As you may have seen, for the past month I've been taking part in the One Hour Outside challenge as seen on Splodz Blogz. It's been a mixed sort of success, and hasn't quite worked out quite as I'd expected.
One of the reasons I decided to brave the weather and take part was that I'd found from observing my routine for a day or two that I actually spend quite a lot of time outdoors. I don't have a laundry drier, so any day that's even vaguely dry I'm outside hanging out the washing. Add on the time spent fetching it in, often more than once in the day if it's showery, and that's somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes outside. It's also the time of year when, encouraged by some Spring-like warmth, I start pottering around in the garden. Plus, of course, there are times I walk to the post box, local shops or library. So on a DRY day, I'm easily outside for an hour doing one thing or another; a WET day is another matter entirely, and even taking part in the challenge didn't encourage me to get out and get wet. I'd guess I achieved the hour outside for a little more than half the month, 15 or 16 days, but the rest of the time I barely went out at all!
Being in a sort-of retired situation and at home all day, I can pretty much do whatever I choose, but even so I've drifted into a very house-bound routine. I'd rather hoped this challenge would give me an incentive to get out of it - to join in with the daily dog walks or go out more walking in parks or the countryside - and this part hasn't worked. Apart from a couple of trips to see snowdrops, I haven't actually done anything unusual or changed my habits at all.
Something good has come of it though.
Keeping track of the time I spent outside encouraged me to take a few extra minutes and not just rush at jobs. I certainly paid more attention to the weather, as it moved from mild to freezing, then stormy as 'Doris' blew past to be followed by warmer days at the end of the month, and to the world around me - not quite watching the grass grow, but noticing the snowdrops open, looking at catkins on the way to the post box, and on clear evenings lingering outside to catch the sunset or just to look at the moon and stars. For this alone I think it was worth attempting the challenge, especially as one of my resolutions for the year was to find some quiet down time; for this alone, I'm going to try to carry on with One Hour Outside through March.