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Snow Day

Posted by griffithd on March 21, 2018 at 3:45 PM

For the fourth time in March, a Nor'easters have come through Philadelphia. I have not had this many snow days since I was a kid growing up in Connecticut. I have been fortunate in that I have been able to adjust my schedule; I did not have major travel disrupted, I could get work down with technology. My biggest project was getting my chainsaw to start so I could clean up some limbs that broke off from our white pines.

I find lessons in these recent snow days and a contrast sharpened by my work. The one lesson is that of the gift of downtime. Increasingly a rare gift in these times.

Research suggests that blocks of time doing nothing, clearing the head, putting aside all distractions, significantly improve the creative process and the ability to see solutions that may not be apparent in the day to day clutter. Research also tells us that downtime spent with friends, partners, spouses has a direct correlation to the quality of the relationship. Think of the last time you shared a meal without interruption, sat quietly and just read with your significant other in the room, talked without a deadline to make?

You know the research is intuitively correct, yet how many of us create our own snow days? In the age of texting, email, cell phones, AI, and drone delivery, along with the perceived importance of being ???connected,??? a little bit of snow day behavior can be a blessing and perhaps a opportunity to alter our routines.

The other lesson and the sharp contrast are that I know for many of the people we work with there is no downtime, snow days notwithstanding. For individuals in poverty, the ability to rest and take a break is nonexistent. For many crises is a perpetual state. For many, a snow day is a day of lost wages because of the lack of childcare, transportation challenges, or lost shifts.

For many, we take our security for granted, and for us, a snow day is an opportunity to recharge. What I want you to know is that for many that security and opportunity do not exist and a snow day just adds to the stress. And not just on snow days.

Our work at ECS is about dealing with these contrasts in our communities and finding ways to bring opportunity to all. Contrasts that even on snow days are as sharp as the nor'easters that create them.

Categories: Muddy Boots, ECS Outreach, Griffith Thoughts

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