The philosophy of the snow day

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Did you know it snowed?

Welp, it did. Last night I experienced the kind of breathless excitement about potential course cancellation that I haven’t felt since middle school–only instead of watching the Weather Channel with a cup of Swiss Miss in my utility room, I was looking at epic thundersnow in my apartment with a hot whiskey and a Lifetime Original Movie.*

And yes, the university canceled class. And everything else they deemed “non-essential,” meaning I didn’t get to go to the introductory Mindfulness Meditation Workshop I was so looking forward to or the Doc Films screening of Groundhog Day**. Oh well. Apparently snow days Never Happen, but it would seem a foot and half of snow can change that.

So, as I do when I have free time, I thought. I had mumbly morning thoughts from when my eyes first fluttered open at 7:18 and I had slightly more concrete thoughts at 9:30 when I actually arose (if “need granola now” counts as concrete, anyway) and then I sat around with a cup of tea in my mom’s old sweatpants and mused.

The great thing, the best thing really, about snow days is their nature of unexpected bonus time. It’s not a vacation or a weekend day, where you are expected to Have Fun! or Do Things! or Be Responsible! because, well, you can’t. You’re trapped by a wall of snow and you have no choice but to hunker down and for me, this is paradise. I’ve already prepared everything for today (not wanting to jinx chances of missing class by not translating my Apuleius or forgoing reading about Lutheranism and Bach), and so the snow time is pure gravy. All extra. And even though I can watch YouTube videos to my heart’s content or sleep for endless hours, I prefer to get up, look out the window, and let my brain just go. It’s the same reason I love long train rides. In these kinds of moments, nothing is expected of me, and I can make things up, finally. Imagination gets to roll up its jeans and romp.

Is this weird? An example of the Nirvana principle par excellance? (I’m not sure; a lot of the Freud I read was in French, for God’s sake) All I know is, I wrote 1000 words of fiction, finally, walked to a snowy lake, and ate some spice cookies. So.

Tomorrow means more school. But right now means more hot toddies.

*Yes, I really love them. More on this later (?)
**That was for you, Dad.

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