Why are we going?
Here are just some of the reasons behind the adventure we will be embarking on this summer. In no particular order:
The mental health benefits.
For over a year now the wonderful husbandface has been struggling with complex ptsd, anxiety and depression. It’s been a tough old year and, with the news that he’s been signed off until September, we want to explore a new more sustainable way of living that works for our mental health. When we hired for a few days we found it to be a really helpful space which enabled him to come along for all the adventures. When things got overwhelming he then had a ready safe space to retreat too. Much against expectations sleep was amazing (there may be some correlation/causation issues there but we’ll see if it works again). We already know that our mental health is increased by more time outdoors, more exercise and more time to live at a slower pace. We are hoping that this trip will provide some of those things and we can have more space to think through how to build those things into our daily routines at home.
Making the most of family life.
The boys have been, understandably, frustrated and confused about why Daddy can’t come on our adventures at the moment. The motorhome seemed to help with that and we are looking forward to seeing the affect of extended time together with just the four of us. I don’t really know whether it will bring us together or drive us further apart, or a combination of both. We wait in expectation.
Longing to cultivate a love of the outdoors.
It seems almost too cliche to say that we live in a world that is increasingly disconnected from the earth we depend on for life. It is almost too easy to notice our obsession with screens and the many ways we have invented to dull the pain that living can bring. Cliche or not, I think it’s true. We want more for ourselves and our boys. I would love them, and myself, to be free from the addiction of the screen. I really want them to know and love the world we live in. I think getting outside helps. I think it is enormously beneficial to slow life down, to breathe, to recover from the weird fast pace of this 24/7 world.
Son1 at bedtime tonight started talking about mountains and wanting to climb them (and this from a boy who moans about the hills in this area and wishes God had made the whole world flat). Part of my soul sang as I imagined tramping over mountains together. There is just something so so good about fresh air, nature and dirt between your toes. Anyway, there it is. We want a more outdoors life. Before we go we’ll be taking part in the 30 days of wild challenge, run by The Wildlife Trusts. It’s a simple call to make room for nature, whatever environment we live in. We’re one of their wild bloggers so check back to see how we are getting on in getting out.
Living a more simple life.
I’m looking forward to leaving most of our possessions behind. All of us in our little team battle with wanting more and more stuff. All of us. We want more toys, more lego, more food, more gadgets, more music, more books, more treats, more coffee, more motorhomes, more more more. It just doesn’t satisfy. I want to discover the creativity involved in living more simply and be able to help the boys taste some freedom from the relentless crave for more.
Catching up with friends.
We’ve found in this weird season of life that we’ve had little time to invest in relationships with others, head down we’ve trudged on. It’s hard to get out and hold conversations in this murky exhaustion. We do, however, love catching up with friends who’ve known either one of us for years and who know that husbandface isn’t just defined by what he is going through now. We’ll be hanging out with friends and family along the way and it will be good to see people in reality rather than just on the world of facebook. I feel like we have become fairly isolated in our survival mode and it will be good to reconnect with some people again.
The quest for meaning/significance.
This September will mark Son1 starting School. I can’t believe we’ve made it through the preschool years with our eldest. They have been the most intense weird years of my life. They have tested me to all limits and brought me more joy than I have ever known. I kind of want to mark the change in rhythm that will come in September. I want to check in on myself as well. I feel entirely different to the me I was 5 years ago. I want some reflection time, some time in big wide open spaces to think and breathe and be ok.
We are Christians, but our faith also looks a different shape since having kids, since living this last year of illness, since our church community that we were so a part of closed down last year. We are reeling from the changes still. We have found a lovely new church but it is hard feeling part of things, hard on my own with the kids most Sunday mornings, hard to get to know people when we are in such a weak place. I think we want to work out where God is in the midst of all of this, what shape our daily life with God might take in the future, what it looks like to walk with Jesus in this reality. What are the bits we are really sure of and the bits it’s ok to leave in the large fog of unknowing that surrounds us? I’ll probably be blogging more about that kind of thing over on my personal blog, because that’s what it is there for but I’ll link from here when I do for those interested.