January 14, 2011

What Do You Do with a Calamity Day?

It was reported that this past Tuesday, there was snow in 49 out of 50 states. Only the residents of Florida - aptly named The Sunshine State - didn't have any of the white stuff fall to the ground that day.

Some places got trace amounts of snow while others were covered with inches or even feet. Friends I have in Northern Alabama and the suburbs of Atlanta were excited by a snowstorm that dumped anywhere from 4" to 10" of snow because it is a rare occurrence for them and many of the children in the area had never had a chance to see that much snow, let alone play in it.

"Snow Days" are when school or work is closed because of the snow. They are also called "Calamity Days." Depending on what part of the country, the number of "Calamity Days" your school district or local government allows depends on the local climate. Here in Central Ohio, schools are allowed to have three days out of school due to weather. But they don't cash those in when it starts to flurry. It's got to be pretty deep or treacherous conditions before they'll consider letting the kids stay home.

As most could imagine, when a snow storm hits the South, the cities and towns aren't equipped to handle the plowing and snow removal needed to ensure safety of the residents. Schools and businesses shut down instantly when a few flakes more than a snowball hit the ground. At the other end of the spectrum, my friends in Minnesota or Montana pretty much need a blizzard of biblical proportions to get them out of school or work.

Kids live for snow days because they can sleep in and then they get to go out to play with friends out in the snow - skiing, sledding, building snowmen or snow forts or having snow ball fights. Or they could stay in their pajamas all day and watch iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Luck Charlie or some other parent-repelling show on Nickelodeon or Disney Channel.

Here's the questions to you. How do you spend a "Calamity Day"?

What would you do if you suddenly had 24 hours off? You didn't plan on it, it just happened?

  • Would you keep right on working because technology has allowed us to stay tethered? Would your iPad or iPhone allow your work to happen?

  • Could you catch up on your blogs you follow?

  • What's the book you're reading right now? Would you be able to curl up and finish it off?

  • Would it be a good time to clean out your emails and get your inbox down to zero?

  • Could you contact 10, 20 or even spend the entire day reaching out to clients and people you know just to "build relationships" or see if you could help "solve problems"?

    • We all seemed to pray or dream about "snow days" when we were kids so we could do whatever we wanted. Now as adults, we seem to eagerly anticipate the weekend but even then, our agendas are usually full of activities and obligations - many times work related.

      Think about what you could get done on your next "Calamity Day."

      The forecast is calling for cold temperatures with a good chance of snow. Are you ready?