There is something childlike and magical about looking through the window at the blowing snow in the early morning, with bated breath, fingers crossed, wondering if the storm is bad enough to close schools. Then the phone rings and I hear the much anticipated pre-recorded voice of my vice-principal, “This is Donald C. Jamieson Academy calling. Due to inclement weather, school will be closed for the day.” Followed by my shrieks of joy: SNOW DAY! (Note: Before automated, recorded phone calls it was considered unprofessional to shriek for joy into your vice-principal’s ear. Instead, we teachers were expected to sound a little remorseful at the news, saying something like, “Oh my, then I guess I won’t get to give my Science test again today.” The shriek would inevitably follow once the phone was hung up.)
The old homestead after the storm.
There are two times when I am really envied my job as a School Counsellor: one is summer holidays (all 9 weeks of them), the other is snow days. Newfoundland was hit really hard with a big blizzard this week, which resulted in not one, but two of these magical days. Two unexpected, surprise, blank slate days with which I could do whatever I wanted. Many of my colleagues like to use their snow days for pure relaxation and stress relief. They read, watch movies, eat junk, and veg out in their jammies until the storm passes. Not me! Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, I’m out of bed before the break of dawn, pen and paper in hand, making “THE LIST”.
Top of my list of things to do this time was the grand-daddy of all snow day projects: Operation closet clean out. The last time I cleaned out my closet was sometime in 2010, or it could have even been 2009 (cut me some slack here, I had cancer!). The problem with cleaning ones closet of course, is that one generally has a difficult time parting with one’s clothing, even if one has not worn it since 1987…..hey ya never know, it could come back in style! I knew I couldn’t do this on my own, so I called in the big guns: my BFF Jackie and her “What not to wear” team, consisting of daughter Haley and my daughter, Kaitlyn.
Jackie is one who really has her finger on the pulse of fashion. Sometimes I will see her wearing an outfit which, to me, is questionable. Then a week or so later, the same outfit will show up in Vogue, In Style or Cosmopolitan. Teenage girls of course, are genetically wired to know what not to wear, particularly if it is their mother who is wearing it. Hey, Stacy and Clinton have nothing on this bad-ass team! They were brutal. Haley forced me to throw away ALL of my turtle necks, claiming that they made me look like Howard Wolowitz from “The Big Bang Theory”. However, in the end, I am very happy to report that my closet is completely de-cluttered, and I even learned how to mix and match some of my oldies to give them an up-dated style, such as this leather jacket paired with a skirt I hardly ever wear.
I believe that a cluttered living space leads to a cluttered mental state. One of my goals for 2013 is to remove all unnecessary clutter from my house, as well as from my mind and spirit. Along with the closets in my rooms, I will work on de-cluttering the “up-stairs” closets as well, getting rid of any lingering fears, resentments, or other negative feelings which no longer serve a purpose in my life. Wish me luck!