(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).
For all of my friends in the mid-Atlantic states today, take care and take cover.
The last time we had snow like this in the region was February 2010, given the hyperbolic name of Snowmagedon by the media. I was living in Washington, D.C., at the time, and remember the endless snow, blowing winds, and brave (stupid?) drivers navigating the blanket of white where roads used to be. The city was pretty much shut down for a week which gave me a LOT of time at home to myself. No distractions from friends to go out and spend money. Just me at home, the white stuff coming down outside, as if by machines that someone forgot to turn off.
While stuck in your homes this weekend, here are some productive way to take advantage of the forced time inside and learn a little:
Reading instead of Watching – The most tempting thing in the world on days like this are to binge watch Netflix. It’s so easy to decide that now is the perfect time to re-watch the entire series of The X-files. Trust me, you can do better. On a day when no one is doing anything (and no one will interrupt you), snow days are the perfect time to delve into contemplative and introspective books. Here are four that are of very unique in their own way of getting one’s contemplative juices flowing, and that make snowy days such as these all the more interesting: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Raven
Mindfulness Exercises – There is nothing more gorgeous than looking out the window at a landscape covered in snow. Snow has a quieting effect which makes everything outside (street noise especially) sound softer and more muffled. Sit with some hot chocolate, and just look out the window for 20 minutes and observe. Try quieting yourself in a similar way as the snow does the world outside. You may be surprised at how calm you feel afterwards.
Cook a Meal with Everything you Have – Since you’re going to be stuck inside anyway, why not put on an apron and get creative? Grocery stores are closed, so what better time to take stock of what you already have, and make a feast all your own? Throw out the cookbooks and recipes, and just go for it. Experimental cooking is one of the best ways to cook, since it is often how we discover new and interesting taste combinations.
I hope these ideas will help you get through the weekend! Wishing you all a safe and happy snow holiday!