Snow Day Like Today

“Work is good. No one seriously doubts this truth…. But work is not the only good thing in the world; it is not a fetish to be adored; neither is it to be judged, like a sum in addition, by its outward and immediate results. The god of labor does not abide exclusively in the rolling-mill, the law courts, or the corn field. He has a twin sister whose name is leisure, and in her society he lingers now and then to the lasting gain of both.”

–Agnes Repplier, “Leisure”

Snowy park laneIt probably goes without saying that we folk in Southwest Virginia are snowed in. The white stuff rolled in early yesterday morning, a good inch already on the ground when Steve and I got up around eight. Friday’s classes had been called off for both of us by late Thursday afternoon, so we could enjoy a leisurely morning, lingering over a shared breakfast, sipping our respective cups of tea and coffee, watching the white flakes outside pile higher and higher while we remained snug inside, cats and dog cuddled close, the day stretching out before us. What to do with this unexpected gift of unscheduled time?

Both of us soon agreed—admitted to?—our morning plans: catching up on emails and work.

♥ ♥ ♥

One of the benefits of being an academic: when an epic blizzard comes through, you usually get (unlike, say, nurses, or police officers, or those who work for the power company) a snow day. One of the drawbacks: like your students, you perpetually have homework. There’s always something you could be doing–planning for upcoming classes, reading up on research, grading papers. A “day off” is a relative concept, as are “free” evenings and weekends (not to mention those famously “free” summers). You have to choose to be “free.” You have to claim your time, decide you will, on this day, for this hour, prioritize family or fun, love or leisure.

As a rule, I’d say we’re pretty bad at it. Continue reading

Friday Night Flight

beer tastingToday I was planning to publish a post about the challenge of balancing work with family and other commitments, keeping the first’s importance in perspective in relation to the rest of life’s riches.

free beerSpring semester starts on Monday, however, and I’ve been buried in reading for classes, writing syllabi, and preparing schedules, so I haven’t found (made?) time to complete my blog writing.

Ah, life’s little ironies.

In another twist, instead of slavish devotion to syllabi or essay construction, I elected to go out for a beer with a few of my co-workers and hubby Steve this evening.

I’ll make that essay happen, and I hope you’ll find it worthy. In the meantime, I hope that by putting friends and family first tonight, I’m being a good role model and practicing a little of what I’ll be preaching.


cheers for beer