Photo courtesy of my daughter Melissa.
Crater Lake, July 2017.
It’s Saturday, and I’m at a coffee shop with one of my daughters, escaping the heat outside. While I’m here, I think I’ll list of some of the things I’ll likely post on this blog once I get it moving. I want to discipline myself to write something regularly even while I’m away from home, out of my usual routine.
If you’ve read any of my past blogs, you can expect similar types of postings this time around, but, hopefully with additional perspective and insights.
Some of the categories I’ll probably use (in no particular order) are: read, eat, connect, learn/educate, do, adventure, celebrate, grow, make, serve. I’m always reading and thinking and watching and learning, and I’ve also lived quite a bit of life, so I don’t think I’ll run out of things to say!
To elaborate lightly on only a few of the above categories. . .
1. Being outside in natural places. My grandpa always told us, “Go outside and play!” because being outdoors is good for us. I love being outside, and I spend as much time there as I can, whether I’m on a mountain backpacking trip or just sitting in the fresh air on my balcony, surrounded by my potted herbs. There are countless cognitive, health, and mental benefits that come from being outside; the research on this is interesting and exciting. This isn’t surprising. The natural world is the habitat God created for us, after all. And, besides, doing stuff outside is so much fun.
2. Books. Because reading is one of my favorite things to do. I read a huge range of books that includes novels, biographies, and books about mountaineering, health and longevity, sociological research, social justice, spiritual writings, fluffy little books, and a lot more. Some of my current and recent reads are Alone on the Wall (rock climbing—about, arguably, the greatest free soloist in the world), The Push (rock climbing again—a biography of one of the two men who soloed El Capitan’s Dawn Wall), Kristin Lavransdatter (a Nobel prize winning novel; one of my favorites, set in medieval Norway), The Telomere Effect (research on telomeres—how we can lengthen them and live better longer), The Little Book of Hygge (a fun, cosy book), Le Arte de Simplicite (on simplifying and organizing), and Only Love Today (a book I probably wouldn’t have read, but one of my girls started a light family “book club” with this one, and I like it).
3. Learning/education. This is one of my most passionate interests. Even though I haven’t homeschooled for years, I still read a lot of research articles and books about how we learn and thrive educationally, as well as just about anything related to the mind and what impacts its function. A lot of my thinking comes straight out of my own experience and observations over the years. I’ve written a lot about this in the past, and this isn’t likely to stop. I tend to focus most on inner motivation, the importance of home atmosphere and learning, the elements in a home that make an excellent learning environment, relaxing, and the heart and soul of learning.
4. The importance of social connections. Research increasingly shows that having strong, healthy, positive social connections is one of the primary keys to living a long, healthy, happy life.
5. Eating well for health and enjoyment. I love food! And I try to eat so that I feel my best, but I don’t believe there’s only one way to eat for good health. There are definitely things we maybe shouldn’t eat at all or that we should eat in small quantities, but I don’t believe there’s one specific diet we should all consume. Also, eating is for fellowship and enjoyment as well as sustenance and health.
6. Domestic life. We all need a warm, safe, nurturing, and inspiring homelife, whether we live alone or within a family, whether we are married or single, whether we work or stay at home. Home should not merely be a place where we rest and refuel but where we can grow and become our best selves. We need to build good homes for ourselves, for our families, and for friends. Chesterton said home is the free-est place there is, that it’s the one place you can put the carpet on the ceiling if you want. I think this is something many women who stay home with their families don’t comprehend. Home is not a constricting, limiting place where you give up your own life to serve your family. At home, you can make a whole, huge, rich life of learning, doing, growing, and connecting. Your intellectual, creative, social, and even entrepreneurial life should not atrophy because you are at home.
7. Spiritual life and character. Relationships. Discipline, routines, habits. Moods and attitudes. Compassion and empathy. Serving. Why warmth is super-important in relationships. Etc.
I could keep writing fairly endlessly because I have just scratched the surface of what I want to discuss, but time is getting short at the coffee shop, so it’s time to stop. I should stop anyway! My goal is to keep my posts somewhat short.