With my wife 7 months pregnant and not wanting to stray too far from home…my pink tomboy wanting to do nothing more than be in her princess dress and ten foot up a tree, the choice to take a few days away ‘being at one with nature’ couldn’t have come at a better time.
I had allowed work to consume me……business was all my focus and the words ‘treacle’ and ‘treading’ came up a few times!
I could hear the words of an old mentor coming into my head…..”Sometimes you need to slow down, to speed up”
Time to recharge, focus on nothing but time with the family, time with the wee one and…Well, just T-I-M-E.
Car packed to the rafters, sun shining and the beaches of the The Gower were calling…we set off and headed past all the tourists through the back-roads and turned into Oxwich Bay. Only a short drive from where we live but this is our spot to de-camp and unwind.
Within no time at all, the tent was up, the kitchen was up, the living room(!) was up and we were heading for the beach, bathers on, buckets in hand and cool box a ready….body boarding anyone?
Ah….I forget at times, my wee princess is only 4 and albeit a tomboy…a very pink one at that.
So, time to get myself on my hands and knees, in the sand and turn what is a plastic bucket and oodles of cool wet sand into the ‘bestest, most prettiest princess castle with a huuuuuggggggeeeeee tower for ‘Punzel.
Hours later back at basecamp. We had a corner pitch with the woods and a stream behind us (hardly any midges down here so safe place to be). Right in the corner was a hump of mud that bridges to the next field and alongside the stream with trees overhead and the full woods to the right.
By now, my inner child was awake….not the wounded inner child but the inner child that knows how to have fun, how to imagine, how to create something magical from something simple like a mud hump…..I turned to Etienne and asked in an excited whisper “Eti….have you seen that bridge over there to the woods?” “Yes dad, it goes to the rope swing” she replied so matter of fact. “Not just any rope swing Eti, as that is not just any old bridge….that is the ‘Bridge to Teribithia’ said in the most magical and creative voice I could. Etienne stopped what she was doing, turned to look at it, turned back slowly, dropped the Velcro ball and catch mit as she screamed “C’mon Dad….we gotta go….the Bridge to Teribithia is open”
And so it continued, the most magical, down to earth, natural, playful fun days I have had for years and every night it was finished off with a camp fire watching the stars rise and the bats skit and jump around in the sky above us….till we yawned our last yawn of the day. Just magical.
All too often I am guilty of forgetting my inner child and that so much can be gained by doing so little. Technology is faster and faster, our expectations greater and greater, our need for information more so and our insatiable appetites for the ideal life TODAY!
I am only 36 (I will always be a young pup!) and yet I am old enough to remember getting up in the morning and going downstairs to a cold fire. One that would require a clean, the newspaper crunched and the kindling stacked as my older brother went to get the coal. Then it would take a few more minutes for the paper to catch, the kindling to crack and then we could add some fuel to the fire and finally get warm. Many of us remember that feeling of ‘finally getting warm’ yet we are now in an age where everything is available NOW. Everything is available 24hrs a day so we want it more and when the internet is not available for 10 minutes, we fly into a rage….if we leave the house without our mobile phone we panic. Who can tell me where the nearest phone box to their home is located. We all used to? I remember lining up, waiting to use the phone with a stack of 10p and 20ps to phone a girlfriend.
I hear the term ‘delayed gratification’ as a description for the above and that the world has got too fast….and I think to myself…nonsense. The world will always get faster, our desires will grow bigger, our expectations higher and the only thing that can stop us once in a while to just ‘be’ is simply, us!
Your time is your most precious asset. We all use it so carelessly without thought at times. One moment can mean so much to another person no matter how old or young they may be. And one moment should mean so much to you.
Please, use your moments wisely, Invest time in yourself, your loved one, your future and your NOW!
“The law of love could best be understood and learned through little children” – Mahatma Ghandi
Now that is worth thinking about.
Applying You – You; Simply Better