Go outside and play

I spent the last 24 hours taking another digital sabbatical (admittedly, I cheated and used my cell phone to coordinate our brunch plans. Almost-sabbatical, then). No tv, no movies, almost no internet. Instead I did some spring cleaning, gave the dog a bath, went to brunch with my husband and a friend, went to the library, and sat outside in the sun for much of the afternoon.

I’m starting to realize that there is nothing more essential to living simply than going outside to play, just as our parents compelled us to when we were kids. Now I do it under my own steam. We recently explored a part of the Eno River Park I had never been to, even though it’s right in our own backyard, one town over from us in Durham, NC. We discovered an old cabin, a small waterfall, and this cool suspension footbridge:

The benefits of playing outside are myriad: there’s the mood boost from all the Vitamin D and sunshine, especially in winter. Then there’s exercise and heart health, and the chance to spend uninterrupted time with loved ones, without the distractions of computers and cell phones and all the other fun devices that take up so much of our attention these days. Most of all, though, there’s so much beauty in the world – especially at these transitional times of year.

I’m loving all the spring blossoms, and trying to figure out which ones I can identify. Some are easy, like the forsythia and bradford pear, crocus and daffodils that have been popping up around my neighborhood. But I’ve also been noticing some I can’t name (which of course leads me back to the internet, looking through pictures of spring wildflowers…) 

So that’s my challenge for this week, when I’m on spring break and have the luxury of unscheduled time: to go outside and play, for at least a little while every day, regardless of the weather. Hopefully, since we have a day off together this week, I’ll get to spend some time outside with my favorite person:

Also on my agenda for the week of spring break? Cooking! Tonight we’re making another three egg quiche like the one in my last post. It turned out wonderfully, cheesy and delicious:

Between the food and the great outdoors, I’d say it’s shaping up to be a pretty good week! It might be my last spring break ever (I finish my graduate school coursework in only six short weeks – yikes!) so I don’t want to let it pass me by unnoticed. I’m also hoping to do some sewing, work ahead on my schoolwork, read a few books, and catch up with friends over coffee. 

Am I forgetting anything? What would you do with a whole week of free time?

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