There has been a lot of snow recently in my neighbourhood. All of Metro Vancouver has been nestled under a blanket of white for a couple of weeks, but here in Coquitlam we got more than most communities. It’s pretty, for sure, and my kids love it. However, it does pile up and need to be removed from sidewalks and driveways and so on, which is how I found myself out shovelling this morning.
Normally while I do a task I don’t enjoy, like cleaning the kitchen or shovelling snow, I distract myself with some music or a podcast. It helps the time to pass more quickly, and makes menial work less mind-numbing. However, today I forgot my earbuds somewhere inside the house. By the time I decided I wanted them I didn’t feel like taking off my snow gear and searching, so I gave up and shovelled in silence.
All that nothing in my ears? It actually felt kind of uncomfortable. It made me think about how rarely I experience quiet in my life.
I always have music or a podcast going in the car.
I’m a substitute teacher so work is pretty much never quiet, and on the occasions when I’m alone in the classroom I often play music.
I have two children and a husband. Enough said.
I spent about an hour and a half shovelling today, and by the time that I was done I had moved through my discomfort to appreciation. I was outside, I was exercising, I had accomplished something and I had some quiet time to myself. In the lead-up to Christmas, when my to-do list feels long and my days feel hectic, it was actually a rare treat.
Maybe I distract myself too much. Maybe I should stop and just be where I am. Be mindful. Wash the dishes to wash the dishes. Or shovel the snow to shovel the snow.
I have the next two weeks off, so this is timely for me. How will I use this vacation? Will I distract myself, or will I be present? If my experience this morning is any indication, I should probably choose to be present.
Or, at least, that’s how I justified the yarn I bought online this afternoon. Because knitting can also be about mindfulness, right?
Here’s to personal growth, impulse purchases and finding some peace in the busy holiday season.