Lessons in Being Snowbound
Since Friday, we’ve gotten almost three feet of snow and we’re getting even more while I type this. If I still lived in my hometown in Northern NY, this wouldn’t be a problem. But here in Baltimore, the idea of a foot of snow, much less three, usual sends everyone into a frenzy. When I first realized that I might be stuck in my house for several days by myself, with no one to talk to but my cat, I got a little anxious. I went into serious nesting mode, planning meals, cooking and cleaning.
Then, right around the third load of laundry, something happened.
I realized that I had no reason not to spend this found time reading and writing and enjoying my own company. I had no place to go. No appointments to keep. No responsibilities to meet. So I settled in and the creativity started to flow.
Instead of turning on the TV, I listened to the radio. I journaled. I worked on essays that I’ve been trying to finish, but haven’t had time and energy to work on. I wrote blog posts and a newsletter for a client. I read short stories and essays and blogs I haven’t visited in ages. I slept in and practiced yoga every day. I cuddled with my cat and ate satisfying meals that I prepared with pleasure.
In short, I relaxed. I focused. I centered myself on the things I love. And from that place, I produced. I learned that sometimes shutting out the world is the only way to connect with the things that mean most to you. Being snowed in for the last three days has been the best retreat I’ve ever had, despite the fact that it was forced on me by Mother Nature.
I’ve gotten used to the solitude and freedom to do the things I love whenever I choose. But with the streets clearing and the forecast looking brighter (after another foot or so of snow by tonight), it appears I’ll be heading back to work in the next couple of days. I’m not looking forward to readjusting my routine to office life again. What I am looking forward to is my next retreat–even if I have to manufacture it myself.