Today is my 40th birthday! In so many ways I am not 40 – the apple seller at the farmer’s market tells me I look 32, when I am with my husband I still see us as the young people who met and fell in love in 1994, and when I think about how much time lies ahead of me I feel I have lived a drop in the bucket.
BUT (there is always a but) I do feel older than 40 when I think about how these days I rarely have real fun – like fun with a capital F. I explained in my posts about my wheel of life and my goals for this year that “fun and adventure” are in my top two goals this year along with “health and wellness”. I also want to be more mindfully present with my family, but know in my heart that it starts with me being involved in their fun and letting go.
I want to create a bucket list of ideas for my family to choose our fun and adventure this year.I have already pledged that I will say yes to whatever they choose – that is the letting go part. I will not worry about skill level (I have not ridden a bike in 9 years) or how silly I look (I don’t even understand cricket but they play it in the backyard all the time) or what we will do for food, drink, emergencies of every description that might pop up. I want to create a board like this one (image below) I saw on pinterest that was created for a summer bucket list by Beth at Home Stories A to Z. I love one of the suggestions in the comments – take a photo of each one we do and attach it to the board – I would love to create a whole photo book as a surprise for the kids for Christmas and Chanukah!
So today on my 40th birthday I have only one request for a present from you – my lovely HLS readers – and I hope you will take 5 minutes to indulge me. In the process I hope to help all of you as well.
I would love to know your ideas for fun and adventure with your own families. What do you do to let loose, unwind together, and feel a sense of adventure. What activities, games, creative ideas do you have that make you laugh so much you wish you had taken care of that pelvic floor? What brings you all together – a movie marathon with pillows and popcorn? a bike ride in a new area? building forts?
To kick things off I will share a few ideas I want to explore with my family:
- Go on a roadtrip where we flip a coin to decide whether to turn left or right at key points and just see where we end up in a half hour or so of driving and then find something new to explore where we end up
- I want to find a rock climbing wall place for families to try it out together – fun and exercise combined sounds good to me.
- Go on a photo scavenger hunt looking for things in the shape of all the letters of the alphabet . I would love to turn this into a piece of wall art by making a photo collage.
- Download a stargazing app onto my ipad and take it with us on a night walk to check out the stars (even better drive a bit further out for a clearer view)
I also asked my friend Laney from Crash Test Mummy for some of her ideas since she and I are so similar and in the same boat – we both gave up sugar and we both are trying to “be a fun mum”.
- Draw on the concrete outside with chalk. They love when I draw them things (even though I can’t draw!) and when I’m feeling particularly fun I let them color in our brick house!
- We bake or cook together. The kids are pretty good at identifying and bringing in the correct herbs. They love ‘helping’ and I just have to laugh at all the mess we make!
Laney is currently crash testing a couple of ideas found on another wonderful blog Be a fun mum written by one of my parenting inspirations and fellow Brisbane mother Kelly. Kelly is the Queen of fun and adventures and shared with me two of her family’s favourite ways to spend time together.
- Mini Road Trips -On a Saturday, we look at a map and find a destination within a 150 km radius from our home. We leave early in the morning, pack an esky with lunch, and return later that night. It makes for an exciting day!
- Beach days -The beach is somewhere we are all relaxed and so we have a lot of fun swimming, walking and making sand castles. The children love collecting shells to bring home and enjoy turning the shells into all sorts of creations. Below is a recent ‘Shell Dinosaur Fossil’ my daughter made.
I would love to compile a big list of ideas and then post it soon for everyone to download. Can we get to 50 ideas? 100 ideas? They need not be grand ideas – most of the time our fun and adventure will be local (although we can dream of jetting off to Fiji too). So share your ideas – big or small, free or costs a little bit of money (but is worth it), what seems “run of the mill” fun for you may be just the “new idea” someone else has been waiting for. This is one birthday gift you don’t need to wrap!
Find your simple,
Image: birthday cake from flickr user jessica diamond