Winter has been a long one this year just about everywhere. I have loved looking at the snow and the stillness of it blanketing our land.
But on the flip side we have had more than one occasion where we have been unable to leave for more than a week because our uphill driveway is a skating rink when it ices and snows. If you are paved, you can shovel. If you have a gravel, curved, up hill and down hill driveway, that is pretty much impossible, so you just wait.
Waiting has goodness in it– you learn patience, you learn to slow down, you learn that you really can get by with what you have at the house, even if it is 2 weeks since you have been out. You learn that what you thought you had to have, you don’t have to have.
I remember living in a sub division in a warm climate. Snow did not keep you incapacitated for a long period of time. If we had snow or ice on rare occasion it stood the city still for a day or maybe two at the most. That seemed like an eternity when you live in an area where running errands are part of your lifestyle. Where running low on anything (even if it was something you really didn’t like) meant near panic, making a list and heading out to run errands. If I stayed home all day for any reason it was really almost like a badge of honor. “What did you do today?” “I was HERE ALL DAY; never left; wow!” And even if I had taken a day to grocery shop, get personal items and whatever else that was deemed a “got to have” just yesterday, I would run out again to pick up something, to do something, to see something… just to whatever something!
I think living in a place where there is so much stuff, so much choice and so much accessibility causes you to be create a lifestyle of errand running. Sure you complain about how much you have to go do, how much you hate traffic, how much you hate lines, but the truth is you know no different. It is your lifestyle. Stuff is all around you and there has to be something you need out there!
When I visit I find myself in the pattern in less than 24 hours. A couple times a day, I am somewhere getting something or doing something that I have to do. It is funny because I really do think it is like an addiction. Remember the line in the movie “if you build it,they will come”. That is so true in a metro/suburban area. If it is there, you got to do it!
So, back to snow and slowing down. I love living out away from traffic lights, away from corners and streets that are so busy your brain is on overload. I love living away from all the stuff that calls for me to leave everyday and go buy something, or go do something. Since moving here, I have changed my errand lifestyle into a LIVING lifestyle. I LIVE here in my home. I don’t just hang out here until I feel that I have to be somewhere else. It is just the opposite; it has to be a good reason to leave.
During one of the storms this year, it started with ice and lots of it. Our driveway was packed solid and our truck would spin and it was going on 10 + days since we had left. I was getting creative on the dinner front (but that was really fun and another blog). Hubby was determined that he had to get us out. He took the tractor out with the scoop and tried and tried. But even big orange Kabota tractors can’t break up gravel cemented by ice.
Conversation when he came in went something like this:
“Wow, I cannot get that stuff to break up”. It is solid ice!” I will try again later”
“Because we have been here for a week and a half. We gotta go get stuff.”
“Aren’t we out of stuff?”
“Yes, but nothing that important.”
“We need to keep eating and stuff.”
“We have so much food that we haven’t even discovered yet in the pantry! We will not starve.”
“There must be something, are you sure????”
“If it was 70 degrees and sunny, would we feel compelled to go out today to run errands?”
“Hummm…. probably not! I guess we can just forget the ice and stay here, huh?”
“Are you sure? I mean really sure?”
“Positive! Forget the ice and relax. We are good!”
So funny that sometimes we don’t even know what the “stuff” is that we need. But bottom line is that it is probably nothing that we do need. Learning to wait, learning to make do with what you have and learning to run errands when you really do need to shop for a couple weeks is a wonderful lifestyle. Lots of friends from suburbia think they would go crazy being “stuck” for 2 weeks. Maybe for the first couple of days, but then you relax, enjoy what you have, and realize, just like Dorothy that “everything I was looking for has been here all the time. There’s no place like home.”
Happy unleashing today! (whether you are snowbound or not!