Showing gratitude – being thankful, decent, kind – is a pretty perfect remedy for nearly everything. That's what this upcoming block of time is all about for us.
The landscape of our life.
Chaos has been swirling around us lately.
All is fantastic with us personally, thankfully, but some circumstances surrounding our little world are testing our ability to be the kind of people we hope to be when things go sideways. Somehow, focusing on what you have – what's working, what's going your way – puts things into perspective. You quickly realize that good patches and rough patches co-exist on the journey that is life. And, even more so, you begin to grasp that a majority of people around the world live lives that skew heavily towards the not-so-good patches.
We are fortunate, despite the current state of upheaval.
This need to stay grounded and to keep perspective probably explains our focus, of late, on who we are – the kind of individuals and couple that we want to be regardless of the good or bad that is spiraling around us.
What we're doing.
Our favorite adventure of the year (and, really, our only tradition) is right around the corner. Yep, it's our annual hiking and camping extravaganza.
The timing couldn't be better. We'll be spending a lot of time in nature, slowing down the frenzy and reflecting. A healthy dose of the great outdoors tends to fast track many of our best realizations. Bring it on!
Here's what we'll be up to:
31 Things mission: To further cement the link between this awesome slice of the year and our current focus on being the kind of people we want to be in the world, we're doing something fun – our 31 Things mission. It's simple. Each day during the month of August, we're committed to doing something kind for someone or something. We're talking small stuff with, quite possibly, a couple bigger things thrown in the mix. Maybe we'll pick up trash on a trail or two, maybe we'll surprise a person or two. 31 days and 31 acts of decency. I think we can handle it.
Challenge Yourself mission: We'll also be doing something special in honor of our favorite places in all of the world – National Parks. Since they're facing a funding crisis, we've decided to donate to the National Park Foundation for every mile of hiking, running and walking that we'll do this month. Trust me… it'll be a lot of movement. We've got several 20+ mile days of hiking planned, and *surprise* we're also training for a half marathon. We're calling this our Challenge Yourself mission.
What you can do.
You can JOIN US, that's what you can do! Think you can bite off one of these two things:
1) Commit to doing 31 small, kind things this month. One thing a day. Smile at a stranger, buy a person coffee, hug a cop, tell a stranger he/she is hot :) – you get the idea.
2) Pick an organization (or, hey, an individual) that you want to help. Commit, say, a buck for every mile you walk (or whatever). Use the money to donate to the organization. Or, perhaps, use the money to surprise a struggling friend with lunch. Get creative.
We'll be updating our #31Things and #ChallengeYourself progress here so stay tuned. Also, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail or share in comments if you're going to join in the fun.
31 Things update:
A few of the things we've been up to in our quest...
–August 2nd: Reached out to 3 people with whom we had lost touch.
–August 4th: Struck up a conversation with a neighborhood woman who we regularly see walking her dog.
–August 5th: Gave a gift card to someone who went out of her way to help us.
–August 8th: Thanked a Ranger for his work.
–August 10th: Picked up trash on the trail.
–August 12th: Made hikers laugh (this was a really fun one!).
–August 15th: Bought a guy a beer.
–August 17th: Gave to a good cause.
–August 20th: Gave one of our towels to a white water rafter who didn't have one.
–August 23rd: Changed plans in order to help out a friend.
–August 26th: Wrote a letter of recommendation.
–August 28th: Gave something to a friend.
–August 29th: Gave up a parking spot.
Challenge Yourself update:
Total miles walking / running / hiking:
. Passed our goal of 250 miles for the month.
Bear = 5
Wolverine = 1 (first ever!!!)
Moose = 1
Bighorn Sheep = several
Mountain Goats = several
Elk - several
Deer = several