Prince William Forest Park is a beautiful, fun place to visit for the day...and it's right in our back yard! I can't believe that we have been living here for (10)years, and are just now discovering the fun of hiking. I have wanted to be a "hiking" family for several years, but we've always been "too busy". I think the frustration of busy-ness has just, now, caught up with me (and 'M'), and in the effort of trying to do more outside, and together stuff as a family, 'M' and I decided to make a conscious effort to do something about it (the frustration of busy-ness). Hiking is fun, easy, affordable, and when you combine it with letter-boxing, a fun activity for the whole family! (Letter-boxing is a really cool treasure hunt, by the way, and there is a website: letterboxing.org, to find out more about it.) We have been a couple of times now, and I speak for the whole family when I say we enjoy it!
I have to admit, it is hard for me to just stop and be. I've written about this before, that I struggle with letting things go. I'm reading books about anxiety, and over-coming the need to get everything done, to have a clean house, to have everything "just right." I think it is hard to not be super-mom...the I-can-do-it-all attitude that permeates EVERYTHING these days is always in the back of my mind. I look at beautiful home magazines, and want the beautiful home, the fresh paint, the clean carpets. I read magazine articles about women who can work, keep house, raise clean, healthy children, and manage to look fabulous. I have to admit, I want that, too.
My theory is that it isn't really real. These articles, and the people in them are all styled to look the way they do for a photo shoot; and the houses in the magazines are all professionally cleaned and touched up before they are photographed, as well. I think that reality (for most of us, anyway) is a wall that needs painting, a carpet that needs steaming, a kitchen floor that needs mopping. Also, reality is a child needing a bath, an apple, a hug. So, I'm trying to give up "home" magazines.
My round-about-point is that we have to focus on the important stuff, and do that well. The kitchen floor isn't going to remember being clean, but my kids will remember hiking and letter-boxing on a rainy afternoon when we could have turned around, instead, and spent a boring afternoon in the house (watching floors being cleaned-- I really need to let go of the clean floor thing). The kids are going to remember moments, not things. I know this is true, because that is what I remember. It is important to keep house, too. I'm just saying that things don't need to be perfect! They only need to be as perfect as you need them to be. There has to be balance.
I'm not saying this is easy... please know, I struggle. I've just began reading a lot on this subject- as well as others. I'm trying to get much needed tools to be better. A better mom, a better wife, a better friend. There are many verses in the Bible that talk about just being the best you can be, and to do it all for God's glory. I often say to my friends and family that it is all about survival, and doing the best you can, with what you've got. I believe that, and I'm going to start adding, "and do it all for God's glory".