I’m a pretty driven person. I feel guilty when I am not accomplishing something. But as a writer, I have discovered the value of downtime. The mind–and the body–need time to recharge. And occasionally weather provides the excuse to do just that.

You see, north Texas is currently socked in with extreme winter weather. Yesterday–Friday–I was scheduled to do student conferences, and my wife was slated for meetings and visits to the two hospice offices that she manages. But Thursday night we got hit by freezing rain, sleet and then snow. So yesterday school was cancelled and Shelly worked from home. We spent the day vegging in front of the fireplace, overjoyed that I had the foresight to split some wood.

Today we usually go to church, and tonight is the faculty Christmas party. But the winter weather dragged on, and so both were cancelled. So right now, we are still in front of the fire, occasionally looking out the window at all the wild songbirds that are snacking on the seed we put out for them. Our three dogs are sleeping on the floor near us, and I have a blanket over my legs. We have Christmas music playing, and I go back and forth between napping and reading a book.

I’m not complaining that church and the party were cancelled. I used to be a party animal, but not today, not anymore.

Instead, I am recharging my batteries, counting my blessings for a warm home and a family that loves me.