I know a lot of cool people. Smart people. Funny, creative, talented, generous, loving, wonderful people. They encourage me to be myself, push me to be better, and give me goals for the kind of person I want to be when I grow up. This new series is all about the lessons I’m learning and the ways they inspire me. This month, I’m inspired to go outside.
It seems like such a silly thing, being inspired to go outside. Why would I even need that? It’s just outside; it’s right there, silly Jen. Save the inspiration for bigger things.
Except that I am so terrible at it. You would think, living in The Valley of the Sun, I’d be outside all the time. (At least in the winter, when it’s a balmy 75 out. Summer is another story altogether.) But no. Even when the weather is suspiciously perfect–aka: all of February–I frequently realize at the end of the day that I never set foot outdoors.
It’s embarrassing. It’s not normal. It’s just plain wasteful, is what it is. All that lovely sunshine and fresh air, just begging to be soaked in, and here I am, hanging out on the couch, all day, every day.
And then I read Eliza’s post about her one New Year’s resolution, which is simply this: go outside with the kids for at least fifteen minutes every day.
OH MY YES. That is a resolution I need to adopt. Like, yesterday.
(I swear, this cactus is my spirit animal. Plant. Whatever. All prickly and grumpy-faced. He gets me.)
I’ve got plenty of excuses not to go outside. Walks aren’t exactly refreshing or relaxing when I have to push a stroller, herd a dawdling toddler, and keep track of a preschooler who thinks she is the fastest girl in all the land. I am trying to get the baby on a decent nap schedule, which makes midday outings more difficult. There are plenty of fun places to go–the zoo, easy hikes, farms, the botanical garden, railroad parks, the aquarium, and more–but getting there takes SO MUCH EFFORT these days. Getting everyone wrangled into semi-appropriate clothing and shoes. Packing a bag. Buckling fluffy tutus into carseats. Hoping nobody screams or falls asleep on the way there, and hoping nobody screams or stays awake on the way home. It’s exhausting. And, you know, it’s gonna be a million degrees out there in a month or two.
But Eliza does it, and she has one more kid than I do. Plus: snow. She still makes it work. (Her summer days series every year gives me serious mom goals.)
When I really think about any excuses I have, they boil down to this: going outside is not a priority for me.
But maybe, if I make it a priority, if I set a goal to get my booty out of my little house and into the big beautiful world, just for a minute or two every day, maybe it will become a habit.
I don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy the fresh air. I don’t have to orchestrate some grand adventure just to appreciate the sunshine. I can watch the kids play in the sandbox. Read a book on the grass. Walk around the block. Pull some weeds or trim up a tree. Serve dinner on the patio. (Maybe acquire a patio table and chairs first…)
But really, all I have to do is open the door and go.
The more I think about this, the more I’m hoping I’m not the only lame homebody out there. Anyone else have a hard time getting out the door? What motivates you to get outside?