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 Canva.com 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.