Monday, February 16, 2009

Time: an Unexpected Bequest

How do you use an unexpected bequest of time; time that you thought you wouldn't have?

We get these unexpected bonuses occasionally in the Midwest. It happens when there is a blizzard, or a large dump of snow that temporarily paralyzes the city. School children call these bonuses "snow days" and little do they know that (some) adults secretly look forward to them with equal relish. Perhaps I should qualify that statement: adults who can see past the snow to be shoveled and the schedules to be re-arranged can enjoy snow days.

Oh, and it helps to have plenty of food in the pantry and a well-stocked refrigerator. Especially if you have 3 hungry teens inside. It wouldn't do to be shut up tight indoors sans popcorn and apples and hot chocolate.

Those who wait to buy groceries the evening before a predicted snowstorm can be in for a harrowing experience. No grocery carts available at Bag'n'Save. Long lines at the meat counter at Fareway. It's all part of the foreshadowing, and with the right attitude it can also be part of the fun. At Fareway, I stood in line beside my second cousin whom I hadn't seen for a very long time. Our light chit-chat enabled us to catch up on each other's lives as we awaited our turn with the butcher.

When the storm finally hits, life kicks into slow gear. It's dreamy to watch the big flakes enveloping the landscape. It makes me sleepy. Should I take a nap? Pull out a jigsaw puzzle or board games to do with the family? Read a book? Complete a craft project? Go sledding? Wonderful options, all.

On a more serious note, the way we choose to use an unexpected gift of time tells a lot about us. I confess to spending some of my bequest wisely, and to frittering some of it away to no purpose. But I exult in the luxury of having that choice, and I have no regrets.

Today the streets are cleared, the walks are shoveled, and life will return to normal. And I re-engage in life feeling rested, filled, contented, and yes, grateful for the gifts of winter.

Vintage photo compliments of the Graphics Fairy.


Willa said...

Beautiful post! We have a blizzard here too, and the fact that it's a federal holiday makes it even more of a time-gift.

Anonymous said...

time misspent is not time lived but time of my mottos for every day - quite difficult if one wants to be a human being (and not a human doing)