9:50 pm outing

I have a cold.  Blah!  But, my head is feeling a lot better.

Last night I said goodnight to my husband around 9:50 pm.  He said goodnight and then asked, “Did you do your outdoor time today?”

I sighed and said, “Shit.  No.”

I ate soup on my front porch for lunch, but that only took about 10 min.  I had a few minutes here and there waiting for kids outdoors but it didn’t total 30 min.  So, despite my cold, despite the time of day, I put on my shoes and went outside.

I’ve said this before, but I realized it again last night, the first step is the hardest part.  Once outside I was grateful.  The air was warm and moist.  I could actually breathe through my nose for the first time all day.  I sat in a comfy wooden chair and looked at the clouds.  I insisted that Hans join me and he did, willingly.  It was lovely.  We were mostly silent, looking at the cumulous clouds and enjoying the bright moonlight as it peeked through the clouds every now and again.

Getting outside at night has been the single greatest discovery of my 365 day journey.  Walking alone, sitting alone, sitting with my husband, sitting with friends, with tea or wine in hand–whatever the circumstances I enjoy being outdoors under the stars, the moon,  and even the street lights.



Who’s Keeping Score?

I met a like-minded outdoorsy fellow the other day to whom I mentioned my goal of getting outside for 30 minutes every day for the entire year.  His response, “Well, nobody’s keeping score, right?”  I replied, “I am.  I’ve only missed four days.”

Two days ago I missed a fifth day.  Why did I miss another day?  I don’t have a good excuse.  What could possibly make me miss getting outside for a minimum of 30 minutes?  The weather was perfect and I love getting outside.  Without fail, after 30 or more minutes of walking, running, sailing, or just being outside I always feel calmer, centered, and grounded.

I think it may have something to do with the change in our routines as the seasons shift.  The kids are back in school–or meant to be back in school, long stressful story that I’m not going to share because that would reveal where my kids go to school and well, we don’t do that in blogging… anyway, all you need to know is things have been more stressful around here than normal.  Also, two weekends ago I was racing J24s, a 24-foot sailboat in The Down East Regatta with winds between 22 and 32 knots.  Crazy windy!  We broached in the second race–a fancy way of saying that we almost tipped over.  We popped back up within seconds, but, although I don’t really remember much of the event, I have witnesses and photographic evidence that I was 3/4 of the way underwater (while still holding onto the boat) and I got hit (really hard) by the boom in the head.  I still have symptoms of a mild concussion–basically a minor headache that becomes more intense by noise and too much computer time.  The point of sharing this is I’m not myself and that certainly affects my awareness of time.

Why does it matter?  Why does it matter if I only go outside for 22 minutes or 5 or only to and from the car all day?  Why does it matter if I get so busy that I don’t even think about going outside?  To many of you, it doesn’t matter.  To me, it matters because it is really important for me to get outside regularly.  I have spent too many years not getting outside regularly and even with the intention I’m placing into this 365 day journey, I still need to be conscious of my need to get outside.  This summer, I was outside every day.  For many of those days I was outside for all but 30 minutes.   As we transition to another season, full of unusual amounts of stress and minor health issues, I need to make regular time to get outside and to be more aware of how precious this is.  Because, when I get outside, stressful things are put into perspective and my headache (or whatever ails me) feels better.  It’s as simple as that.

I know nobody else is counting how many days I’ve missed, but I’m counting.  And, when it comes right down to it, I’m doing this for me.

(Photo credit, Shirley Fox)