Apparently I need to spend some time everyday in the great outdoors........
A week in open spaces
This challenge was exciting for me, particularly because I feel that I do not access the outdoors/ nature enough outside of the British Summer.It has always been a challenge of mine to ensure that my children spend more time outdoors as we have become creatures of habit; chasing warmth in the colder months.I think this is just a family choice of how they spend their free time.That thing we call habit.When I was at the launch of The Great Wake Up we discussed how our lives are often dictated by our subconscious, the habit that takes over.The hardest thing about this social experiment is being able to change the habit of a lifetime.The challenges that are pushing me to change my habit are the hardest.They are definitely pushing me to the limits.
It’s interesting that with changes you want to introduce into your life, it still seems difficult to change your routine.One of my favourite past times is meeting friends and sharing a meal; having engaging conversation.I have no problems repeating this.It is definitely a habit that I am happy and comfortable with.But one small challenge like interacting with nature every day?I struggled.
Every day I woke with the intention of going out today.We have some lovely green spaces not too far from home that require only a small amount of effort to engage with.I know the gains of spending time outdoors.The impact of fresh air on my body and mind.The ability to enjoy the outdoors with our new baby and the communication it would encourage or stimulate between baby and I.The weather on day one was questionable.And day two.This was looking challenging.We did spend some time in our beautiful and new garden but I knew it was a cop out.
We did venture to a park near to us on day three but this was more due to the fact that I felt the pressure of participating in this experiment.I really pushed myself as I didn’t want the week to pass without having the experience of going out into green spaces and engaging in nature.The weather was hideous and when it began to rain we gave up and headed home.Deflated I sat for a cup of tea and thought about the impact of going out.For a start my baby son came home and slept for two hours, uninterrupted!!!This is huge for us.I managed to get some work done, have another cuppa and read a chapter of my book.The gains were huge.I was ready for our walk the following day.
The weather was much better on day four and we were really excited, more so myself about the possibility of having two hours with baby napping after our brisk walk in the Great Outdoors.Except he was really ratty, wasn’t enjoying being in a pushchair and we had to bring the walk to a swift end.To be honest it was my fault, I knew he was tired and should probably have stayed home.He didn’t sleep for two hours and I could feel the habit creeping back in.
So in essence we are grateful for the opportunity to change our habits, think differently and allow ourselves to experience this amazing, challenging world that we live in. But only if it fits in with our routine.Listening to ourselves and being aware of when something will work, or not. However, I have to keep in mind that I do not always want to operate on habit.I want to do things differently from time to time to remind myself to look around and notice, to hear and see.To feel.