Snow and other unforeseen events


Something about snow still stops me in my tracks.

We don’t get much of it here in Maryland — most of the time, anyway. There was that freak storm in February 2010 that dropped more than three feet all over the D.C. area, and I’d certainly had enough of the nastiness by the time it all melted away.

But it’s usually calm here. Winters dip down to around 20-30 degrees on the rough days, but we can usually coast with temperatures in the 40s — even 50s. Maryland weather is nothing if not unpredictable. We’re seasoned to prepare for anything: hurricanes, tornadoes, flash flooding, earthquakes. And that’s to say nothing of snipers, terrorist attacks and bombings.

Maryland is Equal Opportunity for Disasters.

Snow isn’t a disaster, though. I was already snug at my desk when the flurries started yesterday, so no grip of panic seized my throat as I tried to figure out to get to work. Since we’re into the new year already, I have vacation and sick time o’plenty; and since it wasn’t predicted to last long, I didn’t have that worry about getting stranded at the office.

I could just enjoy it. The first real snowfall of winter.

I write often about enjoying the simple things in life. That’s what snow symbolizes to me: that untainted time when flurries meant school would be canceled, and all I had to worry about was dodging snowballs my dad and sister would aim at my knees. Snow days meant hot chocolate after helping Dad shovel the driveway and hours of Nickelodeon. No homework. Hanging out with Mom, who would usually take a “snow day” herself. Simple things.

I want 2012 to be more about those innocent joys. About taking time to breathe and free myself of needless worry. I don’t write often about my struggles with anxiety, but I’m weighed down — like all of us — with responsibilities and guilt and uncertainty. I’ve made great strides in the last few years and find myself a much happier, calmer person this January than last. But it’s a process.

As I shift and grow and change, I want to look out my office window and watch fat flakes of snow coat the sidewalks. I want to take in that quiet, serene vista without worrying how the weather — like so many things — will impact my scheduled, well-oiled day.

The best things happen when life doesn’t go as planned.

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13 thoughts on “Snow and other unforeseen events

  1. this is true of MD weather…I love the term “equal opportunity disaster”…it’s perfect!

    I definitely, for 2012, want to enjoy simple little joys in life…to sometimes stop in the craziness…and just take in the moments!

    Happy new Year to you!

  2. I’m definitely a type A person that gets all worked up over everything. Having teens in the house doesn’t help matters. I guess your snowstorms (and snipers and earthquakes) are to you like hurricanes are to us. You don’t want to be in the same city with me if they are predicting a hurricane! Down here where it is 75 degrees, I think I would enjoy some softly-falling snowflakes…for maybe a day or two! Ha!

  3. Being from New England, I have a love/hate relationship with snow. But I totally understand your appreciation of the first snowfall of the year. It always seems so magical to me, to wake up and see your world dusted in white.

  4. You’re right. I feel as though snow storms cause a sense if panic in me. I’ve become very type a over the years and anything that disturbs my routine can be cause enough for distress.

  5. Anxiety is my enemy…it sneaks up on my when I least expect it and it takes everything I’ve got to keep it at bay once it gets in 😦 One of the ways I work consciously on not letting anxiety get the best of me is to block out everything except my immediate surroundings…during Christmas, I shop online; in my office, I shut the door; at home, I take Layla for a walk, etc. etc It is a constant struggle though but you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say “taking time to breathe.” We all need to remember that.

  6. Loved this post Meg! There is something magical about the first snowfall anywhere you may be living. For me it is so calming! It truly brings a quiet calmness to my soul…..

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