Grow up!

I am definitely not going to be nominated for any parenting awards, any time soon. In fact, my older son said to me recently,

I was nearly sick finishing my food, but then I stopped myself.

Trip adviser for parenting 4 stars!
Adventure #40 Symmonds Yat

Yesterday I found myself uttering those immortal words “Grow up!”. I was exhausted, I have had three weeks on my own with the boys and we all need a break from each other. We were in the car and I pondered the phrase I had just yelled at them. It actually held a deep philosophical resonance with me.

When I started the Micro-adventure challenge on January the 1st, it had been because I had woken up and realised I was deeply unhappy, over weight, underchallenged and generally not enjoying life. I was exhausted all the time and felt I was failing at everything. Micro Adventures were an idea I conceived to empower myself to start loving life again. A micro challenge has 3 rules: It needs to be no more than 2 hours from home, it needs to be free, or very low cost and it should bring you new joy.

Adventure #1 was a Wild boar hunt in the Forest of Dean. We had all been stuck inside and kettled with family members for most of Christmas. Getting out with the breeze and the trees made us feel alive again. This week I took the boys on adventure #40: We scaled a summit and looked down on the world. It was breath taking. We stood in awe and watched people canoeing down below. We skipped along wooded paths, we played a fungus hunting game. We made up silly stories.

Children never hate the rain. Puddles and umbrellas are just another adventure.

52 Micro adventures has led me to start writing a blog, retrain to be a forest school teacher, have the courage to give in my notice in a comfortable job and be a bit more brave in my relationships. And all of this was possible, not because I grew up, that was in fact the source of the problems. It was possible because I started to view life like a child, with wonder and awe and noticing the beauty of small things around me. I stopped getting bogged down with thoughts of economic doom, and career progression and the creaking car, well I am trying. It is all a work in progress.

If you have any ideas for micro adventures, please write them below. Maybe we can compose the ultimate list.

A beginners guide to star gazing

The night sky

This week I had the pleasure of spending time with two friends I have not really seen for years. In the meantime we have all had kids, hardcore jobs and life has just got in the way.

We took all the kids camping. For them (kids) it was an adventure, for us, a huge physical endurance act. I am injured. Don’t feel bad for me. It was an old injury, brought on by too much prosecco and arrogance. I rode my mountain bike home, in the pitch black, on a dew covered slope, while carrying a bag on each handle bar. My coccyx is smashed to pieces. Electric shocks of pain remind me what child birth was like.

The second night, we made a camp fire. For the younger kids, this was a new experience. As the embers died down, we started to put them to bed. As the stars came out, we opened the wine. Honest and emotional conversations always happen around a fire with friends, but when reduced to embers, when you can no longer see anyone’s facial reactions, it becomes more like a confession. You tell a story, knowing you cannot see a person’s reaction. It is a different type of conversation.

The day before we took all the kids to the swimming lake. Adults padded in apprehensively while the older kids (and toddlers) ran along the jetty and threw themselves in with gay abandon.

The third night, we were trying to be sensible. We had to sensible, we had to decamp, drive home, get food, wash clothe etc. As we tried to calmly tell each other it was time for sleep, we all grabbed each other….Did you se it?!?!?!?!? We all said. A fleeting shooting star!! How magical?! How exciting. Even as non-believers, we all silently made a wish, just in case.

I have never seen a meteor shower. I have seen them forecast, and then as it so much the case in the Uk, it was too cloudy to see anything.

We haved a posh telescope and it is really fun to see the actual surface of the moon in detail, but actually, just seeing a fleeting streak of light was enough to send us CRAZY. So, in conclusion, you need nothing. just remember that your night vision cannot kick in for 30 minutes. Like all the best things in life, you must be patient. x