By the time you read this blog, will we have forgotten the weeks dubbed “Snowmaggedon” or “Snowpacolypse”? Will they have been buried in even more massive storms that steal our attention from the little blip on the world screen that brought much of our lives in northwestern Washington State to a stand still? Or should I call it a “ski still” or a “walk-still” or “sit still” or whatever we did that was still-er? The winter storms we may remember from early to mid February 2019 set so many records it would take an entire blog to list them. and by the time you read my thoughts, it may have moved into history. Once the snow has melted and spring arrives, we may all be swept into returning to life as we knew it before the storms blew in and made us modify our day to day behaviors.
As I chatted with neighbors walking their dogs and pulling their kids on plastic sleds, while others strolled by carrying shopping bags filled with what they could carry from the grocery stores at the bottom of the hill, it occurred to me: What if the way we are behaving now, out of necessity, could continue by choice.
Changing Daily Habits
What if, instead of wringing our hands and moaning about cabin fever, we looked at this recent pattern of weather events as a chance to try out some different ways of patterning our regular lives? For instance, three years after moving into a house with a garage, I was able to relocate the last of the items stored in that space usurping the room my hybrid car needed for protection from the elements. The day before the first snow hit, I succeeded in gliding inch by careful inch into the space I had measured at least a dozen times. The car fit! with nearly a foot of space on one side. Also, enough room for me to open the driver side door and exit with ease. The coat rack between the front bumper and the workbench was still standing and accessible. I felt a major sense of accomplishment.
The next day, had the car still been outside, it would have been covered in 5 inches of cold white stuff with frozen windshield wipers. I had enough to shovel without maneuvering around the car in the driveway. Four more inches piled up. I shoveled them. Then another three. The car was still dry under cover and I had no desire to bring it out. I found ways to manage without driving. Granted, some of my previous obligations were cancelled due to road conditions. Nonetheless, I began to calculate how long I could leave the car garaged even after resuming my usual activities.
We walked to the store daily for the few items we needed to enhance what was in the larder. It was pleasant to interact with our neighbors in ways other than a wave as we drove by. One afternoon I made the trek over two miles into town for a matinee. Then we managed to find the least slippery way home, as well as the least steep. The snow made it fun. Could we find the delight in these everyday activities without the enhancement of ice and snow?
What alterations did you make in your daily activities that you might consider incorporating without the snow requiring you do so?