Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Week Four: 30 x 30 Nature Challenge

For the month of May I participated in the David Suzuki Foundation 30 x 30 Nature Challenge to spend 30 minutes in nature for 30 days. I posted each week on my progress and shared photos of my experiences outdoors.

To get caught up on my month and my reflections each week:

I'm a little late posting photos from my final week and sharing my thoughts on the challenge. I've had a stressful few weeks at work and have experienced a great deal of negativity. The 30x30 Challenge has been the bright spot in my month because it has helped to motivate me to get outside when I might have chosen to sit on the couch. 

Highlights of the 30 x 30 Challenge:
  • My time outdoors is evident on my face. I'm already sun kissed and all that extra vitamin D feels good. If I've had a bad day even just a few minutes outdoors can turn it around for me. 
  • I'm more connected with my daughters because when I'm outside they follow me out, and when they're outside it helps to get me out too. We've gone on multiple family bike rides, hung out at the beach and gone on nature walks.
  • My oldest daughter is becoming a real preteen and often prefers alone time in her room. I've been "kicking" her outside, which in turn has made me realize that I can take what I'm doing and sit outside doing it as well. I've done some marking, edited photos on my iPad, worked on a knitting project, read a book and had a nap in my backyard, with the sounds of the birds and wind in the trees helping me to de-stress.
  • I managed to check everything off my list for the month: lots of family walks and bike rides, using our foot power to get to school when possible, using my bike to do daily errands, keeping up with daily gardening tasks and trying geocaching for the first time. 

Some downsides to the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge (as if there are real downsides to spending time in nature!):
  • While the garden is beautiful, the inside of my home is a disaster. I am currently looking at seven baskets of unfolded laundry that soon will be eight baskets. There is grass all over the downstairs floor from so much foot traffic going in and out the back door. And those dishes all over the counter are not going to clean themselves. 
  • My crafty projects have really taken a back seat this month. My one little word for the year is make, and I have a long list of craft and DIY projects to do. I am about an hour away from finishing knitting a pair of ankle socks, but by the time I sit down in the evening I'm too tired to pick up the needles.
  • My blogging has also been neglected. I've tried to keep up with posting about my progress with the 30 x 30 Challenge but many of the DIY projects I'd hoped to write about are not done.
  • I'm also behind on my work. Granted the last couple of weeks I haven't been able to do any work from home (thank you BC government), but I have huge pile of marking that is calling my name.

Here's my fourth week in photos:

I chose the rainiest day so far to try geocaching for the first time. My girls
were displeased and acted like the water was burning their flesh.

All that changed when we found it! These happy campers
were so enthusiastic they wanted to look for another
geocache right away. This will be on my summer
bucket list for sure!

Again lots of bike riding this week. We all rode my oldest
to her gymnastics class and continued along the dyke.

We paused at this pier along the Fraser River to watch
people fishing and the tugboats chugging along.

My youngest had a preschool field trip to the Richmond Nature Park.
They pretended to be honey bees looking for flowers. Then they observed
nature with a magnifying glass.

After the class trip was over we stuck around for our
own quiet walk in the park. So serene.

Of course I spent hours and hours in my vegetable garden. Things are really
starting to come up and we've already enjoyed many meals, and lots of
impromptu snacks from the garden beds. 

A quiet moment in my backyard, trying to get caught up with my
crafty projects, and feeling grateful for the many buzzing pollinators,
humming birds, dragonflies and chickadees I viewed while sitting here.

There's nothing like coming home from a busy day to a cooked meal
and a backyard campfire. It's so meditative to stare at a fire.

My pride and joy, and where I can be found most days. We've had many
family meals from the garden already. So excited for summer!

I'm not one for resolutions and challenges, but this one really appealed to me. I knew that I would find it easy to fit in 30 minutes outside a day, even if it only meant going out to weed and water in my backyard garden. I spent much more than 30 minutes many days each week, and we have had such beautiful weather this month that I was able to spend most of each weekend outside. 

I hope to continue my own little 30x30 challenge for the upcoming summer months. I'm home for July and August with my girls so I know we will be adding lots of outdoor adventures to our weekly agenda, but it is the daily time outside that I want to keep up. Tonight I am exhausted. I have a kitchen to clean and kids to put to bed so I'm sitting on the couch for a few minutes to work on this post after driving my daughter to her gymnastics class. Because dinner was a bit later than usual we didn't have time to ride our bikes to the class. Now I should be out on the back patio soaking up the last rays of the sun and watching what my girls like to call the dragonfly ballet as they swoop around catching flying insects. And now that I'm on the couch, I'm not motivated to get up. I know that there are days like this, and I know that tomorrow I have plans to be outside, so I am not concerned, yet. 

Did you participate in the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge? Do you feel like you get enough nature time each week? 

Follow my fellow Green Phone Boothers who also participated this month:

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