Snow day

This morning I awoke before the sun.  The sky was somehow tinged pink, having discarded its usual black, to cast an illumination on the snow falling.  Everything was still and quiet as the snow gave its salute to serenity.  I sat still for the better part of an hour watching the snowflakes fall against the pink backdrop fading to gray with the start of the day.  It was a snow day.

My daughter excitedly sent me a message full of exclamation points at 7:24 a.m. when she learned the news.  I coordinated my work team on when we could safely get to work and who would have to work remotely, realizing that technology has made the snow day nearly null and void.  I reflected on the typical excitement that swells with the idea of a snow day.

A true snow day represents an unexpected reprieve from the normal day-to-day.  It is like pushing the pause button on life.  It provides a reason to disregard to-do’s or a packed calendar.  Being “stuck” inside on a snow day lets us rest, rejuvenate, and relax.  Rest, rejuvenate, and relax.  When was the last time you intentionally took any of those dreamy actions?

During divorce, we don’t get “snow days.”  We do not unexpectedly have days when we get to check out of the process, ignore our wounded feelings, or forget about our shifting situation.  In fact, it is more often the opposite.  We have unexpected days of challenging information gathering, inexplicable grief, and transition turmoil.  We feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and tapped out.  We desperately need a snow day.

I submit to you there is no time more critical for self-care than during a time of acute stress.  Although we feel it counter-intuitive to slow down and rest when all things external feel urgent, that feeling of unrelenting urgency is the red flag waving its alert.  I urge you to heed the warning.  Take a time out.  No matter the weather, take a snow day or snow hour.

There are several remedies within your reach:

  • Turn off your electronic devices
  • Go to a spa or take a soak in the tub at home
  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Take a real nap
  • Spend an unhurried hour at the gym
  • Spend time being present to your pet – I would have said children, but pets are guaranteed to enjoy the attention and not talk back…
  • Prepare your favorite meal

There are countless ways to rejuvenate.  You know what works best for you when you ask the question “If I didn’t have to do anything today, how would I fill my time in an enjoyable way?”

There is nothing like a snow day to slow us down.  To remind us, with a glance out the window, that serenity exists.  We simply need pause and remember to pay attention or to create it.  During these days when you feel frozen inside, allow yourself to move as gently during these days as the snow does as it swirls around us.  And remember that just as the snow slowly sheds its frost and melts away, so too will your divorce difficulties thaw. 

Angela Dunne

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