Snow days for grown ups are different

Today wasn’t exactly a snow day. The nearly 3 feet of snow that fell in Chicago since last Tuesday finally stopped late Sunday night. Today was a day shut down due to extreme cold. A freeze day? The polar vortex-inox? (Please don’t call it Chiberia) Regardless of what you call it a lot of people stayed home from work and school. Years ago I would have said people “got to” stay home from work and school.

I remember a particular snow day during my college years. We didn’t have a lot of snow days in Pittsburgh, but a blizzard had dropped 2-3 ft over the course of a day or so. Classes were canceled. A group of guys and I piled into a car and braved the snow covered streets for the important purpose of going to the Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. It took us almost an hour to go about a mile due to our car getting stuck and helping to push other cars that were stuck. It was an adventure! It was fun!

Today I had no such adventure.

Today I worked from home, and I don’t mean I “worked” from home. Although there were some breaks and distractions I was arguably more focused than I often am in the office. I got quite a bit done.

Am I so boring that the only thing I could think of to do was work? No. But I have some significant deadlines later this month, and I know that in a few weeks excuses like “the holidays” or “but is was really, really cold” will no longer hold weight. After two weeks off, I really needed to get stuff done.

The snow day was not a day off for me. It was an inconvenience. Do I try to reschedule these meetings or try to do them by conference call? Accessing my work files by VPN is so slow! Working off this tiny laptop screen instead of dual monitors is annoying.

Meanwhile, my husband had the day off.

Sort of.

Even though his employer was closed he still took several conference calls and did some email.

Plus, he took care of our kids.

Yes, time with one’s family is a gift, but we’ve both been experiencing that gift since December 21st. Plus, my very active kids tend to get a bit stir crazy when they are cooped up in the house all day.

(That’s not my husband by the way.)

Tomorrow will be another cold day. Chicago Public Schools are closed again. My work is open and again allowing flexible schedules and work from home arrangements. I’m going in anyway. I’m running out of productive work that can easily done in isolation. Plus, I’d like to interact with humans who are not my family. There. I said it.

Of course, not all grown ups feel this way about snow days. Read South of I-80’s “Snow days are a gift” for a significantly contrasting view.

If you are staying in and are lucky enough not to have work to do or children to tend to, click to see some films I recommend most are available for streaming on either Netflix or Amazon.

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