Week 6: Slowing down

Happy New Year! The New Year is always a mixture of excitement, new beginnings and reflection. We recently returned from a holiday trip to San Francisco where we spent two weeks relaxing, enjoying time with family and taking a break from work. We even had time to think beyond all of our responsibilities and to check in with ourselves. Vacations are so important for those reasons. In the normal day to day routine (i.e., sleep, drive kids to school, commute, work, commute, pick up kids from school, sleep), it is hard to find the time to nurture your spirit. 52 Weeks of Nature is our resolution to inject some of that vacation elixir into the day to day routine.  

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The plan for today was a trip to the boys’ barber and then an exploration of some trails at a local park. The park was a beautiful open green space with fantastic views of the mountains and some superb sunshine to warm our faces. We brought some snacks to enjoy and strolled at a very leisurely pace. Kids have this weird impact of speeding you up and slowing you down at the same time. At home my mind races as I jump from task to task – it always seems like I am carrying a kid, making dinner or cleaning up a spill, while also thinking about the unfinished bathroom project, the unpaid credit card bill and whether or not I shut the garage. Catching your breath is needed, but it rarely happens.

 

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In nature, the opposite is true; AJ moves at slow, curious rate and stops often. He tries to lick the snow, pick up bugs and is generally interested in little things on the trail. Pre-kids, I thought the only way to hike was to go fast and far, but I have come to appreciate the slower pace. It allows me time to absorb the beautiful things that are happening around me; leaves blowing in the wind, sunshine reflecting off snow and the quiet of the world. I let go of the anxiety that plagues life and feel calmness flow through me.

As we begin this New Year I hope to live life with the curiosity of a two year old. I hope to move slower, to smell the roses, and to live in the moment.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir  

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