9 In Thoughts & Observations

Do You Wait for a Hall Pass From the Universe to Rest?

Like many other people across the country last week, my little neck of the woods got pelted with a winter wake up call from Mother Nature. I think our official tally in Tulsa was five inches, which, for more snow-finessed folk, probably seems laughable. The problem with those five inches is that we almost always have a shiny, sparkly layer of ICE underneath our snow.

Thursday’s snowy delivery was no exception.

Since my job allows me to work from home, I’m the go-to designee for staying home with the kids, which means all of my work on a snow day is done sans makeup or nice hair. My glamorous look is usually also accompanied by my most comfortable sweats (which are not fit for public appearances), or pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

Oh, yeah. Forty-six years old and I still dig snow days.

They’re like mini hall passes from the universe. Permission to let go of the usual routine just long enough to feel like you’re getting away with something.

I futzed around Friday morning, glorying in snapping fire in the fireplace and the fact that no one could do a drive-by at my cubicle to unload a new task, reveling in the lack of office chatter.

Then amateur philosopher mode kicked in. I started thinking about what other universe-induced hall passes I tend to enjoy.

Take for instance getting sick. Or, worse, getting injured. Yes, I know they’re not as appealing as when you’re healthy, but nothing says, “Lay in bed and do nothing,” quite like the flu or a strained back. True, those ailments suck. But, for a brief moment in time, no one gives you grief for taking a time out. It’s a hall pass!

Childbirth is another one. I tell any soon-to-be, first-time mamas, “Whatever you do, DO NOT put on street clothes post-coming home from the hospital until you’re ready to resume active duty. The human race will view that as a sign you’re back in the game.”

If you’ve given birth, or live with someone who has, you know I’m right.

The real question here—and the point my inner-philosopher jumped on with heartened zeal:

Why do I need the universe to give me a hall pass?

Why can’t I just take what one of my good friends call, “A mental health day.” I mean, if I proactively plan the time off for just me–giving myself one hundred percent permission to be lazy–I’ll enjoy it more right?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I never do mental health days. I just seem to not do it often enough. (Hubby has learned he gets BIG brownie points when he helps me remember the need for these types of days and helps me facilitate them more often than I manage on my own.)

What about you? What are your favorite hall passes from the universe? Are you good about scheduling free time for yourself? Or do you rely on circumstance to do it for you?


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    December 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I totally agree! While I’ve gotten a lot done around the house, I’ve really enjoyed finishing up a book, watching Hallmark movies and brainstorming in my mind. Helps on the sanity to have the mental health days, which I try to schedule pretty often and I really appreciate them afterwards.

    • Reply
      Marcy Kennedy
      December 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Hallmark movies are my guilty pleasure. Glad to know I’m not the only one who likes them 🙂

  • Reply
    Marcy Kennedy
    December 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I almost always need a hall pass from an outside source (though my husband has really been holding me accountable lately for actually taking “me time”). I absolutely did NOT want to get my wisdom teeth out. I worried about it for weeks in advance, and I was not a pleasant person the morning of. But it felt really good to be allowed to rest for a couple of days without anyone asking why I wasn’t doing something.

    Do you think this is a North American thing? I’ve heard that life runs at a much slower pace elsewhere.

    • Reply
      December 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      I’ve heard that too. I have a funny feeling it would take me a few years in Spain to adjust to how they live…but I’d probably be a much happier person. Hmm. Maybe there’s a message for me there.

  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    December 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I had a snow day on Friday too – and it was a blast! Hanging out with hubby, doing…whatever. I. Wanted. The only problem? I start wanting more “snow days.”

  • Reply
    December 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    For a lot of people, retirement is a golden hall pass . . . as in, never have to work again! Trouble is, my dad is 83 years old and still works every day. He just doesn’t call it work. He says he’s never worked a day in his life because he LOVES what he does.
    For that same reason, I never call writing work. I love, love, love it! (I’d add another love to that list if I made a ton of money. Alas . . . )
    Anyway, from my perspective, a hall pass is being able to do whatever you want to do. And it looks to me as if you’re doing just that most of the time, Miss Rhenna. And loving every moment of it. 😉
    Thanks. I enjoyed the philosopher side of you.

  • Reply
    Marianna Heusler
    December 10, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I’m a teacher, so I LOVE snow days – even hurricane days – as long as they don’t do any real damage. I don’t even mind a small injury or sickness. Staying at home, nestled in bed, watching Monk or Murder She Wrote is pure bliss. The problem with being a teacher, though, is sometimes it’s more work when you call in sick, then when you actually show up!

  • Reply
    Jackie King
    December 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Your posts always make me smile! I just love the way your mind works.

    And for Susan: Writing is work for me, it always has been. So it’s strange that I feel compelled to write when I don’t have to. And I’ve retired from my day job, but still feel as though I should always be doing something, productive. I think that part of the reason is that it’s more fun to goof off when part of me thinks I should be tidying up or some such.

    Hugs to all.

  • Reply
    Gretchen Wing
    December 12, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I was a teacher like Marianna, so snow still affects me that way even though my time is much more my own these days. But I still find ways to give myself a “pass” from my own self-imposed work schedule. Like right now, my son’s visiting, and he’s in the room where I usually work, and I couldn’t possibly do something as serious & engrossing as outline my next book right here in the living room, could I? No way. So today’s all about the blogs. Thanks, universe. 🙂

  • Leave a Reply