“A comfort zone is a lovely place, but nothing ever grows there.”
I’m not sure who this quote is from, but it’s one of my favorites.
I hate getting out of my comfort zone. I hate the potential of failure and have a fear of the unknown. I get super excited about all things new, up until the point where I have to commit and actually do it. Then all my fears and doubts and reasons why this won’t be GREAT, start to flood in. I love the planning and dreaming and figuring out how to do something, but the ACTUAL doing it, that has always been my downfall.
Last week my husband, two oldest kids and I went camping. I have been camping all of two times in my entire life, and here I was camping WITH KIDS. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone and I absolutely had thoughts of backing out.
I’m so glad I didn’t.
It was a perfectly cool three days in central florida. Daytime temps in the low 70’s and nights in the low 50’s – just right for a nice fire in which to roast LOTS of marshmallows. We took several long walks on incredibly beautiful trails, and I learned just how much of ‘city kids’ mine are when my daughter told me she wanted to go back because she was scared of the big trees. I also learned just how much of a ‘city girl’ I am when I demanded to go back because a rather large bug flew down my shirt.
I LOVED having no TV, no computer, no cell phone reception or wifi. It stressed me out a little (sometimes a lot) but to be FULLY present for every moment of the day – not curious what that notification ‘ding’ I just heard meant, or telling my kids to hold on a second, while I respond to a text – priceless.
It was like a technology cleanse, and felt similar to the 3 Day Refresh food cleanse I did earlier this month. Felt strange, but good.
Did everything go perfectly? Nope.
Will we do it again? ABSOLUTELY.
Every time I push past my comfort zone, whether it’s something small, like going camping (with like a million friends, and a wal*mart and hotel right down the road) or something big like start my own fitness business and lead a team of women, it makes the next time just a little bit easier. I know that whether it goes great, or everything goes wrong, there is value in every new experience!
I challenge each and every one of you to do something this month you’ve never done before – even if it’s something small like trying a new dish at your favorite restaurant (or maybe even a new restaurant!!) or signing up for a class, just to better yourself, or even something huge, like pursuing a dream of yours and starting a business or ministry.
Blow up your comfort zone!! – be prepared to grow and live this life to the fullest.
Here are some of my tips for camping with kids:
Mine are 4yrs. and almost 3yrs. old, and here are my *expert* tips from ONE trip (hahaha)
We put them both on a twin air mattress and got them individual sleeping bags which they LOVED. My kids move around a lot when they sleep, and it was COLD at night (lowest got to 49 degrees), so knowing I could zip them into the warmth of their bag was comforting.
Because we were out all day walking, and doing stuff and no one got naps, the kids went down easy and slept ALL night! They were up early (with the sun) but that’s pretty normal.
We have a portable Webber Q grill, and so that’s what we brought to cook all our meals. in order to have a way to cook eggs and bacon, we got a cast iron skillet and put it on the grill to get hot. An electric griddle would have been faster and easier, but it was nice to have the option to grill AND saute, and we didn’t have to buy any additional equipment because we already had the grill and skillet. If this is something we do again though, we will probably invest in the electric griddle because it’s smaller to pack and quicker to heat up. Also, boiling water on a grill for our coffee each morning (we have a french press we brought with us) took FOREVER. I think we will also be investing in an electric kettle that boils water in a minute!
I made ‘pizzas’ with english muffins, sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese the first night, because we got in late and needed something quick. The second night was hot dogs (of course) and veggies in aluminum foil packets. The veggies were PERFECT! Definitely something that if you prep ahead of time is super easy (and also more nutritious) and delicious!)
Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and english muffins – toasted on the grill.
For lunch we did grilled cheese with turkey one day and leftovers the next. I brought apples and also those fruit pouches for the kids. We also did a lot of trail mix and some spiced pecans.
I decided to bring one set of light, plastic plates (not the disposable kind, they came in a ‘picnic’ set that we got as a gift a long time ago – something like this) and regular silverware instead of paper and plastic. It really wasn’t much work to wash everything after each meal, and we didn’t have to worry about all the garbage or running out of anything.
Between building fires, roasting marshmallows, chatting with friends, taking hikes, cooking and eating food, I felt like we really didn’t need to bring much. We had a frisbee, Uno cards and a book but only ended up throwing the frisbee around for like 5 minutes at the end of the trip. Our kids loved exploring, and we used our imagination to create adventures for ourselves.
When the kids get older, we might bring bikes for longer treks on the trails. If we had more time, we probably would have used the cards and read a little in the book – especially if we were just going as a family, but this particular trip we were with a HUGE group from our church – so there were always people around to chat and share food with.
I’m REALLY excited about making this a regular thing with our family. I could even see us going to local camp sites (like 45 minutes away) just to get that break of routine and hectic schedule. It’s such an inexpensive getaway, and even though it’s work to get all the supplies together and set everything up – we did it all as a family and that’s what made it special and wonderful.