I got the message around 2 pm.
My wife, Linda, emailed to say that because of the snowstorm, she had just heard that all after school events were cancelled for the day.
Ouch. My weekly basketball game is in the middle school gym – if they shut down the schools, they shut down the game.
I was very unhappy; my game night preparations were already well underway:
- I had eaten a big lunch, knowing I wouldn’t eat again until at least 9pm.
- I hadn’t exercised that morning, in anticipation of playing that night.
- My gym bag was packed and ready in the trunk of my car.
Now it was all cancelled.
Later that evening, and more or less over my disappointment, I slowly and carefully made the three mile drive home through the snow covered streets of our town.
That’s when I began thinking about snow and how its impact on daily life is actually a good thing.
Sure, stuff gets cancelled, cars need cleaning and you’re bound to spend many hours over the course of a New England winter shoveling, snow blowing and throwing ice melt on your children front steps.
But there’s plenty of good stuff that results as well.
You walk outside in the morning and the entire neighborhood, as far as you can see, looks nothing like it did the night before.
Your kids get to stay home – and you get to sleep in – when the occasional snow day arrives (something that, at any age, never gets old).
Even the driving, as white-knuckled as some of those drives can be, is kind of a fun adventure.
Yes, we complain about it. But the truth is, we sort of like it.
After all, snowstorms, despite all the random havoc they can create, make things interesting. Much more so than just another day, as planned.
You know what they remind me of? Being a solo professional. Here’s what I mean…
When you work solo, things can be crazy. You can go from amazing highs to soul-crushing lows … in the same day. It’s thrilling, terrifying, fun, confusing and many other words that I’m sure I could find at Thesaurus.com.
But you know what it never is? Dull.
Back when I had a job, on the other hand, there were no high highs and there were no low lows – everything was pretty much steady as she goes, day after day after day. It was like living in a place where the weather never changed.
Sure, my paycheck arrived predictably and on time every two weeks. But back then, the difference between a great day and an average day hinged on whether or not I found leftover cake in the lunchroom.
With the year almost over, many solo professionals are wondering if maybe chasing the dream of working on their own is a bad idea. So much uncertainty, so many things to worry about.
I used to wonder too, especially during those first few years. Now I just think of it like snow: unpredictable and occasionally even dangerous. But that’s why it’s so much fun too.
I think my friend and fellow solo professional, Don Maher, may have summed it up best the other day, when I asked him how things were going.
He just kind of laughed and said, “Michael, it’s never as good as you want it to be, but it’s so much better than it used to be.”
Words to live by for 2014. (Don’t forget your gloves and boots.)