I think I’ve taken the “grass is always greener” idea to a new low. I am actually jealous of my friends on the east coast who, facing a potentially historic storm (that wasn’t – in the NY area anyway), are all at home on snow days. It sounds so cozy. It sounds so relaxing. I am fantasizing about a warm fire, baking cookies, a stew on the stove, reading in a big chair…

But I’m not sure that’s the life of anyone who is actually stuck at home. In addition to the last-minute rush to stock their fridges and freezers and fill their cars with gas, having a snow day turns out not to be as much fun as anticipated. So mused my daughter as her children ran amok around her.

And even if it snowed in sunny LA, I neither have a working fireplace nor a big easy chair to curl up in. And if I did, when was the last time I relaxed? Even on vacation, I like to go and do. The Bahamas never held much appeal.

So why am I dreaming of snow days? I’ve isolated two reasons, neither of which is to my credit. One is the power of fantasy and the other is the aforementioned power of jealousy.

I have created an image of what a snow day would be like, an image completely divorced from the reality of an actual snow day and of my personality. An actual snow day is not so much fun. It can be boring or stressful. Being cooped up in the house is limiting and everyone in the family doesn’t usually take it in stride and settle down to a good-natured game of charades. There are still work projects to be completed and deadlines to be met, now under more stressful conditions. Like the advertisements for Thanksgiving, snow days conjure up Norman Rockwell images about family time and play into our imaginations. But ad campaigns rarely reflect reality, something we constantly need to remind ourselves.

And the power of jealousy – while I can’t identify all the complicated maneuverings of my subconscious, I can only assume that, just because someone else has it, I want it – regardless of whether it is an actual good or not. That really gives me pause. And while the truth is that I prefer cold weather to warm, any sane person should look askance at someone who, have just come in from a calm and sunny 69 degree day, longs for freezing cold weather, power outages, slippery driving and “snow days” (okay, I don’t long for power outages or slippery driving!).

This all goes to show that we must take control not just of our bodies but of our minds as well. We can’t let ourselves just wander all over the map and allow destructive ideas to take hold. It is our responsibility to take charge. In this case, the ideas are just silly (and I am duly chastened). But the potential is there for damaging thoughts to enter and exert power. We need to constantly be on the alert, be reflective, be aware.

To dream of snow days is, admittedly, silly but not harmful. But we need to beware of where our thoughts can take us, the power of our imagination and of our negative character traits. We can all be fooled – into dreaming of snow days or worse…