Thursday morning, I got out of bed and proceeded as usual even though I knew that there was a fresh white layer of snow outside. I knew the snow was coming, but assumed that it wouldn't be a problem other than adding time to my commute. Once I was dressed, I bundled up and headed out to the garage to dig out the leaf blower/snow blower and an extension cord. I was fighting with the extension cord when Michael banged on the kitchen door window. "What are you doing?" His question came out around his mouthguard with a slight lisp. I told him that I was digging out the leaf blower to unbury the cars and then he said that his school had sent a text saying that they were going to be closed.
I stood there with the extension cord (that may or may not have a good plug because the dog chewed the ends off one of our cords) in the dark cold garage. The light went out in the garage weeks ago and neither of us have felt like climbing a ladder to replace it. I let Michael convince me to set the extension cord down and come inside to at least eat my oatmeal and watch the news. He continued to plead his case for staying put. His truck was blocking my car in the driveway. There was uncertainty about whether or not he would even be able to get his truck back up into the driveway if he moved it. The news was showing cars going nowhere on the highway. So, I reluctantly agreed to stay home. And I struggled with that decision for most of the day. All of the day. I struggled all of the day with guilt over not being at work.
I recently read an article about the art of doing nothing. It talked about how the act of just sitting back and doing nothing increases creativity and that taking time to reflect on inner experiences translates to greater compassion. I tend to think that I am pretty good at doing nothing. I could give you a list right now of unfinished projects and things I need to be working on outside of work. I also recognize that I have a job that takes up eight hours of my day and even more hours of my brain space. So I try to cut myself a little slack when it comes to getting those other projects done, but suddenly I was put into a position to do nothing and I balked. I roamed around the house aimlessly. I washed breakfast dishes and put a pot of water with oranges and cinnamon sticks on the stove to help humidify the house. I checked work emails dozens of times. I watched a car moving slowly down our street. I walked around the house aimlessly some more. I stewed in my guilt while Michael and the animals snoozed on the couch.
It became painfully obvious that I needed some practice in the art of doing nothing and the greater compassion I should be having, should be for myself. Eventually, as the house began to smell of cinnamon, I let myself be still. I picked up a book from a stack of books that have been waiting for me to read them and I read. We did clean off the cars and feed the chickens, but for the most part, I sat and did nothing. Today I am thankful for the realization that I need to have greater compassion for myself. I am thankful for my moment of nothing.
At some point yesterday, Micheal looked over at me and both the cat and the dog were laying on my body. He asked me if I needed to be covered with any more animals or if I had enough. I replied that I probably had room for one chicken. I'm all the time cold in the winter and the pets just seem to know that their job is to keep me warm, weighted down and unable to move. I am thankful for the gruesome twosome (Josephine and Albus). I am thankful for the smell of cinnamon and oranges. I am thankful for dried cranberries in my oatmeal. I am thankful for surprises like the Princess Leia action figure I found on my desk this morning. I am thankful for bread and I am so so thankful for you.
Here's a warmer weekend and super Thankful Friday.