By: Martianne Stanger
Hooray! A new year is upon us and not only does that open up 52 weeks of possibilities, but it also reminds me of a great success: My family actually stuck to a resolution we made last year, and we are reaping benefits of it.
A Simple Resolution
Last January, we committed to spending one day a week, usually Sundays, doing things we could enjoy as a family at little to no cost.
A Bevy of Benefits
By keeping this resolution, our family enjoys exercise and fresh air, discovers new places, makes memories, visits favorite spots and, best of all, proves that, if we commit to something together, we can succeed. Plus, we can have a while lot of fun by living simply.
I mean truly living. Not speeding along from one thing to the next or managing moments until a day is over. Instead, being present with one other through whatever unfolds. Starting a day with anticipation and going to bed fulfilled. Experiencing little epiphanies that putting the rest of life on pause affords. Banking restoration and communication that keep us strong when life, inevitably, requires overdrive once more.
The Whole Truth
Are Family Days all pauses and pleasantry? Of course not.
There are weeks when I itch to cut our family time short in order to get to something else on my task list besides “just” being with my husband and children. And, there are times when the kids (or we adults) get cranky. Weather does not cooperate. Cars have trouble. Sickness strikes. Plans go awry. But, to be honest, that’s okay. We roll with it.
Unexpected detours elicit creative solutions. Grumps giggle after a while. I recognize that no task scratched off my to-do list is quite as important as time well spent building family bonds.
Without question, our family’s “big picture” of life becomes illuminated by the small weekly choices we make to honor simple times spent with one another.
What kind of fun might fortify your family (as well as ours again) this coming year?
Pulling the kids across the snow during a hike at Bay Farm Conservation Area.
Hitting the ice for the first time at Bridgewater Ice Arena.
Sketching art at the MFA (using a pass, of course!)
Walking through the snow at Pratt Farm.
Swinging through the early spring at Marshfield Kids at Play.
Climbing ruins at Oliver Mills Park.
Hiking the Blue Hills in the springtime.
Playing in the Splash Pad at Nelson Park.
Hanging out at the Wading Pool at the Freetown State Forest.
Giggling at the Splash Pad at Capron Zoo.
Riding the Carousel at Nantasket.
Checking out elephant teeth at Buttonwood Park Zoo.
Apple picking at Honeypot Hill.
Playing in Julia’s Garden at the World War I Memorial Park in North Attleboro.
Meeting Santa at the Pine Hills.
And so much more…
We are blessed to live in an area with so many low and no-cost options for family fun. Choosing to experience these places together has been one of the best choices my family has made.
How about you? Did you commit to something and stick to it last year? More importantly, can you envision a small choice you can today that might clarify the “big picture” of how you envision life for your family this year? I’d love to hear about it. What might you do right now – in the very precious present – to make it happen?