So, we all felt the blast of Mother Nature this past week with the whopper snowstorm that pummelled many parts of the eastern United States and Ontario. Toronto, where I live, was supposed to get between 18-30 cm of snow, but I don’t think we felt the full force of the snowstorm and were spared. Don’t get me wrong, we still got dumped on, but it could have been a lot worse.
The response to the anticipated storm was predictable. The media had a field day with it, telling viewers that this was going to be one of the worst storms this city had felt in the past 3-5 years (clearly forgetting that we have had relatively uneventful, mild winters over the past few years so of course, it would be bad). They encouraged citizens to avoid driving at all costs and if you could get away with working from home, then it was highly recommended. My fellow Torontonians heeded the media’s recommendations and behaved as they normally do…they freaked out and stayed inside!
When the snow came, the city all but shut down, including a surprise announcement from the Toronto District School Board notifying parents that ALL schools in its jurisdiction (including both my children’s schools) would be closed. Other regions followed with the same decision as did many other learning institutions.
We had a snow day!
The kids got to sleep in and my wife and I got to stay in our bathrobes until late morning….on a Wednesday!!
Do you love blizzards?
There is something appealing to me about the silence that falls on a city when the snow is raging. The sounds of traffic are dulled by the heavy snowfall and while the commute times are usually doubled or tripled, there always seems to be a sense of “all being in this together”. The pressure to get to work on time is removed because we are all in the same monster-sized traffic jam.
For me, snow storms are enjoyed most from the warmth of my home…with my girls around me (wouldn’t be so bad if I had a nice big glass of Shiraz or Cabernet too!).
So, when the announcement was made that school was cancelled and that my wife would be working from home and that I was home too, I smiled…because I was able to experience something that you don’t normally expect during a work week: a pause.
While you could say that it was a wasted day…that productivity was zilch and that we were slugs for staying at home all day…this day was very much needed.
Not having to rush…not having to get stressed…and most importantly, being able to savour a bonus day home with my family was amazing. Since we are all so rushed during the week..running here and running there and under the gun to get work done, get dinner prepared, get homework completed….it was nice to not have to worry about all of that for one day.
Did I get much work done? No…but frankly, I didn’t care because I think many others were in exactly the same boat. Did the world come to an end as a result? No. It never does….and it takes snow days like the one we just experienced to remind ourselves that its ok if something doesn’t get done right away…and that its alright if you don’t return someone’s call or email right away either because we are all human and all experience the same every day struggles.
It was like Mother Nature had put the brakes on and told us all, for one single day, to “slow down”.