Being your own boss is weird. As many of you know, I spend the bulk of my days running my own media company. That looks like meeting with clients, shooting and editing videos for businesses, creating and scheduling social media posts for companies, attempting to be an actual adult, etc.
I just hired my first intern. I didn’t necessarily know if I was ready to hire an intern, but she approached me at the end of last semester and I agreed to meet with her and discuss the possibility. We really hit if off, and I do actually have my hands quite full with the amount of business I currently have coming down the pipe, so she started after Christmas break.
It doesn’t snow often in Mississippi – except for this winter, when apparently it became a monthly occurrence. I woke up Tuesday morning to freezing temperatures and light, marvelous snowflakes drifting down from the heavens.
I did a quick, spastic happy dance and then proceeded with business as usual. I made a ginormous pot of coffee and ate some breakfast as I opened my inbox and calendar and started to outline my to-do list for the day.
I had just finished writing the final task and was about to start working on a video when I received a text from the intern.
“Do we have work today? My classes were all canceled because of the snow.”
Why is she asking me? I thought. I don’t know what to tell her.
Then it hit me.
I’m the boss.
I’m supposed to answer this question.
I have to make this decision.
I immediately called my husband.
Ok, it was another word.
Finally, after staring out the window at the winter wonderland that had settled into my backyard, I responded.
“Yes, let’s plan on meeting as usual.”
I hated myself. But I wasn’t going to be able to meet with her the rest of the week due to out of town shoots, and we had some projects we really needed to get moving along and isn’t this what adults are supposed to do? Isn’t this how you run a business?
Shortly after that, my husband called to tell me his work was shutting down for the day due to the fact that Mississippi doesn’t know how to function when it snows. So he was on his way home.
“I still have to work,” I told him.
“No, you don’t. You’re the boss.” he reminded me.
I hung up and texted the intern. “Change of plans. Enjoy your snow day!”
We jumped on a quick phone call and went over a few project details and decided to each work from home and touch base next week.
When Tyler got home from work, he leaped onto the couch and let out a gigantic sigh. “Aren’t snow days the best?” he said, with his eyes closed and his head laid back on the throw pillow.
“Yeah, they are,” I acknowledged, “but I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done.”
“Nooooooooooooo,” he whined. “It’s a snow day. You’re not supposed to work on snow days.”
He was right. I was being ridiculous. It literally NEVER snows in Mississippi, except last month but seriously this has to be the last time for a while, right?
I shut my laptop.
“Ok, let’s go outside and play.”
And we did.
We set my camera up on a tripod and took fun pictures because who knows when our yard will ever look like this again?
Some of them didn't turn out so well...
And we built a fire and drank coffee by it, as snowflakes fell gracefully into our mugs and made little bursts of steam emerge.
We chased our dog and threw snowballs at each other, and I dared Tyler to walk on our little frozen creek, and we had ourselves a quintessential snow day.
But the whole time, I kept thinking about work. And deadlines. And obligations. And to-do lists. And then I kept thinking
What is wrong with me?
Why can’t I just enjoy the snow?
Why do I feel the need to get work done today?
We are so accustomed to productivity and plowing through and getting things done that if we’re not careful, we’ll miss the snow days. We’ll miss the beauty and wonder of these clean and flawless drops of winter charm falling from the sky. We won’t stop to notice the way the bonfire so sharply contrasts the elegant, white backdrop or how it kind of tickles when a snowflake lands just the right way on your nose.
We only get so many snow days. Only so many days that should have been normal but suddenly took an unexpected and magical turn.
It’s a decision not to miss them. It's a decision to give up your to-do list. To surrender feeling productive and accomplished and doing all the things.
The snow will melt, but the work will be there tomorrow. So for today, let’s make the decision to play and to slow down and to build fires and to dream and to laugh and to just enjoy the exceptional.
Let’s decide to enjoy the snow days.