Snow Day Fail

Today was a snow day for many/most of us in New England. I live outside of Boston, and it has been snowing for 30 hours. We have about 2 feet of snow, which for city living is a lot. I am warm, cozy, and safe. My snow day was not the same as it was when I was younger. Thanks to technology, I could, and did, work all day.

My life works because technology helps. Because of my smartphone, I can read and do a far amount of work anywhere. I can work on my book any place, any time. I can collaborate on documents thanks to Google and Dropbox. If I need to see someone, there is always Skype or Google hangouts. But today as I was writing work emails, creating a google document for an upcoming conference, streaming a show from NetFlix , and making a list of the images I needed to create for social media, I realized I was failing at a snow day. I paused for a minute to look at the blizzard outside, and I thought about snow days of days gone by. Days when not being able to go to work meant that you couldn’t work. Pre cellphone days when leaving town meant leaving communication resources. I spent some time wondering–was it better then?

One big difference is that back in the day, I wasn’t running a small business. And I also didn’t have a book contract. Both of those things alter the definition of free time. That said, technology really is a game changer. Examples include:

Because of technology, we were prepared. I know that the storm didn’t behave exactly as predicted, but there was still time to shut down trains and buses, and streets, so that folks weren’t put in harms way. It kept people safer.

I teach a class at Emerson College, and got emails, calls, and texts letting me know that school was cancelled. I was able to update the class website. This was another change for me–back in the day, I loved school cancellations. Now, I’m not sure how I am going to change my syllabus around to accomodate makeup days, and online components may help with that.

With an internet connection, and my laptop, I can work at home, easily. I can also keep working, as easily. Having a office to go to creates better, though not perfect, boundaries.

I am going to be housebound for another day. I will keep up with work. But I am also going to build in some knitting time, and perhaps a walk through the snow.

I need to get better at snow days.

18 thoughts on “Snow Day Fail

  1. Goodness Gracious! Does all the tech help or hinder? It is a case by cases basis. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds, you get to stay home to work and work when you stay home.
    This means it’s time for a break, it’s not about technology…light some safe candles, put on some baroque or light classical and get in touch with you! Mediation, walking in circles around the house, having a beauty bath with all the accoutrements or go build a snowman or go sledding. But take time for yourself, the stress is literally in your words! Blessings!

  2. So very true. I wrote a something similar about Sundays… they aren’t the same either anymore.
    We are constantly doing something, never switching off and just ‘enjoying the moment’.
    Yet it’s understandable that you have deadlines to meet and so must carry on. Hopefully you’ll get enough done today so you can go out and enjoy the snow tomorrow (although 2 feet sounds is an awful lot to plod through!)>
    I loved snow days too – everything got cancelled. We are still praying for one here in the UK, so that we can all have a day at home together playing in the garden!

    • I recently decided that Sundays are a no makeup day. Which means no work events (I work in theater, so there are Sunday events). Also means only close friends and family. I am thinking about extending Sundays to no technology except for writing tools. I agree, we’ve lost something in being busy all the time. We need to take back the day of rest.

      I hope your snow wishes come true in the UK. Yesterday people were sledding down city streets because roads were closed. It was pretty magical.

  3. Very insightful. Of course, it has occurred to me that if our power went out we would not be able to do all those wonderful work-related tasks. I want to thank you for your mention of Paula Munier’s book. It is absolutely invaluable! I have been trained as an academic writer, so her suggestions for writing fiction have been so helpful. Thanks again!

  4. My snow days are over in California. But, snow days in Maine as a kid…pure heaven…blizzards and no school for 3 weeks at a time. All those winter sports right in my neighborhood! I know…not like that for working grown-ups! And look where I’m talking from! Still, at least get your boots on and make tracks in the snow! Christine

  5. Pingback: Creating images for blogs and other social media sites | Live to Write - Write to Live

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