Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Not the Snow's Fault...

We're enjoying snow day here in central Iowa. The girls are chillin' in their PJs. I've canceled classes at the studio. I'm even treating us to an extra 2 degrees of warmth on the thermostat. (Oh 67, how tropical you feel.) My lunch is warming on the stove and soon I'll be making my way to a comfy spot on the couch, under a blanket, to knit. Snow days are nice.

We only got about 7 inches of snow, but thanks to the wind we have drifts 2-3 feet deep covering our yard. We now have 1/2 + 1/3 of a block worth of sidewalk to clear when it snows...that's 1/2 + 1/3 of a block more sidewalk than we had at our old house. BUT our driveway is MUCH shorter. (However after shoveling today I'm starting to think that old drive was a better deal than our new sidewalk.) Scott always tells me not to worry about shoveling, that he'll clear the snow after work. He leaves in the wee hours of the morning which doesn't give him much time before hand to shovel anything beyond what he needs to get his car out of the garage. But I would feel super guilty if I spent the whole snow day inside warm and comfy only to leave the shoveling for him to do after a full day of work. Plus, shoveling always seems like a good alternative workout option when I know I'm not to going to make it to class or the gym. (Unfortunately my back and I often have differing views on this particular side benefit.)

We have been the lucky recipients of a hand-me-down snow-blower from Scott's parents. Unfortunately when I went out to move snow today it wanted nothing to do with starting. So I grabbed the shovel and started scooping. An hour and a half later I stopped after finishing just the sidewalks and sweating completely THROUGH my hooded sweatshirt under my coat. I decided I had done my part. I left the driveway for Scott so as to not make him feel left out of the fun. Besides that, my body was saying it had had enough.

The thing that is really striking me is how angry shoveling snow makes me. I'm not sure why. I've been trying to take a yogic look at the feelings that arise when I shovel snow, trying to connect why such a simple task that I WILLINGLY take on brings up so much anger. The physical labor, especially on days like today when the snow is packed hard in spots, can be demanding but is nothing that is beyond my capabilities. Generally when I'm out shoveling I have plenty of time to just steadily work away. If anything the only thing that causes me to rush is the desire to get out of the cold and in to a warm cup of tea. Usually when I'm shoveling it's after a big storm when the rest of the world has also slowed down. There's less traffic (although what there is tends to be guys who seem to have nothing better to do than drive around in big 4x4s checking out what's going on) and the world around me is quiet. In theory it's a lovely chance to just enjoy the moments as I scoop away. Instead I just get mad. I'm at a loss as to why.

I have now eaten my lunch while typing and hear my knitting calling from the couch. After knitting through The Biggest Loser and Parenthood last night as we listened to the blowing snow, I have about an inch of my sock left before I start the toe decreases. Maybe I can knit my snow shoveling anger away...and finish up a sock in the process.

I've given Scott on a new after work duty today...stopping at the grocery to bring home beer. One way or another I'm gonna work this anger right on I'm pretty sure my achy back will thank him too.



Erica said...

Ha ha! I take a different approach to shoveling and actually rather like it. I will shovel over using a snowblower any day. Not only do I get a great core workout (and put the handknits to good use), there's something meditative about clearing neat little paths - much like mowing the lawn. What really irks me though is having to dig out what the snow plow leaves. Today I had a 6' x 6' patch at the end of my driveway that was 2-4' deep and I was really not happy when the plow driver smiled and waved as he added more to my pile once I was half finished with it :/

Enjoy your blanket time - I have some of that to look forward to here in a few :D

Kate! said...

I would love a snowblower, but I'd rather invest in other things around the home before a snowblower (can you say dishwasher!). So I just go out and shovel and try to take in my surroundings, concentrate on breath, and think about how lucky we are to have a plow guy to take away the majority of the snow.

Take care!

MS said...

That's funny, Jenn, I get mad too! I have no idea why. Maybe it motivates me to keep going, because I think I only get mad when there is a LOT of snow to clear. Like today. It took me two hours to do the driveway. Last year, I would actually yell as I threw the snow over my back. It kinda feels good to yell at the snow! And I love snow!

Also, I did indeed do many, many squats as I tried to "use my legs and not my back." My butt's already sore!