I spent this past weekend in northern Wisconsin at my parents’ cabin. The Northwoods is truly the epitome of “the great outdoors.” The air was so pure and fresh, with a beautiful pine aroma. I spent every spare minute outdoors, taking deep, refreshing breaths and soaking up some vitamin D.
There is no air-conditioning at their home, so I woke up each day to bright sunshine on my pillow and birds chirping in the background. It sounds annoying, but it was actually pretty fantastic.
When I got home, I realize that I spend far too much time in my air-conditioned family room. At any given moment, you might find me watching TV, checking my work e-mail on my company iPhone and reading blogs on my laptop. Multi-tasking, yes–but the tasks don’t reflect things I love. I firmly believe that you should be able to look at my schedule and know what I value, and my life hasn’t been that way in recent years.
What do I value? Family, friends, laughter, health, sunshine, new experiences, making memories. Since summer is slipping through our fingers, I decided to focus on the “sunshine” aspect of the list first and make a list of things I can do outside, rather than languishing on the sofa:
- Train for my second 5K.
- Take a long walk with Jon and the pups.
- Go to the park and enjoy the swings. Bring a friend’s kid if I’m feeling too embarrassed to go alone.
- Pack a picnic lunch and head to the local forest preserve.
- Take a horse-back riding lesson.
- Find a “movie in the park” night at a local park district.
- Explore my neighborhood on a bike.
- Find a community garage sale, park at one end of the neighborhood and walk to all of the sales.
- Go mini-golfing.
- Lie in the hammock with a great book.
- Fill up the kiddie pool and splash around with the dogs.
- Visit a botanic garden.
- Plant flowers.
- Run through the sprinkler (Yes, I’ve done this recently. No, I don’t have kids. Adults get hot too!).
- Go to the drive-in theater. Switch cars with my parents for the evening so we can sit in the back of my dad’s pick-up.
- Go to the local farmer’s market (and buy some fabulous cheese while there!).
- Roller skate (this one is dangerous if you’re as klutzy as I am; I firmly believe people are born without wheels on their feet for a reason).
- Volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter.
- Rent a paddle boat or canoe at a local pond (typically $5-$10).
- Go fishing (catch and release!).
What would you add to this list? Does your daily schedule reflect your priorities, or are you, too, wasting far too many precious hours?