Yeah, yeah, I know: we don’t have snow days in Los Angeles. Except for me. I had a snow day this week right here in Pasadena, California. Of course, with roses blooming in my garden and a lime tree covered in fruit it required a bit of imagination.
I missed snow days when I moved from the land of freezing winters to the land of sunshine and palm trees. Snow days often bring power outages and travel delays, but they also give a guilt-free reason to cancel everything and slow down the pace of life. Who can argue when the governor or school superintendent tells everyone to stay home?
When smog made me cancel my calendar for two days this week and stay inside my house, I had a brainstorm. I said, “Self, these are snow days. You love snow days. Pretend you’re in Upstate New York again and this is a snow day.”
Every time I felt frustrated at where I couldn’t go and what I couldn’t do, I filled myself with remembered feelings of coziness, leisurely reading on the sofa, comforting smells from the kitchen, and relaxed puttering around the house.
It worked. For two days I kept frustration at bay with the wackiness of my imagination. Then the weather changed and cleared the air, which is good because even actual snow days give me cabin fever after 48 hours and I don’t think I could have sustained my willing suspension of disbelief much longer.
My snow day/smog day framework improved my attitude by changing how I reacted to the smog. I consciously chose how to perceive my limitations, chose how to act, and chose my attitude.
Life is all about choices, after all, some writ large and others known only to us. I chose to have a snow day in L.A. and it made all the difference.