Today started out with me rescheduling Ana’s appointment with the radiation oncologist (to next Monday) because I was afraid we’d get stuck in the city. Jim then called the school to let them know we were keeping the girls home. We both figured the school would close early anyway (it did), and hustling them out the door only to have them bussed home by noon didn’t seem worth the hassle. And of course they’ll be home tomorrow too, since the snow didn’t even start until around 3 p.m. today (oops).
It’s not that I don’t prioritize school, or work, or perfectly scheduled days. It’s just that by now I’ve learned that I’m not in control of my schedule anyway. So why fight it?
I realized today that Snow days are the perfect metaphor for my life. They are a crisis even when they turn into nothing (because they make you act on them). They are unpredictable. They push everything else aside, turn all your carefully orchestrated plans to crap, and basically dominate your attention until the snow stops falling, the roads are clear and life can go on again. Plus there’s always an element of fear – will the power go out? Will the pipes freeze? Will I get stranded without food?
You can see the storm coming, but you never know how bad it’s going to be. Will the storm hit us? How hard? When can we get back to normal? A day? Two? A week?
Imagine having a snow day at least once every month of the year, but often twice. Some months it’s a major blizzard. Some months it takes you out for a week or more. You can’t plan anything, even though you try really hard to figure out when it will hit, and how long, and what it will mean for the near future. Now imagine you know that the big one is definitely on the way. The one that changes your life forever. The one you can’t recover from, not completely. You hope it doesn’t come, but you’re waiting, worrying, obsessing…
Now imagine each and every snow storm has that potential.
This is my life.
And, ironically, this latest snowstorm is actually an escape from that. Plus it has the added benefit of making me feel less alone. Right now everyone’s schedules are uprooted. Everyone’s a little worried they’ll run out of food, or miss an important deadline because the kids are home, or maybe they’ll lose power and those damn pipes will freeze. But the difference is that for you, the snow will stop. The roads will get plowed and life will go on as though nothing ever happened.
But for me, well, there’s another storm coming next Monday when we meet with the radiation oncologist and find out when Ana will get treatment. And there’s another one after that on 2/27 when she’ll get YET ANOTHER CT scan. That promises to be a big one.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved snow days. As much as I stress over getting work done, and keeping the kids entertained (even at 10 and 13), I love letting them sleep in. I love that they wear their pajamas all day long. I love that Ana wants to give me a makeover (even though I complain loudly while she’s doing it) and Emily follows me around, stepping on my feet and insisting I watch Cartoon Network with her. It’s a welcome reprieve to the constant uncertainty of the other storm in my life. So tomorrow I’ll hunker down, hope we don’t lose power, and enjoy the distraction until the storm passes.