Sunday, February 17, 2019

Snow Days

Since January 19th, my hometown has received 37 inches of snow. It seemed like every night we would see the closings roaming in. Students were barely going to school and getting plenty of time off. Often I would hear my friends from back home complaining about the weather their time inside on their day off.

This made me think of my times spent outside on snow days.
I remember when I was in middle school and used to jump up and down when we got a school free day. I would wake up at nine and throw on my snow pants and head outside.
that was clipped to our snow sled. We would whip each other around the snowdrifted yard. We took breaks to build jumps and ramps to block the trees and fences.
We spent the whole day out in the snow.
Now when I look online, I see a lot of my peers wishing it was summer and complaining about the upcoming forecasts. We have all been there, complaining to others about the snow storm because that is what Minnesotans do. We may even find ourselves closing our eyes in front of the fireplace pretending the heat is coming from the sun. We spend so much time worrying about things we cannot change. We spend so much time complaining about where we are at in our lives.

My brother would have already moved all the snow in our four-wheeler and all the snow we
were about to move would be strictly for entertainment. We tied a rope to the back of the
four-wheeler snow and often came in at night to get food before going back out again. Over the years, this became our snow day ritual often doing our online school work when the sun went down. We loved and cherished our snow days.

At the beginning of each FFA conference, we set these rules or expectations. One of them always stands out to me the most: Be Here and Now. We add action to remind us of this expectation by pointing to the ground and looking to where our feet are. We want to be in the moment with the people that are around us. We aspire to be off technology devices and set aside things that take our minds away from the things around us. This ultimately optimizes our experiences. We make memories and cherish our time together because of our be here and now mindset.

The snow will always go away and disappear sometime in the spring (and probably return a few times), so we need to optimize our time with what we have around us. Take each opportunity as a time to find joy for what is around us and too look at what is given to us whether that is family, friends, weird tasks or opportunities and seek purpose from them. We can choose to find joy in the simple things of life. If you have a snow day, choose to make the most of our time in this winter wonderland. Make do with what we have around us. Find joy in the things we cannot control. Love what the world has given us and take opportunities ahead of us. Chose to be here and now.

Stationed by the Flag,
Lauralee M. Eaton

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