It’s the dog days of summer and August is underway. After a super hot June, and very wet July, New Hampshire is experiencing some mild and lovely days. It’s obviously easy to get our 1000 hours when the weather cooperates, and I’ve been using the time to step outside of our comfort zone and mix it up a bit. At this point, we’re likely around 500 hours for the year. Almost halfway there but, like I’ve mentioned before, I won’t be super disappointed if we don’t achieve the goal of 1000. We’re already doing a lot more than before!
For one, I’m forcing my kids to walk more often! When they were younger, I relied on the car and don’t feel bad about it! When you’re in the trenches, and just trying to make it through the day, you have to do what you have to do! But now my younger one is elementary-school age, and I’m determined to use the car less and move our bodies more. We live in walking distance to some local destinations, so we’re using those points as our goal and getting outside. It’s not easy – there are some hills and whining involved – but I think we all feel pretty proud when we’re done. The other day, my daughter asked me if we were helping the Earth by skipping the car and walking instead. I was able to answer truthfully with a “yes.” To be honest, that goal hadn’t occurred to me – I was thinking more about getting in some exercise for both of us – but it was a bonus revelation. Biden’s recent executive order is exciting, as well.
(In full transparency, we don’t always make it to our destination. Sometimes we abandon hikes midway through because someone’s having a bad day. In this instance, we stopped after an hour because one of us hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before. I used to be really upset about this type of thing – I’m a “let’s make it to the top type of person” – but I’m trying to be more “go with the flow.” An hour of hiking and outside time is still a win!)
As a child, my family didn’t spend time camping. I grew to love it as an adult but definitely don’t know what I’m doing. Last night, Hannah and I teamed up with another friend (they are both pros, compared to my novice skills) and had a mother/daughter camping night. It was so much fun! We didn’t go far – there was no impressive hike involved – but we cooked over the fire, made s’mores, played and slept under the stars and enjoyed morning coffee together. My daughter and I both loved it. These simple types of vacations don’t get enough credit in my opinion. A lot of people are always looking for the hottest new getaway or exotic place, yet air travel is environmentally costly. I truly believe that teaching your kids about the simple pleasures in life, and forging a connection with the Earth, will encourage them to protect our environment. Plus, it’s relatively cheap and emotionally fulfilling!
How have you been getting outside this August? Share with us! I hope you’re having some summer fun! However I’ll admit that I’m already thinking ahead to ski season. – Rachel