things I’d really like to do — reading books, making art, and spending quality time with my family.
Unless you’re lucky enough to work for a school, most parents that work full time don’t get snow days. Instead, we get to go to work, and as a bonus, we deal with longer commutes due to icy roads, limited visibility, and oh yeah, the possibility of dying in a horrible car accident.
Most of us have limited paid time off, a few sick days, and scheduled vacation days. There are few “time off” surprises, and those that come down the pike aren’t usually pleasant; take an afternoon spent at the doctor’s office for a stubborn case of athlete’s foot, for example.
No wonder we’re all depressed. All of our good time is being scheduled to death.
So when an activity gets called for rain, snow, or sleet, I’m usually not disappointed for long. At my stage in life, opportunities to kick back with the family and lose myself in a good book are rare. Living with the OCD Mr. Fussypants make them rarer still.
So instead, I feel relieved. There’s something truly wonderful about instantly having a day completely devoid of plans.
And I hear Mother Nature saying, “Here’s your chance to slow down.”
I make a cup of tea and curl up in a blanket on the couch, listening to the rain hit the windows. And there’s no better feeling in the world.
According to Mental Health America, relaxation is an important element of any balanced life.
While there are no specific guidelines for how much relaxation a person should incorporate into their lifestyle, making time to unwind and enjoy life is an important part of maintaining good health. It can decrease blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve your immune and cardiovascular systems.
Human beings need a certain amount of leisure to balance the amount of time we devote to work. It’s a matter of science.
When Mother Nature decides to throw a monkey wrench into plans that you thought were so important, you might feel disappointed. (That’s okay.) But don’t let that disappointment derail you.
Having an activity canceled for weather returns the block of time you would have spent driving in traffic, waiting in lines, dealing with crowds, or spending money on souvenirs or junk you didn’t need in the first place.
Instead, be grateful. Take a step back and think about how you can use that time to improve your home, your relationship with your family, or yourself.
Instead of visiting the Zoo with frantic children running haywire from one exhibit to the next, you and your family can plunk down at the dining room table and play a board game together.
Instead of going to a baseball game, you can get a head start on your daughter’s science project.
Instead of visiting the local fair, you can spend time playing with your pets, who thrive on extra attention.
Instead of running in a 5K, you can kick back and take one of those Skillshare classes you’ve had on your wish list forever.
“Every minute is a gift,” my pastor says. “We all live on borrowed time.”
Don’t waste a single second.
Esther Hofknecht Curtis, MSM-HCA is a freelance writer living in Dover, Delaware. Follow her on Facebook — go to https://www.facebook.com/TheArdentReader19977/