It seems like the average American doesn't care much about a partial shutdown. Most national parks are still open and so are the forests. I've seen people giddy with the realization they don't need to pay an entrance fee. Right now the only people working in my agency are law enforcement, firefighters (if it's fire season there) and the few that are contractor representatives. Which makes me wonder.: if most of us, the toilet cleaners, the trail builders, the planners, the water testers, are not essential, maybe the parks and forests should revert back to wilderness, with no services.
But I am essential in the cosmic sense. That's all that really matters.
Anyway. I haven't had this many days off in a row when I haven't been on a hike. And what I have discovered is what those who are able to avoid work have known for years: Time! So much time! I've been able to snowshoe and ski with friends who have no work limitations, when usually I have to beg off with a sigh if it's during the work week. I also realize: I would be in such great shape if I had this much time, all the time!
And we have been blessed by soft, fluffy powder snow! The kind that your snowshoes sink in deep, the kind that forgives your clumsy skiing. The dog is getting spoiled too by all this activity. No more lying sullenly in the house while I work. It's play time all the time!
This makes me realize why some less fearful friends retired early, with the opinion that the future is not guaranteed. I get it! But I still can't quite make the leap. There's been too much time invested, and so little to go. I do dream, though.
***Speaking as a private individual. These opinions are not expressed for my agency, or on official work time, or in my professional capacity.