I can’t think of a single person who has looked at our election process this year and thought, “This is a great example of a healthy democracy at work! Well done, America!” I’m offering no commentary here on the candidates, but am simply stating that it has been a LONG, drawn out process with more mud-slinging than I knew to be humanly possible.
And frankly, it’s left me feeling just gross. I watched the most recent political debate on a Friday night and spent the entire weekend working it out of my system with my family. We stepped away from the internet and did a little playing and friends, it was SO good for my soul. So good.
Want to see what we’ve been up to? Saturday we were up bright and early and found a kid-friendly trail just a 10 minute drive away from our home (oh how spoiled we are living in a great outdoorsy community like Chattanooga!).
We got to put on long sleeves for the first times all season (it’s been way too hot for way too long!) and enjoyed some crisp air and some lovely foliage. And not more than 10 minutes into our hike did we have our first awe-inspiring moment. Can you spot the 6 foot tall human standing next to this tree?
WOW!!! This amazing specimen was just hangin’ out in the forest, doing it’s thing! It was so very awesome to get to just put life on hold for a minute and take in the majesty of it. And my kids were positively giddy to see something so cool, too.
Getting out into nature for a bit with my family gave me the time and space I needed to let go of my daily routine and my entire adult world, really, and to just be present and be a fellow explorer with my kiddos. I find that in nature, kids are the very best guides and leaders and the parents should follow their example. They are highly intuitive and perceptive and seem to know when to stop and linger, when to quiet down and listen, and when to simply delight in something they find.
The girls also enjoyed using their brand new sit-upons that they made at Girl Scouts when it it was time for a snack break. CLIF Kid Zbars came along on the trip. Tim has been eating CLIF bars since he was a young teen doing rock climbing and snowboarding. I’ve continued to purchase them for our home because they fit the bill for the type of snack I want to offer my kids when they are being active (nutrient-dense, organic, non-GMO, preservative and HFCS-free, and portioned correctly).
The next day, my girls woke up talking about how much fun they had the day before getting to do “fun family” stuff and they asked if we could do something else that day. So we decided to go to the amazing rock climbing gym that we have downtown to work our bodies, to challenge our minds, and most of all, to have more fun together.
Friends, the girls simply THRIVED in this environment! It was a beautiful sight to behold. They were getting fantastic exercise and were loving the challenge of rock climbing and bouldering. They stayed and played for almost 4 hours, and now my husband and I are very seriously considering purchasing an annual membership for our whole family since 3 out of 4 of us love to rock climb, and as for the one who doesn’t (that would be me), this facility also offers yoga classes for its members, and yoga is one of my very favorite forms of exercise. This seems like an awesome option for my family that we can enjoy for some portion of time every weekend, and since we live downtown, we can also head over on the occasional weeknight to play around for a bit.
What this past weekend showed me is that the adults in my family need some time spent playing and having fun and moving our bodies just as much as the kids, and we are well-served if we simply follow our kids’ lead. Life is hectic and busy and it can be all too easy to put the fun stuff on the back burner, but when it’s all said and done, these are the memories we will keep with us.
What fun activities might you have access to in your community? If you are lucky enough to have a rock climbing gym, most definitely go check that out, but no matter where you are, there’s surely a walking trail or a patch of nature somewhere close by where you and your family could go and get lost for a little while (and for FREE!). October is such a glorious month pretty much everywhere, so take advantage of it and let your kids lead you this week in some good old fashioned play time. And take a moment to check out this video CLIF Kid video for additional inspiration!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.