We had our first snow day last week. A glorious, slightly unexpected day off.
Many teachers hate snow days, knowing how each one eats into our summer vacations.
A day off in February means another day of work in June.
But they are wrong to think this way for one simple reason:
It’s exceedingly presumptuous to believe that you’ll be alive in June. A multitude of disasters could beset you or the country or the planet, ending your life prematurely.
Take your days when you can get them. Assume nothing.
People think I’m kidding when I say this. They laugh. One person actually suggested that I use this rationale in my standup. “It would be a hilarious bit,” he said.
I’m not trying to be funny. I’m serious.
But I understand why people don’t think the way I do. I remember what it was like to walk through life so blissfully unaware of the razor’s edge.
For me, that all went away on an April night in 1992 when a man put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. That was the night that I stopped assuming anything about my future.
That was the moment when I started taking my days when I could get them. Taking hours and minutes, too.
I told this story at The Moth if you’re interested in watching.
On rare occasions, I encounter someone who I am certain would feel the same about snow days as I do. Someone who I feel as connected to as almost anyone in the world, even though in some cases, we’ve never even met. Someone whose experiences mirror my own.
Recently I heard Stanley Alpert tell a story on The Moth Radio Hour, and I experienced that feeling of connectedness. The belief that he and I move through this world with the same purpose and philosophy.
The certainty that he understands the razor’s edge as well as I do.
I can’t recommend it enough. You should stop everything and listen now. It’s brilliant.