Monday, December 15, 2008

Give your time, and the outdoors

Funny how we always run out of time at this time of year. We're pretty pushed and pulled. But it doesn't have to be that way. Really.

I try to slow down. Sit for a minute. Think. About what is really important. Then I usually grab a warm cocoa or tea, and head outside if it's nice. Oh, and I usually try to take someone along with me too.

Remember, whatever occasion you celebrate at this time of year, the best thing you can give is yourself and your time. Be present for your kids and others who are important. I mean really listen to them, talk about what matters, and take them on a walk.

When we're out of doors on a gravel or dirt path, surrounded by nature, our battle instincts fade. We're calmer, more instinctually happy. You don't have to go far. But do go, and take someone with you.

And while you're walking and talking, think about what else you could change. Like presents. Sure, get the kids the video games they like. That high tech cell phone if you must. But throw in something active as well, something they have to use outdoors. A walking stick is great. What you say? A walking stick? Yes. Really.

They take it along, use it to probe the mud, examine leaves or what's under a rock, and enjoy where they are. At the end of the walk, they can fold it down, put it in a day pack.

Ok. Pretty low tech. But not old fashioned. Because sharing time with someone, giving them calmness and the best of yourself, is a gift that never goes out of style.

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