Monday, June 2, 2014

What the 30x30 Challenge Gave Me

May is over and the 30x30 Challenge: 30 minutes of outdoor time every day for the month of May, is DONE.

How did I do?

Well... to be honest there were at least one or two days a week that I didn't make it outside for a total of 30min. Some days I had meetings until after the sun had set (meetings which could not be taken outside for example). A few days I was just so exhausted there was no way I was sitting out in the cold (we had some pretty chilly days in May). I hope Mr Suzuki isn't too disappointed in me.

That said, though, I feel like my approach of balance and self-forgiveness was much more conducive to making a longer lasting change in our outdoor habits than an all over nothing, ballstothewall approach. 

What the 30x30 challenge did for me:
  1. Andrew and I take longer walks. We quickly realized that walking to our mail box unit thingy wasn't long enough of a walk (suburbia has this weird mail tower thing that holds dozens of little locked boxes intsead of a at the end of your driveway mailbox. It's strange). So, in order to get the amount of Nature time for my challenge, we've started picking a new street to explore and finish our walk picking up our mail. We don't walk every night, but multiple times a week. 
  2. We started a habit of a "daily yard exploration" where we would slowly make a tour of our yard and experience the subtle, and not so subtle, changes that were happening in our yard daily. It's a fun way to connect with our new space, chat about new plants, wonder over tiny new flowers and buds unfurling and chatting about our future garden plans.
  3. Andrew knowing that I was doing this challenge meant he was ON BOARD with initiating new ways to get Nature time into our day. Since he's a video gaming couch potato for the most part, this was a fun change and felt great to be so supported. Like I wasn't just dragging him outside 'because'. 

I *think* being outside more this month had a calming and positive effect... but to be fair I was in a pretty stressful spot and May naturally was a bit calmer at work than April. Regardless, I'm hopeful that these three changes above will carry over into the summer and fall months.

I do have more ideas on how to spend my evenings outside instead of holed up in the house. One really important idea was to start practicing yoga on the deck after work. Now that the sun is out later and it's getting warmer in the evenings (we're not quite there yet, but soon!) I feel like my yoga practice will just blossom. It's been waiting patiently for me and for that I am thankful.

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