Snowed In

After 4 days of ice, snow and very little sun shine there is hope!  The sun is out, the temperature today is predicted to be at least 40 degrees and I can hear the a steady stream of water off my roof, proof that the snow and ice is melting.  After 4 straight days with temperatures in the 20’s I am ready for arctic blast 2011 to melt away!  There is talk of more cold temperatures and ice/snow in the week ahead, for now though I will rejoice in the sun shine and soak it in.

I have mixed feeling about the forced 4 day winter-cation!  Added time to rest, welcome; more time to do detailed cleaning around the house, necessary; time to catch up on reading, loved it; enjoying beans and cornbread, yummy and finally the very real possibility of rolling black outs, but didn’t happen at my house, grateful!  Being cooped up inside with only so much to do with a 4 year old and husband, challenged by hazardous road conditions (just to get to the store), canceling a full weeks work, constant water running to prevent frozen/bursting pipes and a heater that struggled to keep us warm inside; scary, nerve-racking and costly!

The reality is this is an act of nature and beyond anyone’s control!  To worry over lost income, fruitless.  To allow the stress of being stuck inside to linger, pointless.  To worry about the expense of water, gas and electricity, useless.  The only worry I will give any credit to is the healthy sense of fear that kept me safe on the road.  Knowing that conditions were hazardous motivated me to drive slower, keep a greater distance between my car and others and the insight to know when to get out and when to stay home.  What lingers is  faith, that all is how it should be.

What I take away from my winter-cation is another lesson in surrender, simplicity and slowing down.  An experience that allowed me to relax indoors with my wonderful family and read, read and read some more.  I found myself one afternoon completely alone (thanks to my mom who lives down the street and took my son for several hours).   As a working mom with a young child I get very little alone time, something I had just mentioned last weekend at dinner with my husband and a friend.  What comes to mind in this moment, ask and you shall receive.  I envisioned alone time on a beach surrounded by ocean and I received a quiet house and time to relax with a book, do yoga and time to myself.

I am grateful for all of the extra time that came with being iced/snowed in.  I often express a need for more time and lament at how fast time does go by or how little of it have for doing more of what I love.    Hopefully this gave us all a little more time.   My hope for all in the Dallas area and those around the country forced indoors by inclement weather is more time to do what you love and more time to rest.   It may not look like what we initially envision and it may not be convenient or easy to accept.  However, it is important  to slow down, to rest, to be with family, to let go of our plans and worries and to just accept the experience given to us.  Trust and live in the present moment.  Allow yourself time to rest, to counter the stress of daily living, it’s a necessity.  Let this experience carry over into your future.  Slow down, simplify and relax more!  From my heart to your.

23 Comments

  1. Meg Robinson

    Thanks Cortney! Well said. Hugs to you and your family, all safe at home.

  2. Brittany Brown

    love this post!! The second i recieved the email that school was cancelled i was ecstatic, so much that i couldnt even go back to sleep that morning!! After the second day or so, i began to become antsy because not only was i bored out of my mind, but my junk food rations were becoming low and the roads were too hazardous to drive to the store. By the third day, i took the opportunity of being off, to catch up on some reading for school, and clean around the house. After that i just cuddled with my dog and watched old dvd’s. very relaxing. It was definately a learning experience teaching me that i dont always have to be on the go, but i can slow down and savor the still quiet moments. Now that summer is coming up, i dont predict any winter-cations anytime soon, but have definately been making conscious efforts to take time out of my day to just breathe.

  3. Kayleigh O'Halloran

    I understand all of your stress during this time, but it was nice to take a step back and learn to be patient. Personally I managed to get alot done and did yoga at home. It was a shame the classes were cancelled for the whole week. However, like you said it was just a blessing to be able to spend time with family and rest.

  4. Kristine Boncales

    Professor Phillips,

    I loved when you said “It is important to slow down, to rest, to be with family, to let go of our plans and worries and to just accept the experience given to us. Trust and live in the present moment.” I couldn’t agree more! After being so stressed from working and being a full time student, I have finally realized that it really is important to rest and let go of worries and just accept things for how they are. When we were given those days off due to the snow/ice, I was so worried that when we finally did go back to school, that we would have so much makeup work and catching up to do. Even on my days off I was busy worrying! I learned that I need to stop worrying and just “Trust and live in the present moment” just like you said. Thanks for sharing!

    Kristine Boncales
    T/TH Collin Class 8:30am-9:45 am

  5. Jade tran

    I enjoyed the mini-break. First thing I did was put on my snowboarding clothes, grabbed my snowboard and slid down the slopes with the neighborhood kids. It was awesome! Anytime off work and school is always relaxing and stress free. Sometimes we get so caught up with school, work, family etc that we forget to have “fun” time. Did I study or do homework, nope. Just had a blast and enjoyed being able to do things I normally can’t do.

  6. Jessica Faulkner

    Loved all the snow days this year! Went a little stir-crazy being locked inside the house for that long period of time, but it was great bonding time for my son and I! You said it right when people stress about the things they have no control over! We should all take time to sit back and just relax and be thankful to not have to worry about our daily routines. It is a blessing when we can’t go anywhere and we are forced to stay inside with our loved ones!! Thanks for sharing!

    T/TR 10-1115

  7. Katie Jones

    I could use another one of these snow weeks. I think that most people just do not know what it is like to slow down and take time for them anymore. People just go and go, and the technology that is out their finger tips does not make it much easier. Most people’s ideas of “relaxation” is laying in bed or on the couch getting their daily dose of the facebook news feed. It is like what you talk about in class, just to push everything back, just for the moment, and taking time for yourself, and I think most people do not take the time to do that anymore. Not just because they do have time, but because I believe most people have just forgotten how.

  8. Elizabeth Ehling

    I really enjoyed reading this post form you, hearing your experience during this ice storm was pretty cool. I actually experienced almost 2 who weeks of snow. I go to school at Midwestern State University located in Wichita Falls, TX. Our entire town and the three towns around us were completely shut down. The weather got so bad that police were urging people to stay off the roads and if possible stay inside. I took this time, like you, to catch up on some much needed me time. I took that time to read, study, and sleep. Something college students don’t always get a lot of. I did enjoy the peace and quiet, but i became really sick of the snow and ready to get back to school.

    Elizabeth Ehling
    M/W 10 am class

  9. Will Gil

    Haha, I remember the anomalous snowstorm that hit the DFW in the great winter of 2011!!! Now only several months later, in the mdidle of one of the worst heatwaves on record here, I’m quite nostalgic for those days of dreamy snowball fights, snow angels, and hot cocoa:( I agree with the sentiment in your thoughts; I find that often in this world of ‘total work’ leisure and reflection is often discarded. I myself can sometimes get caught up in the next thing, which is why cherish the time spent in yoga and of course that blizzard.

  10. Tanya Sammataro

    Although it has been over 100 degrees for quite some time now, and all of that ice and snow is long gone, I feel almost the same way now. Having some family in from Boston where it rarely gets this hot I’ve been kind of stuck at my house as well. I am taking time to enjoy this though, and trying to relax and do things that not only need to be done, but often times get ignored from the fast paced lives we all live. A lot of times we all go, go, go, and forget to take time to appreciate and relax, and really enjoy life, and since I’ve started taking your yoga classes I have started to become more aware of my body and really become one with it. I really enjoy yoga, and plan to keep going and get better as I go.

  11. Aris Fuller

    Goodness! I wish it would ice outside at this very moment. 20 degree weather sounds like heaven compared to 108 degree Texas heat! Nevertheless, you are completely right. When you have the chance to spend moments like that to relax and bond with loved ones nothing is more satisfying in the world. Our world is so fast pace and we sometimes forget what it’s like to sit down and breathe for a second to let our minds catch up with our bodies. Thats what ZI appreciate the most about yog- being able to relax and let my mind, body and soul bond with each other, no distractions. every things calm for those moments until I walk outside and see cars driving faster than I can think and iPhones ringing louder than I can scream. Savor those moments.

  12. Jordan holley

    Your thoughts on living!.. I love and admire it! Breathing and being able to relax and let go is the way to go! No matter if your snowed in doors or out in the sun, you should be able to be spiritual and practice yoga;) thank you mrs Phillips. You have taught me the world, thank u

  13. Abbie Hammad

    I remember this! I loved the time off of school and work and enjoyed the time with my family being all cooped up in the house. But there were times that I was bored and agitated with everyone around me and i wish now that i could have done yoga to de-stress myself. Now for the future I can do these things and actually further enjoy my time.

  14. Bethany Pruitt

    I remember this ice storm. I was going stir crazy! I was a senior in highschool and my bestfriends baby had just been born. I felt nothing but joy as well when all the ice melted so I could go see the new baby! There were some good pictures from that day, and also some good memories.

  15. Morgan Plash

    Love this post! I also struggle with finding alone time. For me, the only thing that could force me to slow down would be a weather event beyond my control. I also agree that it is a lesson in surrender. I have no control over these events, but I must accomodate the change in plans.The first day or so I remember being so annoyed that so many things were off schedule and I was trapped inside. However, by day 2 I had let go of my control issues and accepted the situation. I regret that Ididn’t properly enjoy that time with my children, but I will know for next time to release the control sooner and enjoy a small reprieve from daily life, schedules, and general busyness of life.

  16. Evelyn Weaver

    I really liked this post! It is so easy for me to get flustered when things arent going my way or when things happen that are out of my control. In all reality there is so little that I really have control over, but the way I react and allow myself to think is one of them. It really is important to stop and realize that everything that happens can be appreciated in some way!

  17. Amanda Karry

    One big thing yoga has taught me is to slow down and make time to rest because we are always on the go. I gives us time to just be and relieves stress. Rather than sit on the couch and watch tv I’m going to take advantage of these slow days and indulge in more yoga!

  18. Sarah Gray

    Now that it is May and the weather is becoming more and more hot, we do not have to worry about being cooped up in our houses all day. However, I cherish looking back at that time in which we were cooped up in our houses because just like you, I too got to spend time with my family. My two beautiful baby girls (1 and 3) who keep me busy but also keep me happy. Sometimes that time needs to be forced upon us so that we may slow down and appreciate the things we have right in front of us!

  19. Corey Flanders

    The winter of 2012 was a tough on for the Dallas area as well. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family, watching movies, and cleaning the house. Although at the time I felt a bit of cabin fever, I am grateful for moments like this that give us some extra time to spend with our loved ones.

  20. Courtney Jackson

    This was a while back (3 years and 6 months) but still to this day I remember that week of being snowed/iced inside my house. It was my junior year of high school and though I liked not having to deal with teachers, fellow students, and schoolwork for a couple days I almost remember going crazy with the amount of cabin fever I was experiencing. Since my mom was afraid to drive anywhere because the risk of getting into a wreck we got creative with our meals and fun things to do. This harsh winter lock down had its pros and cons definitely.

  21. Taylor Massie

    Loved reading this article! Forgot that it actually snows sometimes in Texas and now I’m excited for winter because it just means more staying inside and practicing yoga!!

  22. Rachel

    Everyone needs to take time to themselves. People need to do things that make them happy. Relaxation is key in my life. I get stressed very easily, so during my stressful situations, I stop what I’m doing and I go read a book, crochet, or go play Minecraft. Whatever is happening in your life, take time for yourself and relax. Thank you for posting this article.

  23. Lizzi

    I remember when this happened! It was a bit humorous to my family because we’re from New England and maritime Canada. It’s funny how Dallas shuts down at even the littlest winter storm. I will admit, I got my license in TX, so I can’t drive on ice like my mother can. I’m hoping for some sign of winter this year. My poor huskies need to play in some real snow.

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