sometimes you just have to get away

15 Oct sometimes you just have to get away

When Kris and I were in our 20s, we worked insane hours meeting publishing deadlines — the kind that are cyclical, one finish line followed by another and another. We worked with fury and passion because we loved it. We loved our magazines and the readers and the creative people we worked with each day, and we loved the words and images packaged each month and presented on newsstands like a little gift to the world.

But the work was exhausting, so we had to escape sometimes, reconnect and find balance once again…and that usually involved camping.

There were days we’d make the decision at 3 PM to go camping that night. We’d grab our sleeping bags, headlamps, a bottle of wine and some quick dinner and hike into our favorite spot, often after dark. We’d throw up a tent (or not) and just lay there, gazing at the stars, talking (or not), breathing in the crisp air and remembering what life is all about. The next morning we’d drive home (or directly to the office) and shower, renewed, ready to be creative once again.

One of the most challenging things since having kids is not having the ability to get away on a moment’s notice. We could… but for me, the extra planning and packing required for the kids cancels out the stress-relief that spur-of-the-moment camping provides. We’ve taken the kids camping several times, and it’s fun, but it’s not always relaxing. And it’s never a last-minute decision. We plan a few weeks out. I do laundry and grocery shop and make sure their fleece jackets still fit and there are batteries in the headlamps and fuel in the camp stove, etc. Because the stakes are higher when kids are around.

Last week, though, Kris unexpectedly took a day off work. And it happened to coincide with the kids’ fall break and a rare cool weather spell here in AZ. Life has been stressful lately, and it seemed like the perfect time to get away and decompress. So, even though it was totally last minute, we packed the car at 3 PM and went camping. And it was exactly what we needed.

A quick escape to enjoy the crisp, cool air, gaze at the stars, and find our ground again as a family.

I’d highly recommend it.

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