It's January. It's bitter cold. It's snowing. It's Chicago. Before you know it, the trees will be budding and your salt-stained boots will be stored away until December.
Instead of fighting a snowy day, relish the thought of never leaving your home. Not even to get the mail.
Here are 6 things to do to pass the time without a snowflake of guilt.
#1. Stay in your pajamas all day. Or sweatpants. Whatever is the most comfortable. No makeup. No bra. You aren't going outside so who cares? No need to shower, but do brush your teeth. Tie your hair up in a ponytail or just give it a fluff. Put deep moisturizer on your feet and hands and wear socks and those fuzzy gloves or wrap them with plastic bags to soften your dry, cracked skin. Your heels will need extra care. Vaseline works wonders.
#2. Make a pot of soup. I always have cartons of chicken or vegetable stock on hand. You can usually find a can of cannellini beans, pasta or rice in your panty, right? Add some soon-to-be-spent vegetables from your refrigerator, chopped onion or celery, seasonings and simmer all day. Add chicken if you like. There is no recipe. Whatever you can scrounge together in your kitchen will do just fine. If you simply can't bring yourself to make homemade soup, order pizza, but put a bra on before you answer the door for the delivery guy.
#3. Listen to your favorite record. Really listen. Not just as background music. No multi-tasking. Concentrate. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Listen to the music and lyrics and remember why you love this band or singer so much that you had to purchase this record. I haven't listened to "Adele 21" in a while so that's on my playlist. This is the perfect time to wrap your feet and hands in those plastic bags.
#4. Look at old photographs. No one prints photographs or creates photo albums anymore do they? Hundreds of photos are stored on our phones and we rarely look at them. If you are lucky enough to own a cardboard box filled with old photos, hibernating under your bed, get them out. Black and white photos of your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents are the treasures of your ancestry. Maybe you will be inspired to call your Grandma Bessie or get a frame for that favorite photo of Aunt Margaret and leave it on your bedside table. Boy, was I young in that picture. What's happened to me? Shit, when did I get so old?
#5. Clean out a closet. Just one. Let's not overachieve. This is a day to renew and recharge, not declutter your entire home. Choose one that demands some attention. Throw everything on the floor and what you don't want or need, donate or toss. Then carefully put back what you actually enjoy wearing, use frequently or can't part with. A linen closet is a great snowy day project because sheets and towels don't carry the baggage of memories. There are no fat sheets and skinny sheets either. This is the time to blast some tunes without concentrating on the music or lyrics.
#6. Move your furniture around. I love doing this even on a stormy, summer day. It makes you think you have a brand new home and you'll have a different perspective of your humble abode. Try a whole different arrangement that you never thought possible. Move the sofa away from the wall and put it at an angle. Bring the antique, caned chair out of your basement and use it as an end table. Repurpose the painted dresser from your guest room and drag it into the dining room for a trendy bar cart. Your rooms will feel fresh, new and the added bonus is you will vacuum up years worth of dust and dead stink bugs hiding under that love seat. You may even uncover that missing, silver hoop earring.
A snowy Saturday day in January is the perfect excuse to be somewhat reclusive, productive and a bit lazy.
Fight cabin fever and use your time being cooped up to calm yourself down and be pampered by simple pleasures.
That's our reward for bearing the brutal winters of Chicago.
By the time we set our clocks forward in March you'll say, "Oh, that winter wasn't so bad after all," and your soft-skinned heels will look spectacular in your summer sandals.
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