Everyday Adventures – How to Have an Adventure Every Day
Is the endless domestic treadmill turning you into a robot? Ever felt like sweeping the washing straight from the tumble dryer into the bin? Have you forgotten how to have an adventure? Do you find yourself rolling through life in a rather unpleasant comfort bubble? Then STOP! There is another way. Ignore the chores and spend a week doing fun stuff with the kids. I know you can do it. Because I just did. Only thing is, it’s hard to go back to the tedium once you have learnt how to have an adventure every day…
Everyday adventures in family life
Family life should be an adventure. A stimulating, rewarding experience. That’s why we have kids, right? But it’s not though is it? A lot of the time it’s an escalator ride to nowhere.
Life as a parent is ketchup on the tablecloth. It’s damp washing. It’s an overflowing bin that everyone argues about putting out. Even if you set out to be something different, one day you look up and you have turned into a Stepford Wife. And why fight it? You haven’t got time to think between the cub run, the ballet lessons and the Warhammer convention. Have you?
Why fight it?
But wait up, you are not that kind of parent at heart. And I’m not. We didn’t set out to prioritise dust busting; we’ve just fallen into a rut the size of Australia. How do I know this? Because last week I had an epiphany. Last week Stuart and I stepped away from the dishes and the washing and the hoovering and the endless taxi runs. Instead we went cross country running. And microscooting. And cycling. A whole week of outdoor activities with the children. On our own doorstep. And it was one of the best weeks of my life. No kidding!
Before I sound too Mother Teresa, I have to confess the initiative wasn’t entirely self motivated. Our challenge was part of a bigger challenge: Team Honk, which is in turn part of the fund raising juggernaut: Sport Relief.
The Team Honk challenge
The #teamhonkrelay has involved more than 200 determined parent bloggers, their family and friends and quite often their children too. For three months, they have powered a ribbon studded baton on a journey from Land’s End to John O’ Groats. And half way up the country, in Morecambe, it became our responsibility. We needed to get it to Kendal, so it could continue north.
The distance between Morecambe and Kendal is roughly a marathon length. So before Stuart could suggest I run a marathon, we cooked up a plan for a family pentathlon. Five ways of travelling, all human powered, and all fitted around school and working life. We only had the baton for four days and we were determined to show it a bit of The Lakes.
Stepping away from the dishes
When I first signed up for our Team Honk challenge, I hadn’t realised it would take a week of my life. I hadn’t realised how hard it would be to walk away from work and housework and the endless ‘to do’ lists. And how resistant the kids would be to spending their evenings doing sport. On the first day at least.
But as we scooted the eight miles from Morecambe to Kendal, while the rose pink sun set behind us, we realised that this is what family life should be about. Why don’t we scoot together all the time?
As we canoed the four miles down the Lancaster Canal with the ducks quacking a welcome and cotton wool lambs wobbling around on brand new legs, we asked ourselves why we don’t float our boat more often?
As we laughed our way through star jumps and cartwheeled across the fields on our cross country we wondered why we so often do this alone? As a kind of physical punishment rather than a celebration of energy and strength.
As we swam in Windermere, we realised how exhilarating it is to give the body a jump start, no matter how cold and shocking.
As we biked in thick fog to Kendal we thought how easy it would be to cycle to the supermarket once in a while.
Putting the ‘to do’ list to one side
And we became a family. We joked, we talked we even sweated. We ate chips. We ate more chips. We fed the seagulls our chips. We pushed through fog and basked in sunshine. Matthew’s bedroom stayed unpainted. The cereal bowls got crusty. The sitting room looked like burglars had come for a pizza party. Minecraft Kingdoms went untended. Facetime calls went unanswered. And it didn’t matter. We were a family. For almost a week. And then we handed the baton on. We were truly sorry to see it go.
Reminding yourself why you do it
Our Team Honk challenge was about more than fundraising, and more than fun. It reminded us we were more than what we thought we were. And turned us into the parents we wanted to be. For one week we got off the drudgery treadmill and ran headlong into a much more vital world. Thanks to Team Honk for giving us that push. And the dishes, of course, got done in the end.