April Jeppson: Taking full advantage of a snow day off

Published 8:45 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

So, how about that snow?

April Jeppson

I love a good blizzard. I actually really like that my children can do their schoolwork from home now, so the days of getting 6 a.m. phone calls from the school are few and far between. Having the night before to plan makes my life so much easier. I was even able to work ahead so I could enjoy all of Thursday with my kids.

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You don’t realize how much you do something, until you can’t do it anymore. I was at home Thursday morning enjoying some TV time with my kids when I had the urge to check my work email. I picked up my phone and then I paused. I then proceeded to have one of those internal conversations with myself. “April, it’s your day off. Put the phone down.” So I did.

It felt so weird.

Couldn’t have been more than five minutes later when I felt the urge to check to see if any of the staff had reached out with questions. Again, I had to tell myself no.

It reminded me of when my children were younger and I had to break them of a bad habit, like tossing their food off the high chair.

When the show ended and there was a natural break in our activities, I did finally check my phone. I responded to an email and a few messages but anything that didn’t need to be handled that day, I left unread. It felt almost irresponsible to not do more work. Like I was cheating on a test or trying to get away with something.

I have some creative projects at home that I never seem to have enough time for, so I figured this was the day. I created a nice little work station at our kitchen table. It was fully equipped with licorice, my flavored water and my art supplies. It took me a while to calm my mind and really embrace what it was that I was doing. I was kind of antsy. It felt like I shouldn’t just be sitting there, like there were other, more important things to work on. Again, I had to remind myself that it was my day off and that these things could wait until tomorrow.

After my mind settled down, my project no longer felt like a selfish waste of time. It began to feel fun. As my children were working on their snow day homework, I was working on mine. It was probably 4 p.m. by the time I fully let go of “going to work.” As I was getting ready for bed I told my husband how proud I was of myself for not going in to work.

That probably seems silly, but I was honestly proud of myself for resisting the urge to go in, get something done and check on everything. I like work. I enjoy my co-workers and I believe in what we do. With that said, I know that I also need to step away from it occasionally. Like caffeine and sugar, sometimes I need to give up work for a day or two so that I can maintain a healthy relationship with it.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears in the Tribune every Saturday.