Yesterday saw twenty inches of snow fall on the Chicagoland area from well before sunrise to well after sunset. Until one o’clock or so it was just snow, but the wind kicked up in the afternoon, and it turned into the fifth-highest snow total in Chicago since records started in the late 19th Century.
Chicago has brutal winters and is known for storms. Yesterday went into the record books as one only four storms can best.
The day needed to be planned against. At seven, the twenty-five foot long driveway was shoveled for the first time and it was already six inches deep. Through the course of the morning there were two more efforts.
Then the wind started.
The drift from the north side of the driveway to the south side of the driveway climbed to two feet three times through the day. There were four more times out working against the drifts and the wind before I conceded defeat and set an alarm for five o’clock this morning to hopefully finish the task.
At 5 a.m. the drift was back to two feet. The drift at the front door, which I had left alone on Sunday, was four feet. It was the most-difficult twenty-four hours of effort against a winter I have ever faced.
Then I got to go to work. Nearly everything in the area shut down but not my little purveyor of cheap gifts and novelties. When I got to the office the parking lot was barely cleared of snow and so many parking spots were still covered those who start work after me had to park in the next-door building and walk more than one hundred yards in the bright, five-degree bitter cold to get inside.
It took forever for me to drive to work. On the way home I had to drive around a major accident due to the snow still not cleared. It took forever to get home from work.
The point? I should not have been at work today when there was true danger to my safety in just getting to my desk. Today I realized as a corporate drone I simply do not matter. The realization, when it occurred as I checked to see whether the office would be open, made me question everything I have done, professionally, since I graduated from college fifteen years ago. The dollar matters. I do not.
Just what am I doing with my life? Am I going to tell my grandchildren how proud they should be of me because I did such a good job marketing coffee mugs in the shapes of toilets and handguns? What do I tell my children? How do I make sense of it as I try to get to sleep.
There are so many, many things wrong with my life. Twice in the past week people with whom I had casual conversations described me as “sad.”
They weren’t wrong.
Just what am I doing with my life.